§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What actions they and the European Union propose for the guaranteeing of cultural rights for all citizens of Turkey, given that the period for implementing the European Union short-term criteria expired in March and that petitions for operational Kurdish lessons in universities were rejected shortly before. [HL4222]
§ The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)
At the EC/Turkey Association Council on 16 April, the European Community raised concerns about cultural rights for all in Turkey, including a reference to the case of those who have asked for education in the Kurdish language.
The UK with EU partners will continue to encourage Turkey to fulfil the requirements in its accession partnership in order that it progresses towards meeting the Copenhagen political criteria, the prerequisite for opening negotiations for EU membership. There will be a full assessment of Turkey's progress in the Commission's 2002 regular report published in October.