In a statement, the European Union expresses its serious concern over the developments in Turkey.
The EU announcement comes just hours after the Turkish Foreign Ministry announcement in which it criticizes various “circles” trying to interfere in Turkey’s internal affairs.
“The European Union is deeply concerned about the negative developments in Turkey in the areas of the rule of law, human rights and the judiciary,” the statement notes.
“In this regard, the detention of more than a hundred students exercising their legal right to freedom of assembly, as well as the decision of the Governor of Istanbul to ban all meetings, demonstrations and marches in two areas covering the hinterland of Boğazi University is a deeply worrying development, and runs counter to the authorities’ stated commitment to reform to EU values and standards.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic cannot be used as a means of silencing critical voices.”
“Hate speech used by high-ranking officials against LGBTI students during these events and the closure of an LGBTI association is unacceptable,” the statement continues.
“We call on Turkey to respect its national and international obligations and to release those arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to peaceful assembly in recent weeks. Excessive use of police force against individuals exercising their right to freedom of expression runs counter to Turkey’s obligations as a candidate and longtime member of the Council of Europe,” the EU statement concludes.
IBNA reached out to Turkish diplomatic sources which stressed that the EU, as usual, operates with double standards. “They should take a good look in the mirror”, the sources comment. /ibna