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POLITICS > Commissioner Füle to meet with Turkish EU minister over judiciary bill

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During the meeting the EU will voice its concern about 'the recent developments,' Füle said via Twitter late Jan. 13. DAILY NEWS photo

During the meeting the EU will voice its concern about 'the recent developments,' Füle said via Twitter late Jan. 13. DAILY NEWS photo

The European Union’s Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle is to meet with Turkish EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Jan. 14 in Strasbourg over the government’s bill on the judiciary that has stirred much controversy for providing the executive more control on a key judicial body amid a graft scandal.

During the meeting the EU will voice its concern about “the recent developments,” Füle said via Twitter late Jan. 13.

The announcement of the meeting comes only a day after Brussels asked Turkey to be consulted to ensure its judicial bill was in line with EU legislation.

Çavuşoğlu will also hold a meeting with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

Soon after taking over from Egemen Bağış, who was among the prominent ministerial graft probe casualties, Çavuşoğlu urged the EU to refrain from “unilateral and impatient statements through the media.”

In a move reminiscent of his outspoken predecessor, Çavuşoğlu launched a solo Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #CooperationWithoutDoubleStandards in his latest message on Jan. 14.

The judicial bill is expected to overturn the reform of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in line with Turkey’s harmonization with the EU acquis.

Criticism regarding the move in Europe is also increasing as a professional judges association issued a statement condemning Ankara’s intentions.

“The bill is contrary to the minimum standards on the independence of the judiciary foreseen by many European institutions (European Union, European Council),” MEDEL (Magistrats Européens pour la démocratie et les libertés) said in the statement, urging Turkey to “remain a country that respects the rule of law.”

“MEDEL strongly condemns the Turkish government’s attempt to exert dominance over the judiciary,” the statement added.

The HSYK is at the center of the battle over control of the judiciary as its acting head has already condemned the current bill as “unconstitutional.”

January/14/2014

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