Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-04-22-Speech-4-010"

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"Mr President, I would like to thank the Commission for its extremely strong and clear statement on the unfortunate Zana case. During the recent Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting in Turkey, we brought up the issue of the Leyla Zana trial, as we always do. Justice Minister Cicek promised us that in the next package of constitutional reforms, which I think is to be published this week, the State Security Courts would be scrapped. This is, of course, first-class news because these courts do not contribute to justice; they do not contribute to security. The Turkish Government fully appreciates the political importance of the Zana case for the European Parliament. As a strong Turkophile, let me be quite clear that, if Leyla Zana and her colleagues are not released soon, it will be impossible for Turkey's closest friends to argue that accession negotiations should be opened from December. No country can seriously contemplate European membership with nearly six thousand prisoners of conscience, no matter how controversial those people prove to be."@en1

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