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Belgium: Tusk reminds Turkey freedom of speech is 'key condition' for EU accession02:06

Belgium: Tusk reminds Turkey freedom of speech is 'key condition' for EU accession

Belgium, Brussels
March 8, 2016 at 06:18 GMT +00:00 · Published

President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu commented on press freedoms in Turkey in light of the takeover of the Zaman newspaper, at the headquarters of the European Council in Brussels, early Tuesday, during an emergency summit of the European Union and Turkey.

Speaking during the press conference, Tusk referred to the importance of freedom of speech. "Without it, there cannot be healthy development process of any culture, of any society. I am saying all this because we cannot stay indifferent to the concerns raised in this context about what is now happening in Turkey" stated Tusk, adding that "freedom of press is and continues to be a key condition to be assessed in the accession process and there's no change to that."

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu defended allegations of state control of the media, describing the recent takeover of Turkey's biggest newspaper Zaman as a "judicial case" and not "political" adding that there is an issue of "money laundering, as well as certain crimes committed by a network, illegal network, infiltrated to the state using police and judicial processes and through this media organ to make certain conspiracy against individual liberties of several Turkish citizens."

These remarks come in the light of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office requesting a trustee panel be appointed to take charge of the Zaman newspaper, Turkey's largest-circulation newspaper, on Friday.

The EU-Turkey Summit took place in order to reach an agreement to deal with the refugees crisis. A breakthrough agreement was outlined between EU leaders and Turkey. However the deal must be finalised and sealed at the next European Union summit in Brussels on 17-18 March.

Belgium: Tusk reminds Turkey freedom of speech is 'key condition' for EU accession02:06
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President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu commented on press freedoms in Turkey in light of the takeover of the Zaman newspaper, at the headquarters of the European Council in Brussels, early Tuesday, during an emergency summit of the European Union and Turkey.

Speaking during the press conference, Tusk referred to the importance of freedom of speech. "Without it, there cannot be healthy development process of any culture, of any society. I am saying all this because we cannot stay indifferent to the concerns raised in this context about what is now happening in Turkey" stated Tusk, adding that "freedom of press is and continues to be a key condition to be assessed in the accession process and there's no change to that."

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu defended allegations of state control of the media, describing the recent takeover of Turkey's biggest newspaper Zaman as a "judicial case" and not "political" adding that there is an issue of "money laundering, as well as certain crimes committed by a network, illegal network, infiltrated to the state using police and judicial processes and through this media organ to make certain conspiracy against individual liberties of several Turkish citizens."

These remarks come in the light of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office requesting a trustee panel be appointed to take charge of the Zaman newspaper, Turkey's largest-circulation newspaper, on Friday.

The EU-Turkey Summit took place in order to reach an agreement to deal with the refugees crisis. A breakthrough agreement was outlined between EU leaders and Turkey. However the deal must be finalised and sealed at the next European Union summit in Brussels on 17-18 March.

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