British Embassy in Ankara hails Turkish civil society

UK ambassador says big improvements have been made in Turkey as it looks to EU membership, but more needs to be done

UK ambassador says big improvements have been made in Turkey as it looks to EU membership, but more needs to be done

ANKARA –Turkey has made big improvements in terms of civil rights - such as removing its ban on headscarves - but there are still areas that need improvement, Britain’s Ambassador to Turkey has said. 

Addressing a reception for civil society organizations at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Ankara on Tuesday, ambassador Richard Moore said: “Freedom of expression is a democratic right. Everyone should be able to express their ideas freely.”

Declaring civil society organizations as being “one of the features of democracy”, Moore stated that Turkey had improved over the last 20 years as it seeks to become a member of the EU.

“When I was last in Ankara, thinking that Kurds would be allowed to speak their own language was impossible - as well as thinking that veiled ladies would be able to work in the public sector was impossible,” he said.

But recent developments in Turkey, such as blocking access to Twitter, were alarming situations, he added.

The British Embassy has been working on different projects with 30 Turkish civil society organizations over the last two years, including in areas involving climate change, energy security and tackling hate crime.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency