Tuesday, April 22, 2008

EP committee welcomes Turkey's reform efforts

A European Parliamentary committee has welcomed recent legislative activities in Turkey and urged the government to speed up reforms, it said in a report approved on Monday.

The report, prepared by the Dutch MP Ria Oomen-Ruijten, "Welcomed the commitment of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that 2008 is going to be the year of reforms," but said further delays of the reforms "will seriously affect the pace of negotiations."

The Foreign Affairs Committee adopted Turkey's 2007 Progress Report with 53 votes in favor of and to two against. The report will be put to a final vote at the general assembly of the parliament in May.

More than 250 amendments to the report were proposed ahead of the vote. In one of the amendments, the European Parliament expressed its concerns over the closure case against the ruling AKP and expectations that the Turkish Constitutional Court act in accordance with the Venice Commission guidelines on the prohibition of political parties.

Another proposal, however, urged the Turkish government to respect pluralism, secularism and democracy and to reach a compromise with political parties while passing the reforms.

Full story on Hürriyet

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