Public Affairs Networking
EU Funds for Turkey at risk – MEPs

MEPs condemned the police raids and arrests of journalists in Turkey in December in a resolution adopted today Thursday (15/01). They now call on the Turkish government to address media freedom as a priority, recalling that “a free and pluralistic press is an essential component of any democracy” and pointing to the need to make progress with reforms in order to gain pre-accession funding.

The European Parliament demands legal norms be applied using “ample and transparent information on the allegations against the defendants”, and insists that the defendants are given access to the incriminating evidence and full defence rights and say the cases must be handled properly in order to “establish the veracity of the accusations without delay and beyond reasonable doubt.

The resolution expresses concerns about “backsliding in democratic reforms, and in particular the government’s diminishing tolerance of public protest and critical media” and urges the Turkish government “to address media freedom as a matter of priority and provide an adequate legal framework guaranteeing pluralism in line with international standards”, The MEPs see the Turkish backsliding as a real threat to the EU enlargement process.

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