The EU on Thursday warned Turkey it must give a fair trial to the Amnesty International country chairman, who has been held in jail for the past year, in line with European rights standards.
Turkish authorities have detained Taner Kilic since June 2017 over accusations of links to the group Ankara says was behind an attempted coup against the government in 2016.
The European Union’s relations with Turkey have been blighted by a series of rows in recent years, particularly since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown following the bid to overthrow him.
“The authorities in Turkey — a EU candidate country and member of the Council of Europe — need to ensure the right to fair trail, a legal process, on the basis of the principle of presumption of innocence and in line with the European Convention of Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights,” a spokesperson for the European Commission said in a statement.
Negotiations for Turkey to join the bloc began in 2005 but are effectively frozen, and Erdogan has drifted increasingly closer to Russia and Iran, especially concerning the conflict in Syria, despite being a NATO member.
Amnesty on Wednesday vowed to intensify efforts to win freedom for Kilic, who is one of dozens of journalists and rights activists caught up in the crackdown launched in the wake of the coup.
Kilic was arrested on June 6, 2017, on what Amnesty describes as the “baseless charge of belonging to a terrorist organisation”.