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Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, issued the following statement today:
The police raids and arrests of a number of journalists and media representatives in Turkey today are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy. We expect that the principle of presumption of innocence will prevail and recall the inalienable right for an independent and transparent investigation in case of any alleged wrongdoing, with full respect of the rights of the defendants.
Coming only a few days after our visit to Turkey, together with Commissioner Stylianides, which has underlined the importance of EU-Turkey relations, this operation goes against the European values and standards Turkey aspires to be part of and which are the core of reinforced relations. We recall that any further step towards accession with any candidate country depends on the full respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights. We will convey our concerns to the Council, which will on Tuesday discuss enlargement policy, including Turkey. We expect that the strong EU commitment given by our Turkish counterparts during our visit to be translated into deeds.