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.
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...