European Council: EU leaders should put human rights at the centre of EU-Turkey relations

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Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President

Dear High Representative,

Dear Ministers of Foreign Affairs,

We write to you ahead of the 25-26 March European Council discussion on EU-Turkey relations. We welcome this opportunity and call on you to ensure that any decisions on the future development of EU-Turkey relations take the sharp decline in respect for fundamental rights and freedoms fully into account and place human rights front and centre of these relations. The EU and its member states should use all instruments at their disposal to promote genuine human rights reforms in Turkey, urging the authorities to move beyond mere rhetoric and assertions without implementation of general principles – most recently illustrated in the government’s Human Rights Action Plan.