Apr 14 2018

Turkey’s upcoming EU progress report ‘most damning evaluation yet’ - Deutsche Welle

 

The European Commission’s latest progress report, set be published on Tuesday, will warn that Turkey is taking "major steps" in the wrong direction and years of progress are being lost, Deutsche Welle reported.

Turkey is set to receive ‘’most damning evaluation yet’’ a decade into its bid to join the bloc, the German broadcaster said.

 The first excerpts of the upcoming report, which were published Sunday in the German weekly Welt am Sonntag, state that Ankara has "suffered serious relapses in the areas of justice, rule of law, fundamental rights and freedom of expression," before ultimately concluding  that there is no basis for advancing membership talks with Ankara, favoring keeping talks on hold.

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated last month that he remains committed to working towards EU accession, officials from the EU hold that there is massive backsliding away from the European Union.

The Commission’s annual findings into how aspiring EU members are bringing their standards and values in line with the rest of the bloc are set to be released on Tuesday in Strasbourg.

It is likely that the EU will also tell Turkey that lifting its state of emergency decree - implemented following the July 2016 coup attempt and extended six times thus far -  is a precursor to any future progress in its accession talks.

Turkey’s state of emergency has been criticized for curtailing the Turkish parliament's legislative powers and while encroaching civil and political rights.

Since July 2015, around 150,000 people have been placed in custody and 110,000 civil servants have been let go of their positions.

Turkey maintains the title of having the greatest number of journalists in jail; around 150 journalists have also been detained, along with authors and rights activists.

It is expected that the EU will still state that it continues to see Turkey as a "key partner" in several policy areas, above all migration.

"Cooperation with the EU on migration continues to produce concrete and remarkable results in reducing illegal and dangerous crossings and saving lives in the Mediterranean," the upcoming report states.