EU warns Turkey on human rights, grants 'market economy' status

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Wednesday granted Turkey [JURIST news archive] the sought-after "functioning market economy" status in its bid to join the EU, but it warned the government that a stronger stance on torture and human rights was needed. Winning market status for its economy is a major step in Turkey's accession efforts [EU backgrounder]. However, in its report [text], the Commission said that Turkey's status hinged on its ability to maintain recent reform efforts and stabilize the country's human rights situation. The report gave Turkey a two-year deadline [Times report] to bring its human rights conditions up to EU standards. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn [official profile] expressed some concern that reform by Turkey appeared to slow somewhat since accession talks began last December. Rights of non-Muslim religious minorities and violence against women remain major concerns. Reuters has more.

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