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Human rights critics to Turkey
The State Department report said that Ankara had taken important steps in many fields.
March 29— The State Department report said that Ankara had taken important steps in many fields. There are still serious human rights problems in Turkey, according to a report released by the US State Department late Monday.


  According to the report, entitled Human Rights and Support for Democracy, Ankara’s human right problems mainly focussed on police and the administration of justice, and freedom of beliefs and expression. Another concern was raised over difficulties in implementing a scheme allowing persons displaced by the conflict with the terrorist group the PKK to return to their homes.
       The US report said that the Greek Orthodox seminary on an island off Istanbul had not been re-opened, the ecumenical status of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch was not recognised by Ankara and non-citizens were allowed to serve as a clerics or in religious positions.
       The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government still maintained limits of religious freedom, the State Department report said.
       The study also underlined a recent controversial law under the new Turkish Penal Code that would make it easier for journalists to be fined and imprisoned and limit personal freedom of expression that did not contain violence.
       The report also stated that justice was independent in Turkey but that it was subject to influence from time to time.
       The report also cited problems in holding meetings, founding associations, and that from time to time limitations were imposed on some political parties and their leaders’ activities.

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