[JURIST] An Amnesty International spokesman said Thursday in Berlin that torture was still practiced and legally recognized in Turkey [JURIST news archive] despite the latest reform efforts of the Turkish government. Wolfgang Grenz made the statement at the presentation of a new study of 18 cases carried out by a German investigator in October. Grenz said that Turkish courts still sometimes admitted evidence derived by torture and did not look into claims that it had taken place despite Turkey's adherence to the UN Convention Against Torture [text] and new strictures against torture set down by domestic law June 2005. Grenz recommended that torture be better defined and that Turkish interrogators get better training. DPA has more.
The comments came the same day as EU external relations director Eneko Landaburu publicly suggested in Brussels that the European Union enlargement process ongoing for several years might best be paused in favor of a "deepening" of existing ties. Reflecting on problems within the union that resulted in the rejection of the proposed European Constitution [JURIST news archive] in France and the Netherlands last year, he nonetheless said that planned accession talks with Turkey and Croatia should go forward. The Turkish talks have become increasingly strained in recent months because of the slow progress of legal reforms that the EU says are preconditions to a successful accession application. Press reports in November said that the European Commission was working on a draft document setting some 150 terms for Turkish EU membership that had to be met within two years, including an end to torture [JURIST report]. EUobserver has more.