Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership since 1999. Accession negotiations started in 2005, and a revised Accession Partnership was adopted in 2008.
As a major emerging economy and a member of NATO and the G20, Turkey is a key partner for the European Union. It is recognised as an active regional foreign policy player, with an influential role in supporting reforms in its region. The EU is therefore committed to political dialogue with Turkey on foreign policy issues of mutual interest.
EU-Turkey political dialogue is carried on at all levels on issues of mutual concern. At ministerial level, dialogue is led for the EU by Baroness Ashton (High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy) and Stefan Füle (Commissioner for enlargement).
The plans were proposed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party, which dominates parliament.
Turkish MPs have approved controversial plans to reform the country's top judicial body, amid a brawl which left one opposition MP with a broken nose.
The government wants the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors - the HSYK - to come under justice ministry control.
The bill was debated overnight amid heated scenes, with reports of dozens of MPs involved in a fist fight.
Turkey’s plan to reform top judiciary body
" The Turkish government has approved controversial plans to reform the country’s top judicial body. The government wants the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors to come under greater justice ministry control. But the reform plan is drawing growing national and international criticism.
In a message posted on Twitter Monday, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks described the Turkish government’s judicial reform plan as a regression. The new law, which was rushed through parliament, gives the justice minister greater control over the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors.
“It will be the end of the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, because the high judiciary council, they appoint all the judges, they decide about the transfer of judges, they decide about disciplinary sanctions. What will happen now: [in] all the important political cases, the high judiciary council will appoint judges who share the same political views with the government and the prosecutors will be the same,” says Turman.
“Everybody knows the purpose [of the government's maneuver] is try to secure itself from the corruption cases, and to enforce its total control over the judiciary,” says Mert. "