BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will criticise Turkey on Wednesday for failing to safeguard the independence of its judges and wants to have more discussion on rights in Ankara’s bid to join the European Union, according a senior EU official.
The Commission, the EU executive, publishes its annual report to assess how far Turkey and other countries aspiring to EU membership have progressed in bringing their rules into line with EU standards and values.
“What has happened in Turkey has raised serious doubts about the independence of the judiciary,” said the official, who declined to be named because the report is not yet public.
“There are serious doubts about fundamental freedoms,” the official added, referring to social media and the Internet.
The Commission is concerned about a struggle for influence over the courts as Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan pursues his political foes.
The power struggle dogged Erdogan’s final months as prime minister and saw him purge thousands of police and hundreds of judges and prosecutors, steps that raised concern among Western allies and investors.
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