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Parliamentary questions
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4 September 2017
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-003911/2017

Shortly after the detention of Taner Kılıc and 22 other lawyers, the EU released a statement expressing concern and calling on the Turkish authorities to clarify the charges swiftly and in line with the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Local statements on the case have also been issued by the EU Delegation to the Council of Europe as well as the EU Delegation to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

On the occasion of the EU-Turkey High Level Political Dialogue of 25 July 2017, co-chaired by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn, the EU side clearly and repeatedly conveyed its concerns with regard to the recent developments in Turkey in the areas of fundamental rights and the rule of law, stressing the importance of the full respect of the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial as well as to due process. The EU further stressed that EU-Turkey cooperation and dialogue need to be sustained by concrete, positive steps in these fields.

In its 2016 report on Turkey(1), the Commission expressed growing concerns about the serious backsliding in Turkey in the areas of fundamental rights and freedom of expression in the past year. The high numbers of arrests of journalists, lawyers and users of social media critical of the government in Turkey continue to be of serious concern. In the country, the EU Delegation in Ankara and representations of Member States monitor a number of cases of particular concern, notably the trials of journalists and human rights activists, including Taner Kılıc

The detention of Taner Kılıc and the large number of similar cases underline the need for a strong engagement by the EU to encourage Turkey to align with its international commitments. The Commission continues to follow and assess the overall situation in the country very closely.


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