The European Parliament has passed a resolution denouncing the arrests of people who criticized Turkey's military intervention in Afrin. One MEP told DW that there's "no respect for human rights" in Turkey.
Turkey's detention of hundreds of journalists, doctors and regular citizens who have been critical of Ankara's operation in Syria's Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin, was condemned by the European Parliament on Thursday.
The European Parliament described the arrests as "an attempt to censor criticism" in their resolution.
"We want to show our solidarity with Turkey's population that is going through a difficult period, and at the same time remind EU leaders that human rights must remain on the top of EU-Turkey relations," Kati Piri, a Dutch MEP and the European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey, told DW.
Rebecca Harms, a German MEP with the Green party, told DW that the human rights situation is of great concern for Brussels and that EU funds to Turkey must be contingent upon change.
"The rule of law in Turkey, as we knew it, doesn't actually exist anymore," Harms said. "The level of violence has been raised and there is no more respect for human rights."
She added that if the EU's customs union is to be expanded, "it must be made clear that this can only happen if Turkey returns to the rule of law."
Thursday's resolution states that the EU's aid funds to Turkey "should be conditional on improving its record on human rights." The resolution also urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to lift the state of emergency that enables authorities to crack down on critics.