News / Europe

EU: Turkey Must Restore Faith in Judiciary to Keep EU Hopes Alive

FILE - EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule speaks during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 13, 2014.
FILE - EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule speaks during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 13, 2014.
Reuters
Turkey must restore lost independence to its judiciary if its ambition to join the European Union is to stay on track, a top EU official said on Tuesday, criticizing the hasty adoption of new laws and judicial purges following a government graft scandal.
 
EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule said Turkey's response to the corruption affair, reassigning judges and investigators and introducing new laws without EU consultation, had moved the country further away from European norms.
 
“Over the past months there have been doubts cast over Turkey's commitment to European values and standards,” Fule said in a statement after meetings with civil society representatives and government ministers in Ankara.
 
But Fule leapt to the defense of Turkey's constitutional court, which has repeatedly been criticized by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, championing its cancellation of bans on social media sites YouTube and Twitter and its amendments to controversial legislation which gave government more control of the judiciary.
 
“These actions of the constitutional court contribute to what is now really needed: to bring confidence back to the judiciary,” he said.
 
Erdogan's AK Party reassigned hundreds of judges and prosecutors and imposed temporary bans on YouTube and Twitter as the corruption scandal, which erupted in December, swirled around his inner circle earlier this year.
 
Erdogan
 
Voice recordings and documents presented as evidence of wrongdoing were posted by anonymous users on the social media sites in what Erdogan cast as a plot by agents of a parallel state led by ally-turned-foe Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher with influence in the police and judiciary.
 
The scandal and Erdogan's sweeping response appears to have done nothing to undermine his position as by far Turkey's most popular politician. His AK Party swept recent municipal polls and he looks well set, if he chooses to stand, to win election to a presidency endowed with stronger powers in August.
 
Turkey has said it remains determined to continue on the path towards EU accession, which can bring benefits of easy access to the world's biggest trading bloc, funding for poorer regions and membership of a relatively politically stable body.
 
But government officials have voiced frustration at what they see as unnecessary bureaucratic and political obstacles.
 
In November, Turkey and the EU opened a new negotiating chapter after EU member states had delayed the move in protest over a Turkish crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
 
The delay followed a series of political disputes, notably over the divided island of Cyprus, and resistance in Germany and France, which have slowed progress. It has also undermined some public support for membership among Turks.

You May Like

Italian Red Cross Chief: Don't Label Migrants 'Illegal'

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York Wednesday Francesco Rocca says migrants are victims, not criminals More

US Intel Officials Cautious About New IS Threat

Threat, said to have been posted by alleged American member of Islamic State terror group, says Sunday’s attack in Texas ‘is only the beginning’ More

Eyes in Sky Monitor Weather, Predict Epidemics

Satellites track storms, population movements, ocean warming to predict disease conditions More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tom Walker from: America
June 18, 2014 9:29 AM
Turkey should never be allowed into the EU until it changes the defamation and insult laws towards its Government. Unsuspecting tourists don't understand how dangerous it is to go there. If you get in an argument with a Turk no matter how small that may be, all he has to do is cry "Hey! call the police this person has insulted the Turkish government" and you will be dragged away to be thrown into a stinking Turkish dungeon.It has happened to others and it happened to me. Fortunately I managed to escape. You can read about it in "Run toward the blazing sun" but the best advice is just don't go there.

by: Afeuro Cado` from: Accra
June 17, 2014 6:48 PM
I like that. Ŋuite rich, '...to Keep EU Hopes Alive!' Only just alive! After trying for decades. Apparently, Ukraine thinks she can jump the queue.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

VOA Blogs