Does the EU Still Have Leverage on Questions of Freedom of Expression in Turkey?
The problem of freedom of expression in Turkey is real enough. The European Commission's annual reports, the US State Department's Human Rights Reports on Turkey as well as testimony from the country itself leave no doubt as to the increasing infringements of freedom of the press, publication more generally, and the internet. The deteriorating human rights situation in Turkey is sometimes attributed to the slowdown in Turkey's EU accession process. This view, however, needs to be questioned. The EU is still in a position to exercise pressure for an improvement in the freedom of expression through its judgment on Turkey's performance. Freedom of expression will be high on the agenda when the EU reviews its relations with Turkey on the basis of a new Commission report in December.