Members of the European Commission meet in Brussels, Belgium, on June 22, 2021. CPJ called on the EU to highlight press freedom during upcoming talks on Turkey. (AFP/Johanna Geron)

EU must highlight press freedom in Turkey during upcoming talks

Brussels, June 22, 2021 – European Union leaders should use the upcoming European Council meeting to call for Turkey to improve its press freedom record, including the release of all jailed journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Officials plan to discuss EU-Turkey relations during the meeting, scheduled for June 24 and 25, according to the council’s website.

“The European Union must be clear and vocal in its call for the release of all journalists from detention and for protecting the space for media to operate in Turkey,” said Tom Gibson, CPJ’s EU representative. “The EU should fully use its leverage, including the proposed upgrade of the EU-Turkey customs union, and explicitly state that good relations are founded on Turkish journalists being able to work freely and independently.”

In March, the European Council issued a statement condemning Turkey’s failure to respect human rights and the rule of law, including the targeting of journalists.