Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe

Statement by the Spokesperson on the Rule of Law and Human Rights Situation in Turkey

Brussels, 25/12/2020 - 14:59, UNIQUE ID: 201225_2
Statements by the Spokesperson

The European Union has repeatedly conveyed its serious concerns about continued negative developments as regards the rule of law, fundamental rights and the judiciary in Turkey along with specific recommendations in the Commission’s annual reports on Turkey to address credibly all relevant shortcomings as a matter of priority.

The decision of a Turkish Court to sentence journalist Can Dündar for what is his fundamental right to freedom of expression and Osman Kavala’s continuous pre-trial detention go, regrettably, in the opposite direction.

As a candidate country and long-standing member of the Council of Europe, Turkey urgently needs to make concrete and sustained progress in the respect of fundamental rights, which are a cornerstone of EU-Turkey relations.

This includes the swift implementation by the Turkish judiciary of the European Court of Human Rights judgements and the release of Osman Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş as a matter of urgency.