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S&Ds MEPs call for improvement of human rights situation in Turkey after recent visit

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Justice & Home Affairs
At the end of their visit to Turkey in the frame of the European Parliament delegation, S&D MEPs Soraya Post and Wajid Khan acknowledged the work and efforts that Turkey is doing with regards to the integration of refugees. However, they insisted that much more effort is needed particularly in improving the human rights and the rule of law situation in Turkey.
 
A European Parliament delegation of the subcommittee on human rights visited Ankara and Istanbul on 17-19 September. They met with Turkish parliamentarians, government officials and representatives of various NGOs.
 
S&D MEPs Soraya Post and Wajid Khan said:
 
“There is no doubt that Turkey has taken an enormous burden of receiving Syria’s refugees.  It has accepted 3.5 million refugees from Syria since the beginning of the seven-year war.  During our visit to Turkey, we have been humbled by all the work and efforts Turkey is doing, with an active involvement of NGOs, with regards to the integration of refugees. As social Democrats we have always highlighted the importance of education and psychological support, notably for unaccompanied minors.
 
“Nevertheless it is evident that the situation of the rule of law and human rights has deteriorated in Turkey in the last years, especially after the coup attempt of 2016.  We have heard of numerous counts of prolonged pre-trial detentions, curtailed freedom of expression, poor prison conditions and unfair dismissals.
 
We urge the authorities to release all those persons in de facto pre-trial detention, such as Osman Kavala amongst others and to ensure transparent, timely and fair trials. Engaging in reforms on the judiciary, freedom of press and civil society, and respecting the LGBTI and minority rights, is the best way for Ankara to improve the relations with the EU.”

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