House of Lords written question – answered at on 21 June 2010.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will raise with the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights the case of Mr Ahmet Turk, a former parliamentarian in Turkey and chairman of the Democratic Society Party, who is charged by the public prosecutor for speaking in Kurdish within the parliament building.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

The Government continue to support and participate in dialogue with the Turkish Government on issues surrounding freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and Mr Turk's case is contained within these wider discussions. We continue to urge Turkey to amend its laws on freedom of speech, including the restrictions on the use of non-Turkish languages.

We cannot intervene in Turkish laws or the judicial system, but we will continue to monitor this case and expect high legal and judicial standards throughout.

The Government haves no plans to raise Mr Turk's case in these international fora at this time.

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