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EU commissioner sees momentum in Turkey bid

EU

The European Union’s enlargement commissioner said he expected a breakthrough this year in Turkey’s stalled EU membership bid and welcomed Ankara’s peace talks with Kurdish rebels and reforms of its justice system. Turkey began talks on joining the European Union in 2005 but has only completed one of the 35 policy areas, or “chapters”, every candidate must conclude to be allowed entry due to disagreements over the divided island of Cyprus and hostility especially from France, though that is now easing somewhat. Commissioner Stefan Fule called on EU states to recognize Turkey’s reform efforts, to open further policy negotiations with Ankara and to show more “credibility” in the talks. Turkey’s Parliament on the last weeks approved a reform of its anti-terrorism laws, narrowing the definition of terrorist propaganda in line with EU demands that it boost freedom of expression.

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