European Commission releases delayed progress report for Turkey

By bne IntelliNews November 10, 2015

The European Commission (EC) released on November 10 its annual progress report on Turkey’s European Union (EU) candidacy. The report emphasized an overall negative trend in the respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights, as widely expected, however, the Union also praised Turkish government’s unprecedented humanitarian aid and support to refugees from Syria and Iraq.

The EU was heavily criticized by the opposition for delaying the release of Turkey’s annual progress report before Turkey’s crucial November 1 snap elections in exchange to Turkish government’s co-operation on refugee problem. The EU denied that it delayed the release of the report with political intensions and said that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker decides when the progression reports for the candidate countries will be released. Reuters has leaked on October 28 the details of a copy of the draft annual progress report on Turkey's EU candidacy, citing unnamed sources.

The EC’s progress report criticized Turkish government over significant shortcomings affected the judiciary as well as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, deterioration of security situation and halt of the settlement process of the Kurdish issue. The new government formed after the repeat election on November 1 will need to address these urgent priorities, the EU warned.

The EC, on the contrary, praised Turkey’s advanced and functioning market economy and said that Turkey has continued to align with the acquis, albeit at a slower pace, and has achieved a good level of preparation in many areas.

The pace of reforms slowed down over the past year in Turkey, also due to protracted elections and the continued political divide, the EC said in the latest progress report, adding that the security of the repeat election was ensured despite concerns due to the situation notably in the east and southeast of the country, however, there was an increased pressure on the media which gave cause for serious concern and improvement in 10% election threshold needs to be addressed as a priority.

The commission also warned the government over extensive anti-terror military and security campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and said that it is imperative that the peace talks resume. The EU also warned that swift and transparent investigations should be conducted into deadliest terrorist attack occurred in capital Ankara on November 10.

The progress report also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s engagement in a wide range of key domestic and foreign policy issues, which led within Turkey to criticism that he was overstepping constitutional prerogatives.

Restrictions to freedom of assembly continued to be a serious concern; substantial efforts are needed to restore the independence of the judiciary; the undue influence by the executive in the investigation and prosecution of high-profile corruption cases continues to constitute a major concern; there is an urgent need to adopt a comprehensive framework law on combating discrimination in line with European standards; Turkey also needs to effectively guarantee the rights of women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals, according to the EU’s progress report.

There was significant backsliding in the areas of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, the EU highlighted. Legislation on internal security contradicts with the EU standards, and the recent escalation of violence in the east and southeast since July gave rise to serious concerns over human rights violations, the EU also warned.

Related Articles

Turkcell delays Global Tower IPO on market conditions, cyber attacks

Turkcell will delay the public initial offering (IPO) of its infrastructure unit Global Tower, Turkey’s largest mobile phone company said on October 24, days before the ... more

Turkish lira hits fresh lows on renewed presidential referendum debate

The Turkish lira touched a new record low of 3.1140 per dollar on October 18 as the presidential referendum debate and Mosul operation weighed on investor sentiment. The leader of the ... more

Ankara bans public gatherings over terror attacks fears

Authorities in Turkey’s capital Ankara have banned all public meetings and demonstrations until the end of November after receiving intelligence about potential terror attacks. The Turkish ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.