With Leyla Zana on political reforms in Turkey
Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Leyla Zana, European Parliament's Sakharov Prize Laureate for Freedom of Thought and Independent Member of The Turkish National Assembly in Strasbourg on Wednesday. After their meeting he said: "I have appreciated the opportunity to talk to Ms Zana. We had a fruitful exchange of views on the constitutional reform, human rights, freedom of expression and protection of minorities in Turkey. I underlined that we expect the new civilian Constitution to provide a basis for further progress regarding the respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey. All political parties and sections of society are called upon to contribute constructively to the on-going work on the constitution. I also stressed that we sincerely hope that the Constitution will provide a useful and sustainable framework for further work on the democratic opening, in particular addressing the Kurdish issue.
During my meeting with Ms Zana, we have also touched on the large number of political reforms already underway or foreseen in the near future by the Turkish government, notably the forthcoming 4th judicial reform package which foresees further reforms in the area of freedom of expression and the media. In that context, I have highlighted the Commission's concern about the continuing detentions and arrests of journalists and intellectuals in the framework of the KCK and similar investigations, while at the same time underlining that we strongly condemn terrorism and continue to support Turkey's efforts to fight against it. We have also discussed the ongoing hunger strike and I joined the call from Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Jagland to hunger strikers to bring their action to an end, considering that they are putting their health and lives in danger."
More information: Council of Europe's statement