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Press freedom is an indispensable precondition for Turkey's EU accession

Date

29 Mar 2012

Sections

Enlargement

To coincide with the European Parliament's plenary session debate and vote on progress in Turkey's accession negotiations, the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats invited Turkish journalist, Ahmed Sik to discuss press freedom in Turkey.  Ahmed Sik was one of several journalists imprisoned over a year ago in a move which was widely condemned as being politically motivated.

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff  (FDP, Germany) ALDE Spokesman on Turkey said:

"The continued detention of journalists in Turkey is a scandal. The focus on civil liberties, freedom of expression and an independent judiciary in this year's report of the European Parliament on Turkey is therefore necessary and in line with our common liberal values".

In welcoming Mr Sik to Brussels, Mr Lambsdorff continued "I believe it is a very strong signal that Ahmed Sik, recently released, is here with us in the European Parliament.  This sends an unequivocal message: press freedom and freedom of expression are indispensable preconditions for Turkey to join the European Union."

104 journalists remain in jail, while more than 700 criminal and civil cases involving journalists are ongoing. Ahmet Sik has been released from pre-trial detention, but his case is still pending. The latest annual freedom of the press index by the international group 'Reporters Without Borders' has ranked Turkey 138th among 175 countries.

For more information please contact:

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84

Crosse Edel - Tel:+32 2 284 31 28 Mob:+32 498 16 17 80

Web: http://www.alde.eu

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