The European Commission Criticized Turkey for the Rollback of Democracy

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Turkey is moving further away from democracy, the report of the European Commission says. Ankara in response accused the EU of double standards. Turkey is moving further away from democracy: the situation in the country with the rule of law, independent justice and respect for fundamental rights continues to deteriorate, according to a new report by the European Commission (EC), published on Tuesday, October 19. The authors of the document assessing Turkey’s progress towards joining the European Union criticized the fact that the special powers of the Turkish authorities, introduced after the coup attempt in 2016, still remain in force. The pressure on civil society and on politicians from opposition parties continues, as it is indicated further. Just earlier this week, the German Embassy in Ankara and the diplomatic missions of nine other countries called on Turkey to release human rights activist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison since 2017, despite the absence of a sentence. After that, the ambassadors of all ten countries were summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on October 19. Turkey accused the EU of double standards The report on the situation in Turkey, published by the European Commission, contains “unjustified accusations” and “unfair criticism”, to which Ankara objects, the country’s Foreign Ministry said. According to the Foreign Ministry, this document demonstrates the EU’s “double standards” towards claiming to join the EU Turkey. Negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU were suspended several years ago. The reason why they have not yet been completely stopped is Turkey’s important role in the fight against illegal migration to Western Europe. Therefore, despite the sharp criticism from the European Commission, Ankara will still be able to count on financial assistance from the European Union, the German news agency dpa notes. DW