A Council of Europe panel says Turkey has passed important legislation protecting minority rights, but has not adequately enforced the new laws.

In a report, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance says that despite the new legislation, Turkey's constitution and its civil, criminal and administrative laws continue to have gaps in addressing racism.

The report, issued Tuesday in Strasbourg, says Kurds and other minorities still face adversity in Turkey, particularly from ongoing violence in the southeast where Kurdish separatists have been active in recent decades.

Turkey's move to push through legal and economic reforms is considered an essential part of its bid to join the European Union.

The Council of Europe is a 46-nation group that brings together lawmakers from democratic European countries to review major issues facing the continent.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.