Friday, April 18, 2014


European Commission Gives Turkey Conditional OK

6 October 2004 -- The European Commission says the European Union should start membership talks with Turkey -- but has set stiff conditions to prevent it from backtracking on democratic and human rights reforms.

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EU Commission President Romano Prodi told European Parliament leaders today that the commission is giving what he called a "qualified yes" to Ankara's bid.

But Prodi said the decision is hedged with a series of provisions for monitoring and verifying what is actually happening in Turkey.

"The reply that the commission gives today is a 'yes' -- a positive response with respect to the [political] requirements and favorable with the regard to the opening of negotiations. However, it is a qualified 'yes' that comes with a series of recommendations regarding the control and verification of the situation in Turkey," Prodi said.

News agencies quote the commission recommendation as saying the negotiations with Turkey are "open-ended," and the outcome "cannot be guaranteed beforehand."

No date was set for the start of talks. A summit of EU leaders will decide whether to accept the commission's recommendation, and will set a date for the talks to begin.

Turkey has been trying to join the EU for the past 40 years, and if it succeeds it will be the first Muslim-majority state to become an EU member. But Turkey is not expected to become an actual member for at least another decade.

(compiled from agency reports)

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