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Turkey: Human Rights

Volume 697: debated on Wednesday 9 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will draw to the attention of the Enlargement Commissioner, Mr Olli Rehn, and other relevant officials at the European Commission the report of Minority Rights Group International, A Quest for Equality: Minorities in Turkey; and whether they will urge the Government of Turkey to comply with the report's recommendations, to ensure that the principles of non-discrimination and minority protection are fully applied before the decision has to be made on Turkey's accession to the European Union. [HL1043]

The report of Minority Rights Group International was prepared with the financial support of the EU and presented to representatives of EU member states and the European Commission Delegation in Ankara on 10 December 2007. It is therefore unnecessary for the Government to draw this report to the attention of the European Commission.

We urge Turkey to pursue a comprehensive policy of reform on human rights, including signature and ratification of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the lifting of restrictions on the public use of minority languages and reform of laws restricting the property rights of minority communities. We will continue to monitor progress to ensure that there is full and consistent implementation of EU standards.