Turkey must speed up anti-terrorism law reforms – CoE chief

Turkey must speed up anti-terrorism law reforms – CoE chief

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey must speed up its reforms of legislation such as the sweeping anti-terrorism laws under which dozens of journalists have been jailed, the head of the Council of Europe said on Tuesday, February 5, according to Reuters.

Since coming to power in 2002, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has earned praise for reforms aimed at bringing the EU candidate nation closer to European Union norms and for liberalizing an economy that has seen unprecedented prosperity. But his government is also accused of trying to tame the media and smother opposition.

"The lawmaking process has to be sped up," Secretary General Thorbjoern Jagland told Reuters in an interview.

"They have laws, the terrorist act for instance, special courts, and they have a very wide interpretation of what incitement to violence is, which brings so many journalists to jail."

Anti-terrorism laws allow suspects to be detained for lengthy periods before being formally charged.

The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says Turkey has jailed more reporters than China, Eritrea, Iran or Syria, with some 70 journalists currently languishing in Turkish prisons, at least 42 of them because of their work.

In the group's 2013 press freedom index, Turkey slipped six places to 154th out of 179 countries.

 Top stories
"This is way over the top and unacceptable," said attorney Mohammed Zarie, who heads a rights center in Cairo.
David Cameron said the ban would be imposed on MPs that "have been pushing for the unacceptable steps that have been taken.
“All sides need to remember that compromise means getting less than 100%,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said.
The IAEA reported in 2008 that the laser facilities had been taken over by a private company that said it had no plans to enrich uranium.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.