House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the political situation in Turkey in the light of recent violent protests in Istanbul following the death of Berkin Elvan who was injured in clashes at the end of 2013.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Turkey is a multi-party democracy with an elected government. The Turkish people exercised their legitimate right to protest in recent months and, as a Candidate Country for EU membership, the Turkish government is aware of the importance of respecting the right to peaceful protest and all fundamental freedoms.

We and our EU partners are following events in Turkey very closely and were concerned about the violent incidents that occurred during the protests.

We are clear however that the EU accession process has enabled Turkey to move forward with their reform agenda, which has helped to strengthen political stability and economic development in the country over the past decade. We remain fully supportive of that continuing process, which remains the most effective mechanism for encouraging Turkey to ensure that they continue to make progress in accordance with EU standards.

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