Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cowardly Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice.

Cowardly Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice. (TZ).

A European Commission report on Turkey, held back until after next Sunday's election to avoid antagonising President Tayyip Erdoğan, accuses Ankara of backsliding on the rule of law, freedom of expression and judicial independence.

A copy of the draft annual progress report on Turkey's EU candidacy, seen by Reuters, also cites a severe deterioration in the security situation and an increasing politicisation of the state administration as Erdoğan's AK Party, in power for the last 13 years, tightens its grip.

The EU executive, which is urgently trying to secure Erdoğan's help to stem flows of Syrian refugees and other migrants from Turkey to Europe, insisted it had not delayed the report for political reasons.

It also said it was up to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to decide when the progress reports on candidate countries, usually released in October, are approved and published.

In the forensic language of the Commission's department for enlargement negotiations, the draft describes an overall drift towards more authoritarian governance in Turkey.

"The outgoing government has made efforts to reinvigorate the EU accession process," it says. "However, this commitment was offset by the adoption of key legislation in the area of the rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly that ran against European standards."

"The situation has been backsliding since 2014," it said. "The independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers have been considerably undermined and judges and prosecutors have been under strong political pressure."

Juncker told the European Parliament on Tuesday that, despite human rights concerns, "whether we like it or not, we have to work with Turkey". Hmmm.....In other words 'we are cowards when it comes to Human rights and freedom of speech, bending over for an Islamist dictator'. Read the full story here.

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