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Parliamentary questions
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21 November 2017
Question for written answer E-007134-17
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Charles Tannock (ECR)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Rule of law and human rights in Turkey
 Answer in writing 

On 18 October this year, Osman Kavala, a businessman, civil rights activist and Chairman of Anadolu Kultur, which organises arts and culture programmes in Turkey to build bridges between ethnic, religious and regional groups, was arrested at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. He has been detained on charges of trying to overthrow the government and is currently still in prison.

Since the failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, over 50 000 people have been jailed and around 150 000 others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs. The Commission has previously stated that, as the detention of such a large number of people and, in particular, of journalists, academics, NGO activists and civil rights defenders has been continuing, they expect Turkey to take more positive steps in the fields of human rights and freedom of expression.

1. In light of the recent imprisonment of Osman Kavala, what steps will the High Representative take to call on the Turkish Government to ensure that legal proceedings are in line with the Geneva Convention?

2. Given Turkey’s status as an EU candidate country and a member of the Council of Europe, what will the High Representative do to encourage President Erdogan to fully respect the rule of law and uphold civil rights and freedom of expression?

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