Sunday, November 16, 2008

EU Links Freedom of Expression to the Kurdish Issue

Turkey's persistent and indiscriminate approach to cracking down on the expression of opinions that incite violence and the expression of non-violent opinions has finally prompted the European Union, of which Turkey aspires to become a member, to write for the first time in its yearly progress report specifically about the problem of freedom of expression in relation to the Kurdish issue.

"This year, the EU has used more specific language with freedom of expression over the Kurdish issue, as we have witnessed permanent harassment of Kurdish mayors in the southeastern region, despite the fact that they have been expressing non-violent opinions," said a Western diplomat.
The diplomat further stressed that they saw the need to encourage the people of the Kurdish-dominated Southeast to engage in the political process, through the free expression of their opinions to reduce the violence instigated by outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists.

In previous years, progress reports issued by the EU have expressed concerns with problems in freedom of expression as a whole in Turkey, but the 2008 Progress Report, which was issued on Nov. 5, for the first time, used "Kurdish issue" in relation to serious flaws in the area of freedom of expression.
For full article, click here.

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