Turkish EU Minister hints at amending criticized homeland security bill
Turkey's EU Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkır speaks during a press conference in Ankara, Oct. 30. AFP PhotoTurkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır has distanced himself from a much criticized homeland security bill, while signaling that he would voice his objections to the bill’s content at the upcoming meetings with fellow Cabinet members.
The bill was not introduced by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but by AKP lawmakers, Bozkır noted on Oct. 30 in response to questions on the bill envisioning tough “preemptive” measures.
“We will make suggestions on this issue in regards to harmony with the EU’s settled principles. All of these issues will be thoroughly discussed at the Reform Action Group,” he said at the press conference that he initiated to launch the National Action Plan for EU Accession.
In addition to Bozkır, Turkey's foreign minister, interior minister and justice minister are all members of the Reform Action Group, previously called the Reform Monitoring Group. The ministers’ next meeting is scheduled to take place in the first half of November.
“As the EU Ministry, we will definitely have views on these matters, on all of the laws and bills, with regard to them being in harmony with the EU acquis,” Bozkır stressed.
The controversial bill has fueled debates on whether the bill will turn EU membership candidate Turkey into a police state, particularly due to measures that would allow searches to be conducted on the basis of mere “reasonable doubt,” without any concrete evidence.