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Turkey: EU Accession

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of the officials whom Turkey has appointed to participate in negotiations on accession to the European Union are of Kurdish origin; and how the views of Kurds are heard in discussions on meeting the Copenhagen criteria on human rights, minority rights and democracy.[HL6630]

We do not collect data on the ethnic origin of foreign officials taking part in EU accession negotiations, but we are aware of Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin at every level of public life in Turkey; this includes MPs and Cabinet Ministers. Delegations from the European Commission and our embassy in Ankara regularly visit the south-east of Turkey to discuss human rights with local officials, politicians and civil society representatives; the findings of these visits feed into the Commission’s report on Turkey's progress in meeting the Copenhagen criteria.