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EU Ministers Warn Turkey Over Media Raids

European Union foreign ministers say Turkey is a "key partner" for the 28-nation bloc but warn that Turkish progress on EU membership would depend on "respecting the rule of law and fundamental rights."

Turkish police staged on December 14 a series of raids on media outlets said to have close links with opposition parties, arresting more than 20 people.

In a statement released after a meeting in Brussels on December 16, the EU ministers said the authorities’ actions “call into question the respect for freedom of the media."

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara could not accept "such heavy criticism against Turkey and its government after the beginning of a judicial process."

The United States has urged Turkish authorities to ensure their actions do not violate media freedom and other democratic values.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa