Progress report likely to be released in November

Progress report likely to be released in November

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Progress report likely to be released in November

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, right, shakes hands with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, following a joint news conference after their meeting at his office in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. AP Photo

A progress report on Turkey by the European Commission, which was postponed for the first time ever, is likely to be published in November, EU sources have told Hürriyet Daily News. 

The commission has not declared any specific release date, sources also said.

The European Commission, for the first time, surprisingly postponed the release of its annual progress report on Turkey’s EU membership application process amid a key visit to the EU capital by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during which the growing refugee crisis topped the agenda.

The release of the report had been scheduled for Oct. 14 but was postponed in order to better study the migration issue, according to commission officials. 

Media reports earlier speculated Oct. 21 for its release date, suggesting the report was postponed as part of a softening of the tone of criticism against Ankara at a time when the EU expected Turkey to assist with the refugee crisis. The British government asked the EU to postpone the report until after the Nov. 1 polls, EU officials told the Daily News at the time the reports were to be published. 

The progress report was widely expected to broadly highlight problems in freedom of expression, the impartiality of the judiciary and the pressure on the media.