European Parliament debates Turkey report
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
STRASBOURG, France - The European Union`s commissioner responsible for new membership suggested Tuesday called for continued progress in Turkey`s accession talks with the EU, while the European Parliament was debating a report on Turkey`s political conditions due to be published Wednesday.
Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule suggested that Chapter 23, on the judiciary and fundamental rights, should be opened and that it would prompt stronger judicial reform in Turkey.
Fule praised Turkey`s mediation in renewed negotiations on Cyprus, between the Turkish and Greek sides, and said relations with Turkey were of special importance to the EU.
The parliament`s rapporteur for Turkey, Ria Ooman-Rujiten, said Turkey needed an impartial judiciary and separation of powers. Rujiten stressed that freedom of expression must not be stifled.
Turkey has faced criticism from EU leaders for its justice system and media freedom. Turkey`s leaders have cited political roadblocks as obstacles in the way of progress in these areas, as several negotiation chapters remain blocked by member states.
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