European freedom group talks Turkey

Concern about the freedom of the press and journalists’ rights have been voiced in advance of talks about Turkey joining the European Union.

The European Federation of Journalists, a regional group of the International Federation of Journalists, spoke out as leaders gathered in Brussels just before Christmas and agreed to start talks over Turkey’s application to join the EU.

“Turkish journalists still work in difficult conditions below the levels of social and professional standards enjoyed by other journalists within the European Union,” said the EFJ in a letter sent to Abdullah Gul, the Turkish foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister. While the Federation acknowledged that Turkey has made progress in improving the situation of journalism and civil liberties, particularly by revising anti-terrorism laws, it claimed more needs to be done.

The EFJ said Turkish journalists suffer from press freedom restrictions and notes sanctions within the new Penal Code related to the publishing and broadcasting.

It also claims that Turkish journalists are subject to monitoring over reports about the Cyprus crisis.

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