On 3 July, four defendants were sentenced to prison terms in the Büyükada case against a group of human rights defenders and long-standing interlocutors of both the EU and many of its Member States, three years after they were temporarily taken into custody.
The decision by the Court is deeply regrettable and further deepens the EU’s serious concerns regarding Turkey’s backsliding in fundamental areas as expressed on numerous occasions, in the Commission’s annual reports and in Council conclusions.
As a candidate country and long-standing member of the Council of Europe, the Turkish authorities should follow-up, in an appropriate manner, on the recommendations by the Council of Europe and on the rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. Turkey urgently needs to demonstrate concrete progress on the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, which are cornerstones of EU-Turkey relations. Freedom of expression and of assembly are fundamental pillars of a democratic society.
The EU will continue to closely monitor the case.