§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
On what occasions in the present calendar year they have taken up with the Turkish authorities the prohibition on certain British citizens entering Turkey; what reply they received on each of these occasions; and whether they will ensure that, in considering the progress made by Turkey towards meeting the Copenhagen criteria for accession to the European Union, the Council of Ministers are informed of this matter. [HL1237]
§ The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)
I deeply regret that the Turkish Government continue to deny entry to that country by the noble Lord, as we regret all bars on travel to Turkey imposed on British citizens. We have raised the noble Lord's case on a number of occasions this year, most recently by myself on 18 September during my meeting with the Turkish Minister of State, Dr Kemal Dervis. I also spoke with the Turkish Ambassador to London about this matter in July. The issue was also recently raised with the Director General for Human Rights in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs by our Embassy in Ankara. We have not received a satisfactory response; merely the information that the ban has been reviewed twice yet kept in place. The European Council has made clear that Turkey cannot start negotiations to join the EU until it has fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria.