Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, regarding the detention of businessman Osman Kavala, who had an “wanted person” crisis with the ambassadors of 10 countries, six of which were EU members, said, “The EU expects all the Council of Europe (EC) members to implement the ECHR decisions. ” he gave the message.
Meyer-Landrut evaluated current issues in Turkey-EU relations and answered questions at the meeting with the members of the Diplomatic Correspondents Association (DMD). Responding to a question about the lack of an official statement from the EU Commission about the rejection of Kavala’s release request at the hearing this week, Landrut said that their stance in the Kavala case has not changed.
He noted that the representatives of the EU Delegation to Turkey followed Kavala’s last hearing, as they did before, and announced this to the public. Landrut said, “There is no change in our practice on this issue. We continue to send observers to the hearings and include this issue in the reports we send to the headquarters. We know that other member states and the EU continue to monitor these hearings. An official statement was made from at least one member state, Germany, regarding the decision at the last hearing. “We will continue to monitor this case as we have done before,” he said. Noting that they have emphasized many times before that all member states of the EC, of which Turkey is a member, should fulfill the conditions of membership, including the implementation of the ECtHR decisions, Landrut said, “There is a process going on in this issue in the EC, but I am from the EU. I will not comment on the process in the EC, which is a different institution,” he said.
“REGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION”
While answering a question about Turkey’s negotiation process with the EU, which is actually frozen, Landrut reminded the criticisms directed at Turkey in the EU Commission’s 2021 Turkey Report. “Unfortunately, the regression in the implementation of the Copenhagen Criteria, particularly in the field of human rights and rule of law, which was highlighted in the Turkey Report of the EU Commission, did not allow the European Council to take a decision to continue the membership negotiations with Turkey. But we are currently working on positive agenda items,” he said.
Evaluating the news that the USA has withdrawn its support from the EastMed Pipeline project, which aims to transport the natural gas from the “Leviathan” field in Israel’s exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe via the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece, Landrut said, “This project is supported by the USA. I won’t comment on his comments. At this stage, the EU is supporting the feasibility studies on the project. We need to see the finalization of the feasibility study so that we can reach any conclusion about the project.” The financial feasibility study for the EastMed Project carried out by the EU Commission was expected to be completed by the end of last year. However, this study has not yet been completed. Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Yannis Kasulidis also announced on 17 January that they are waiting for the completion of the feasibility study to see if the EastMed project is viable.