Turkey’s freshly appointed EU minister warns Enlargement Commissioner Füle for graft statement

Photo: Turkey’s freshly appointed EU minister warns Enlargement Commissioner Füle for graft statement / Turkey

Turkey's new EU Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu has rebuked the European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle for issuing a statement welcoming a Council of State ruling to annul a controversial regulation lifting investigation secrecy amid a graft scandal Hurriyet Daily News reported.

"I invite our European friends to avoid preconceived convictions and be more vigilant while commenting on developments about Turkey's internal developments which have political dimensions," Cavusoglu said in his first statement as EU minister on Dec. 28.

Freshly appointed as EU minister in the place of Egemen Bagis who held the position since the ministry was established in 2011, as part of a wide cabinet reshuffle on Dec. 25, Cavusoglu urged the EU to open the chapter 23 on Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and chapter 24 on Justice, Freedom and Security in the accession negotiations.

"Nobody should have any doubt that Turkey will overcome this difficult process with the guidance of democracy and basic legal rights," the statement also said.

Füle had praised on Dec. 27 Turkey's Council of State's decision to annul the controversial regulation obliging those carrying out investigations to inform superiors.

"In recent days, the change introduced to the judicial police regulation has undermined the independence of the judiciary and its capacity to act. The application of this regulation has been suspended by the Council of State. I welcome this suspension and hope the Council's decision will be quickly finalized," Füle said Dec. 27. Elmar Brok, who chairs the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, also criticized the Turkish government for the decree. "The government is exercising dramatic influence on the independence of the judiciary," Brok told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Dec. 28.

The regulation, issued amid a graft scandal, had increased concerns among lawyers that the government was intervening in the work of judiciary.

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