Commissioner Füle to meet with Turkish EU minister over judiciary bill

Photo: Commissioner Füle to meet with Turkish EU minister over judiciary bill / Politics

The European Union's Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle is to meet with Turkish EU Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Jan. 14 in Strasbourg over the government's bill on the judiciary that has stirred much controversy for providing the executive more control on a key judicial body amid a graft scandal Hurriyet Daily News reported.

During the meeting the EU will voice its concern about "the recent developments," Füle said via Twitter late Jan. 13.

The announcement of the meeting comes only a day after Brussels asked Turkey to be consulted to ensure its judicial bill was in line with EU legislation.

After taking over from his outspoken predecessor Egemen Bagis, who was among the graft probe casualties of the Cabinet, Cavusoglu had urged the EU to refrain from "unilateral and impatient statements via the media."

The judicial bill is expected to overturn the reform of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in line with Turkey's harmonization with the EU acquis.

Criticism regarding the move in Europe is also increasing as a professional judges association issued a statement condemning Ankara's intentions.

"The bill is contrary to the minimum standards on the independence of the judiciary foreseen by many European institutions (European Union, European Council)," MEDEL (Magistrats Européens pour la démocratie et les libertés) said in the statement, urging Turkey to "remain a country that respects the rule of law."

"MEDEL strongly condemns the Turkish government's attempt to exert dominance over the judiciary," the statement added.

The HSYK is at the center of the battle over control of the judiciary as its acting head has already condemned the current bill as "unconstitutional."

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