European Union External Action

Statement by the Spokesperson on the situation in the Southeast of Turkey and steps taken against a group of academics

The steps taken against the Turkish academics who signed a declaration regarding events in the Southeast of Turkey are an extremely worrying development. They are no longer detained, but the procedures against them are ongoing. 
 
While reaffirming our strongest condemnation of all forms of terrorist attacks, including by the PKK, and the attack on the police headquarters in Cinar on 14 January, we restate that the fight against terrorism must fully respect obligations under international law, including human rights and humanitarian law. Freedom of expression must be upheld, in line with the Copenhagen political criteria; an intimidating climate goes against this. We expect Turkey ensures that its legislation is implemented in a manner which is in line with European standards enshrined in the European Convention for Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.   
 
The EU reiterates its strong belief that the Kurdish peace process remains the only way to solve a conflict that continues to claim far too many lives, and remains ready to support all efforts in this direction.

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