Turkey accession threatened by EU report on human rights
Wednesday 01 November 2006
Emergency talks have been planned for this weekend to try to stave off the collapse of Turkey's bid to join the EU, as Ankara faces scathing criticism over its record on civil rights.
Leaked excerpts from a crucial report, due to be published next week, reveal concerns over Turkey's drive to match European standards on freedom of speech, and highlight its refusal to open up ports to ships from Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004.
Aware that the criticism will provoke a backlash in Turkey, Finland, which holds the EU presidency, wants to pre-empt the European Commission report by pushing for a deal on the neuralgic issue of Cyprus.
It has invited foreign ministers from the interested countries to Helsinki to try to forge an agreement.
Last night Turkey had not confirmed its attendance. The country has been warned that, if it fails to relax restrictions on Cyprus by the end of the year, its negotiations on EU membership will be suspended.
Finland's plan would open some Turkish ports, but also allow goods from Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus - which is not internationally recognised - to be exported to and from the port of Famagusta under EU supervision. As a quid-pro-quo the Greek Cypriots would be able to rebuild the abandoned resort of Varosha.
If progress is made, the EU might postpone a final deadline for Turkey to accept Cypriot vessels, and it would affect the final wording of next week's report.
Without progress on the issue, Turkey faces acute criticism. Excerpts from a draft of the document show acute concern about freedom of speech and the continued prosecution of writers.
The document says that "prosecutions and convictions for expression of non-violent opinion... are a cause for serious concern." It adds that "cases of torture" are still being reported.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Black Friday UK: The shops hit by chaos and violence as shopping frenzy sweeps country
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...
£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...