EU Defends the Turks' Right To Protest

Not happy about the government's response


ISTANBUL — A senior European Union official on Friday criticized the Turkish police's harsh crackdown on protesters in the last week, telling an audience that included the prime minister that a "swift and transparent" investigation was needed.

The comments by Stefan Fule, the EU enlargement commissioner, came at a conference aimed at furthering the country's decades-long ambition to join the 27-nation bloc. That effort has advanced slowly, hampered by a dispute over EU-member Cyprus, Turkey's previous human rights problems and some political resistance among EU members.