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EU Rapporteur concerned over freedoms in Turkey

European parliament’s rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri worried about 'independence of judiciary, freedom of expression and the freedom of press' in the country.

20.05.2015
EU Rapporteur concerned over freedoms in Turkey

STRASBOURG, France 

The European parliament’s rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri expressed concern over certain developments in Turkey before the voting of a draft resolution assessing Ankara’s 2014 reforms Wednesday.

Rapporteur Kati Piri, who spoke at a press conference in Strasbourg, said she was concerned with the “independence of judiciary, freedom of expression and the freedom of press” in Turkey.

The European Union and Turkey are important strategic partners, added Piri, adding that the EU’s relations with Turkey were based on dialogue at the highest level and “shutting the door is not what this parliament wants.”

She stated however that the European parliament appreciated the Turkish government's efforts with regards to what is known as the "solution process", an initiative started in 2013 and aimed at ending the decades-old conflict with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in almost 40 years.  Piri said the European parliament encouraged both sides to continue towards sustainable peace. 

She added that the European parliament also "praised all the efforts made by the Turkish government for hosting more refugees than any other country in the world today", as the EU itself was discussing on how adequate protection could be given to refugees. 

There are currently around 2 million refugees (around 1.7 million from Syria and 200,000 from Iraq), according to speaker of the Turkish parliament, Cemil Cicek's speech last week.

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