EU ambassadors express 'concern' and call for accountability in luncheon with Minister Bağış
Turkey's EU Minister hosted in Ankara the envoys of the EU countries during a luncheon. AA photoEU ambassadors raised their concerns over the authorities' handling of recent protests in a June 25 luncheon with Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış.
"We expressed our concern over recent developments, in particular the police's handling of peaceful protestors and with regard to respect for media freedom," the envoys said in a collective statement.
"We also emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in the follow-up by the government and judiciary, both with regard to the protesters as well as to allegations of use of excessive force by the security forces," the statement added.
The luncheon came after more than three weeks of nationwide protests over the demolition of Istanbul's Gezi Park and on the eve of a critical decision over the fate of Turkey's bid to join the EU.
The EU ambassadors also expressed their satisfaction for the offering of an opportunity to exchange their views, saying they made their views clear. "We underlined the need to respect fundamental freedoms, including freedom of assembly and of expression," the statement added.
Turkey has faced harsh criticism from the international community over the police's repeated brutal interventions into mostly peaceful demonstrations.