Turkish government set to unveil new media law
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin (2nd L), EU Minister Egemen Bağış (C) and Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin (2nd R) held a press meeting following Turkey’s The reform monitoring group closely monitors regulations regarding political criteria and their implementation, as well as the implementation of political reforms.The Ministry of Justice has been preparing a series of reform packages in the fields of freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights, with the aim of decreasing the number of the cases concerning Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“The number of applications to the ECHR is expected to reach 3,500 by the end of this year. We have made steps to solve these cases within Turkey’s internal legislation system. We will drop this issue from Turkey’s agenda,” Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin told journalists at a press briefing on March 16 in Istanbul.
Starting on Sept. 23, individual applications will be accepted by the Turkey’s Constitutional Court, Ergin added.
Turkey’s EU reform monitoring group met in Istanbul on 16 March. The EU Minister Egemen Bağış, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Interior Minister İdris Naim Sahin all attended the meeting.
Third reform package
There are important regulations in the third judiciary reform package in terms of extending press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey, Ergin told the press conference organized at the sidelines of the meeting.
“The action plan on the freedom of expression,” prepared by the Ministry of Justice, is set to be implemented by April 2012, Ergin announced.
“We are trying to create an internal legislation system in order to decrease the number of the cases that are taken to the ECHR by Turkish citizens,” Minister Ergin said.
“We want to solve these kinds of cases in Turkey if possible. If the ECHR accepts this on March 20, we will form a legal commission and look for a consensus in this commission before cases are taken to the ECHR,” Ergin added.
Established in September 2003, the reform monitoring group closely monitors regulations regarding political criteria and their implementation, as well as the implementation of political reforms.
The group will hold its next meeting in the northern province of Ordu.
Cyprus’ EU Presidency with Children’s Day
EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış compared Greek Cyprus’ EU Presidency to the presidency of the children who take the seats of Turkish leaders every 23 April, which is celebrated as National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey.
“They [the Greek Cypriots] will have the same amount of authority that those children have,” Bağış said. Bağış said Turkey would recognize the EU term presidency of Greek Cyprus only a solution arises that will lead to the creation of an umbrella state by the two founder states in Cyprus before July 1, when Greek Cyprus takes over the presidency. “If this happens then we will welcome the EU Presidency of the Greek Cypriot administration. If not, we will not address or recognize them as term president of the EU. Our nation has waited 45 years for EU negotiations to begin, and we have the patience to continue for another six months”, Bağış said.