After the European Union released the 2015 Progress Report on Turkey concerning media freedom, human rights and the state of the rule of law, Turkey rejected EU criticism and described it as “unfair,” on Tuesday.
Turkey’s Ministry for EU Affairs said in a statement that "As has been the case every year, objective and reasonable criticisms will be noted carefully."
"However, those criticisms which we do not agree and found to be unfair will be brought to the attention of the Commission," the ministry said.
"In the report, some of observations are unfair and even partly disproportionate, and ignore the freedom-security balance required in a democratic country governed by the rule of law," the ministry said.
“The comments regarding the first ever directly-elected president’s use of powers conferred by the constitution are unacceptable.”
The European Commission report clarified that “The country has reached some level of preparation on respect for freedom of expression, the media and the internet,” and added “While in recent years it had been possible to discuss some sensitive and controversial issues in a free environment, ongoing and new criminal cases against journalists, writers or social media users are of serious concern.”
These claims especially came after Turkey’s police had conducted a raid of the offices of media outlets operating under to the Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETO)-linked Koza-Ipek Holding in late October after the company was accused of involvement in illegal activities, such as fraud and the collection of unauthorised donations by prosecutors.
Concerning the case, the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office said, "An expert report on scope of the inquiry into Koza Ipek Holding shows the company was financed with funds under the name of ‘himmet’ and illegal donations were collected which had unaccredited sources, while the suspects provided financial assets to their shareholders which should have stayed under the ownership of company, creating accounting records for non existing investments and manipulation of the stock market.”
The ministry said that some sections of the EU report referred to FETO, also called the “parallel structure,” and Turkey would continue to fight against this terror organisation, which threatens national security, affect public order negatively, destroys the internal independence of judiciary and carries out domestic and international illegal activities.
The ministry also said, "In this respect, Turkey expects the EU to read the realities regarding the parallel structure correctly and demonstrate the necessary sensitivity regarding this illegal structure and its activities."
Additionally, the ministry declared that Ankara had launched on the number of reform packages recently to support freedom of expression and an "independent and unbiased" judiciary.