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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
EU report on Turkey - key points
Here are key points from the European Commission's report on Turkey's progress towards meeting the conditions for EU membership. The report is the basis for the Commission's recommendation to open Turkish accession talks.

  • Conclusion: "Turkey has achieved significant legislative progress in many areas ... Important progress was made on implementation of political reforms, but these need to be further consolidated and broadened."

  • Political reforms: "Political reforms, in line with the priorities in the Accession Partnership, have been introduced by ... a series of constitutional and legislative changes adopted over a period of three years (2001-2004)."

  • Economic reforms: "Economic stability and predictability have been substantially improved since the 2001 economic crisis. Previously high inflation has come down to historic lows, political interference reduced and the institutional and regulatory framework has been brought closer to international standards."

  • Military reforms: "The government has increasingly asserted its control over the military. Although the process of aligning civil-military relations with EU practice is underway, the armed forces in Turkey continue to exercise influence through a series of informal channels."

  • Judicial reforms: "The independence and efficiency of the judiciary were strengthened."

  • Human rights: "Concerning ... the respect of human rights and the exercise of fundamental freedoms, Turkey has acceded to most relevant international and European conventions."

  • Torture: "The authorities have adopted a zero tolerance policy towards torture and a number of perpetrators have been punished. Torture is no longer systematic, but numerous cases of ill-treatment, including torture, still continue to occur and further efforts will be required to eradicate such practices."

  • Women's rights: "The situation of women is still unsatisfactory; discrimination and violence against women, including 'honour killings', remain a major problem.

  • Children's rights: "Children's rights were strengthened, but child labour remains an issue of serious concern."

  • Minority rights: "The OSCE [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] High Commissioner on National Minorities could play a valuable role in assisting Turkey to move towards full compliance with modern international standards on the treatment of minorities, including the Kurds."

  • Freedom of religion: "Although freedom of religious belief is guaranteed by the constitution ... non-Muslim religious communities continue to experience problems."

  • Freedom of the press: "Notable progress has been made, (but)... journalists, writers and publishers continue to be sentenced for reasons that contravene the standards of the European Court of Human Rights."



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