EU sees Turkish reforms as "positive" despite court ruling
The European Union's executive sees a package of Turkish constitutional reforms as "positive" and a further step towards EU standards, officials said Thursday after Turkey's highest court struck down some elements of the package, DPA reported.
Government officials say that the reforms are meant to modernize Turkey's constitution as part of its push for EU membership. But the court ruled that proposed changes to the way judges and prosecutors are appointed violated the constitution.
"Following this ruling, we continue to believe that this reform package ... is a positive step, as it addresses a number of long-standing shortcomings which the EU has identified over the years," a spokesman for the European Commission said.
That is a preliminary assessment, since the commission still needs to study the constitutional court's ruling in detail, he said.
Turkey has been negotiating towards EU membership since 2005. The bloc has regularly criticised some of its constitutional provisions, including on issues such as the independence of the judiciary, freedom of speech and the power of the military.
The reform package was drawn up in part to address those concerns. It is set to be put to a referendum on September 12.