EU criticizes human rights in Turkey, ‘backsliding’ on laws


The European Union says Turkey continues to distance itself from the bloc and its values and says sees no reason to unblock the country's EU membership talks.

In a progress report on Turkey's membership prospects released Wednesday, the EUs executive commission criticizes "serious backsliding in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights."

The EU agreed last year that no new chapters in Turkey's accession talks should be opened or closed and the report notes that "the underlying facts leading to this assessment still hold."

Turkey has been involved in membership talks since October 2005 but progress has been extremely slow.

Some EU countries oppose the large, relatively poor and mainly Muslim country joining. Germany, notably, would prefer an alternate kind of "privileged partnership" for Turkey.