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Media Watch 2005

08 March 2005
Source: BBC
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared on BBC online on 8 March 2005.
Police brutality endangers Turkey's EU bid
"... continuing police brutality and torture, Christian minorities still lack rights, and writers who speak out of turn on the issue of Armenia are criminalised... Denmark's Berlingske Tidende says "the version of Turkey which beat down a women's demonstration in Istanbul using ridiculously violent means is not a nation which belongs in the modern European community"... "The Turkey we saw has no place in the EU. This has to be made crystal clear to Turkish politicians"."

Germany's Der Tagesspiegel warns that a lot can still go wrong with Turkey's EU bid after police clamped down on a demonstration to mark International Women's Day.

The paper says there is continuing police brutality and torture, Christian minorities still lack rights, and writers who speak out of turn on the issue of Armenia are criminalised.

They won't hesitate to use images from Sunday, and for once they are right

Berlingske Tidende

"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government doesn't seem to realise that its reforms to date only represent an intermediate stop, not the final destination," it says.

The paper acknowledges that on paper Turkey has reached European standards in many fields, but it adds that the implementation of new laws is hampered by "strong resistance in the civil service apparatus".

The EU's decision to open accession negotiations only marks the beginning of a process in which Turkish "subjects" should become "citizens", the paper argues.

"If this doesn't happen, then the accession talks will fail," it predicts.

Denmark's Berlingske Tidende says "the version of Turkey which beat down a women's demonstration in Istanbul using ridiculously violent means is not a nation which belongs in the modern European community".

Worse than the authorities' brutality, the paper says, is the fact that "the image of Turkey which the police's conduct in Istanbul demonstrated for all of Europe may make it more difficult for the European Constitutional Treaty to be approved in certain countries, not least France".

Turkey's EU accession and the Treaty may not be related in formal terms, it goes on, "but the debate on Turkey's future in the EU is still high on the agenda among opponents of the Constitution".

"They won't hesitate to use images from Sunday, and for once they are right", the daily continues.

"The Turkey we saw has no place in the EU. This has to be made crystal clear to Turkish politicians", the paper says."