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17 January

Monitoring Turkey under Chapter 23 of the EU Acquis

Villy Søvndals, then-foreign minister of Denmark, met with Michael Andersen and Yasemin Çongar (P24) in Istanbul on October 10, 2013.

At the meeting, Turkey’s democratization process, freedom of expression issues, self-censorship and other problems in the Turkish media as well as E.U. accession process and a pending decision to start negotiations under Chapters 23 and 24 of the acquis communautaire were discussed.

Minister Søvndals suggested that knowing which specific reforms should be requested of Turkey under these chapters and independent monitoring of the harmonization that is to follow would be highly valuable.

P24 and Niras followed up on the Minister’s emphasis by developing the first phase of a monitoring project.

The project focuses on monitoring Turkey’s regulations, policies and practices that are relevant to Chapter 23 of the acquis, namely the chapter on “Judiciary and Fundamental Rights.”

Chapter 23 deals with a wide range of issues that are essential to every democracy and for any country to be free, secure and just. The recent corruption probe in Turkey and the Erdogan government’s efforts to block the due process further emphasize the urgency of the need for reform in the areas covered by this specific chapter.

The subheadings of the Chapter 23 under which negotiations for Turkey’s accession are planned are as follows:

I. Increasing the efficiency, productivity and functionality of the judiciary,
II. Fighting corruption,
III. Fundamental rights  (a) Human rights institutions, including public ombudsmanship, (b) Torture, inhuman and humiliating treatment and culture of impunity,        (c) The legal framework against discrimination, (d) The National Action Plan for Fundamental Rights
IV. The regulatory work for protecting personal data and the establishment of an independent data protection and control agency
P24’s monitoring project that is currently being conducted in partnership with Niras keeps all these areas in its focus. The reports and case studies that will be completed as part of this project will be published here.


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