“Italy wants a fully democratic Turkey in Europe and EU membership could have a beneficial effect on Turkey”. These were the words of Foreign Minister Emma Bonino in her briefing to the Chamber of Deputies on the demonstrations in Turkey which, in the Minister’s view, arose “spontaneously”.
The use of force is unacceptable
Bonino also said that “the unnacceptable use of force and the arrest of 20 lawyers are not acceptable. The right to non-violent protest is a vital pillar of democracy”. The Minister added that “the use of force is an expression of weakness” and underscored that “free elections do not in themselves mean democracy. Turkey must decide if it wants to become a mature democracy”.
“A ‘graduation exam’ for the Turkish government is taking place in the square and streets”, said Minister Bonino. “This is perhaps the first serious test of the soundness of Turkey’s democracy and its European accession process. A ‘graduation exam’ that some people thought the country had already passed, with its economic dynamism. But much more is needed”, she added. “Italy would like to see a dialogue leading to agreed initiatives in the interests of the country”, underscored Minister Bonino.