The EU Commission has called on Turkey to respect human rights in response to the July arrest of journalist Bülent Korucu’s wife, who is being held hostage to force the journalist to surrender.
Bülent Korucu’s wife, Hacer, was arrested in the eastern province of Erzurum in late July after police were unable to find and detain the journalist as part of an investigation into a failed coup attempt on July 15.
The arrest of Hacer Korucu was made public by the Korucu couple’s son from his Twitter account, sparking outrage.
In response to a question about the Korucu case, EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said that “the EU has underlined several times the need to respect democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms and the right of everyone to a fair trial.”
The spokesperson also added that as a candidate country to the EU, Turkey needs to aspire to the highest possible democratic standards and practices, including freedom of the media.
Bülent Korucu was editor-in-chief of the critical Yarına Bakış daily, which is among the dozens of news outlets that were closed down by the government in the aftermath of the coup attempt.
Turkey arrested dozens of critical journalists on coup charges after the putsch.
The EU spokesperson’s statement expressed concern over the post-coup purge, stating that “it is worrying that following the entry into force of the State of Emergency, arrest warrants have been issued against a large number of journalists and many media outlets have been shut down by the executive.”
Kocijancic also urged Turkey to act in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).