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Brussels, 29 November 2011

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Sadullah Ergin, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Turkey

My meeting today with Mr Ergin, the Turkish Minister of Justice, demonstrated again the very constructive working relation we have established.

We have discussed a number of issues that are high on the Turkish political reform agenda such as the new constitution and freedom of expression. We agreed that we need to focus on ways to accelerate the process of Turkish political reforms and turn the positive agenda into social and political reality for the benefit of the Turkish people as a whole but also of Turkey's accession process. We agreed that judicial cooperation constitutes an important element of the positive agenda.

The Minister has also briefed me about his intentions to strengthen freedom of expression in Turkey, not only through amendments of the relevant legislative framework but also through raising the awareness of prosecutors and judges about the European Convention of Human Rights and the related case law. I have warmly welcomed these intentions, and the close cooperation that is foreseen with the Council of Europe on these matters. Furthermore, the Minister briefed me on the future developments related to the new constitution and the involvement of the Venice Commission.

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