Turkey: Journalist calls on EU to reopen talks

Critical press weakened, media 'witchhunt'

20 June, 19:59

    (ANSAmed) - Brussels, June 20 - Turkish columnist Yavuz Baydar has appealed to the European Union to reopen talks on Istanbul's membership bid.

    The journalist was speaking today to European institutions at the 'Speak Up!' conference in Brussels.

    "It doesn't matter on what basis, but we need to restart the talks on the membership process, otherwise our position will be even weaker," said the journalist who has monitored media in his country for the past 14 years.

    "I have never seen a worse situation than this, perhaps since the mid-90s," Baydar said, saying the climate for critical journalists now was becoming the kind of 'witchhunt' seen in the McCarthy era in the US.

    He said despite judicial reform the number of people in prison and detention are higher than the limits recommended by the European Court.

    He said punitive measures were merely "the tip of the iceberg". (ANSAmed)
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