The European Union has accused Turkish police of using excessive force to quell protests earlier this year, urging the government to strengthen oversight of the police and to press ahead with investigations into their conduct.
The criticism was contained in an annual report by the executive European Commission into Turkey’s progress in meeting the requirements to join the 28-nation bloc.
Turkey began negotiations to join the EU in 2005, 18 years after applying. But a series of political obstacles, notably over Cyprus and resistance to Turkish membership in Germany and France, have slowed progress to a snail’s pace.
Despite criticism of Ankara’s handling of the protests, the Commission backed plans to breathe new life into Turkey’s EU bid by opening talks on a new chapter, or policy area, of the membership negotiations, the first to be opened in three years.
EU governments, led by Berlin, postponed plans to open the talks on regional policy in June as a rebuke for the Turkish authorities’ handling of the demonstrations.