EU Urges Turkey to Respect Media Freedom after Newspaper Seizure

2702d406131e0785d06d1feaf7e88a117a585ae9KABUL: (MEP) The European Union (EU) on Saturday has called on Turkey to respect media freedom after Turkish police launch attack and took control of top-selling opposition newspaper Zaman.

“The EU has repeatedly stressed that Turkey, as a candidate country, needs to respect and promote high democratic standards and practices, including freedom of the media,” the EU’s diplomatic service said in a statement.

Police forces on Friday afternoon clashed with protestors and made their way into the office building enforcing a ruling handed down earlier in the day by the Istanbul Sixth Criminal Court of Peace ordering the management of the newspaper and its editorial board to be replaced by the board of trustees assigned by the court.

Leaders from two sides plan to meet in Brussels on Monday in a bid to fully implement a stalled November agreement under which Turkey is to curb the flow of migrants to Europe in return for aid and promises to speed up talks for its accession to the EU.

“Free, diverse and independent media constitute one of the cornerstones of a democratic society by facilitating the free flow of information and ideas, and by ensuring transparency and accountability,” the EU statement said.

“Any country, and in particular those negotiating EU accession, needs to guarantee fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, and due judicial process, in line with the European Convention on Human Rights,” it added.

Zaman, Turkey’s top-selling newspaper, is known for its staunch opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

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