EU progress report urges Turkey to respect fundamental rights.

By bne IntelliNews October 11, 2012
Concerns are growing regarding Turkeys lack of substantial progress towards fully meeting the political criteria and the situation regarding fundamental rights on the ground remains a serious concern, the EU said on Wednesday in its regular progress report on Turkey. Full implementation of the obligations under the Customs Union and progress towards normalisation of relations with Cyprus are urgent and could provide new momentum to accession negotiations, the report furthered. While debates continue on topics perceived as sensitive (such as the Armenian issue or the role of the military) restrictions on freedom of the media in practice and numerous court cases against writers and journalists remain issues of serious concern while self-censorship is widespread, according the EU. The report also underlined that the Kurdish issue remains a key challenge for Turkey's democracy; the democratic opening came to a virtual halt and local government in the South-East suffered from the detention of numerous local politicians. Egemen Bagis, who is in charge of relations with the EU, dismissed the criticisms, saying that the report was not objective and Turkey was extremely disappointed with the report especially with the reports remarks on political criteria.

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