Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hope for us yet?

The Independent is waxing indignant about Turkey's tear-gassing of women, suggesting that the incident might affect its EU entry negotiations.

Riot police broke up the unauthorised protest, to mark International Women's Day (who are these "international women"?), with truncheons and tear gas on Sunday – just as EU officials and politicians arrived in the country for three days of talks with government officials.

Television images of the protest by about 300 people in Istanbul showed tear gas being sprayed at the eyes of demonstrators and a woman being kicked in the face.

Under attack over police tactics, Abdullah Gul, the Turkish foreign minister, promised an inquiry. But the incident has increased doubts about the readiness of the government for negotiations over EU membership which start on 3 October.

There is possibly hope here. If police violence is grounds for excluding a country from EU membership, can police brutality also be used as a reason for expelling a member state?

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