Turkey vows to take quick moves on judicial reforms
The Turkish foreign affairs, justice, interior and economy ministers agreed to “accelerate the political reform process,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Aug. 29.
The four ministers held a “Reform Action Group” meeting, which assesses the current reform agenda and homework for the accession process, after three years of standoff.
“In the upcoming process, all our institutions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs will focus on the negotiation chapters on the judiciary, fundamental rights, freedom and security,” Çavuşoğlu said, speaking at a joint press conference.
Ankara will also cooperate further with the Council of Europe in the upcoming period, he noted.
With respect to relations with the EU, Turkey will continue to work on the remaining six benchmarks in order to launch the visa liberalization process, Çavuşoğlu said, noting that Turkey would resume high level dialogue meetings with the EU.
“But we have expectations from the EU as well,” he added. Including the visa liberalization process, Ankara wants to see a response for these efforts, the minister said, noting Turkey’s expectation for an upgrade of the Customs Union agreement.
“The upcoming period will be an era when confidence on the judiciary will increase and the judicial system will accelerate,” said Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül.
In a written statement released after the fourth meeting of the Reform Action Group, Ankara announced that Turkey withdrew the derogation to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as foreseen under Article 15 of the Convention after the state of emergency is lifted. Turkey used its right to derogate from the European Convention of Human Rights after the failed coup attempt in July 15.
The statement noted that the reform group assessed the post-state of emergency and political reform process of Turkey in line with the country’s EU membership bid and stressed the group underlined determination to continue reforms on justice and fundamental rights. The reforms will be implemented faster in the new presidential government system, it said.
“Economic threats towards Turkey, statements and the attitude of the [United States President Donald] Trump administration, which affect the economic system are a good opportunity for Turkey and the EU to understand each other’s value,” it said.