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11/2/15

Turkey: Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice

A European Commission report on Turkey, held back until after next Sunday's election to avoid antagonizing President Tayyip Erdogan, accuses Ankara of backsliding on the rule of law, freedom of expression and judicial independence.

A copy of the draft annual progress report on Turkey's EU candidacy, seen by Reuters, also cites a severe deterioration in the security situation and an increasing politicization of the state administration as Erdogan's AK Party, in power for the last 13 years, tightens its grip.

The EU executive, which is urgently trying to secure Erdogan's help to stem flows of Syrian refugees and other migrants from Turkey to Europe, insisted it had not delayed the report for political reasons.

It also said it was up to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to decide when the progress reports on candidate countries, usually released in October, are approved and published.

In the forensic language of the Commission's department for enlargement negotiations, the draft describes an overall drift towards more authoritarian governance in Turkey.

Read more: Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice | Reuters

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