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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner: "Turkey must improve its human rights record before it can justify admission to the EU".

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Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner: "Turkey must improve its human rights record before it can justify admission to the EU".(RT).

Turkey must improve its human rights record before it can justify admission to the EU, claims Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner Christoph Strässer, adding that under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the situation in the country has "deteriorated" drastically.

Asked whether the EU will make any concessions for Ankara's membership, Strässer replied: “This concern drives me. There can be no human rights policy discount for Turkey. We must not be generous towards Turkey just because presently we cooperate more with it. The EU must stick to its crystal-clear strict rules with respect to human rights and press freedom, he told Germany's N24 news website.

Turkey first sought EU membership back in 1987, but its bid has made little progress since then, with key issues like fundamental freedoms and the future of Cyprus proving to be major obstacles.
It seems to me that Turkey is trying to use the situation in Syria and its geopolitical tussle with Russia in order to bring this potential EU membership back on the agenda, journalist Bryan MacDonald noted, sharing his opinion on Turkish membership in the EU with RT.

However, I think it is ‘pie in the sky’ - it is just kind words they are getting from the EU because they are useful to NATO and the EU at the moment. I don’t see any possibility that 80 million Turks who are Muslims in a largely Christian EU will ever be allowed to join the organization, he added.

According to Germany’s Human Rights Commissioner, Ankara is still far from attaining eligibility for EU membership, however.We need to repeatedly send a compliance reminder to Ankara. In Turkey, dissenters are punished, and there are attacks against the opposition. As long as there's such a thing, the country doesn't belong in the EU. If we ignore it, it would be a fatal signal,” Strässer warned. Read the full story here.

Related: 
Amnesty International on Turkey’s Worsening Human Rights Record: 11 Key Issues.

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