Ahead of the European Commission’s annual report this November on progress towards EU membership, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn has told the European Parliament during a debate on candidate country Turkey that: “Further efforts are needed (in Ankara) to ensure democratic supremacy in civil-military relations, protect the rights of women, children and trade unions, improve the judiciary system and enhance the fight against corruption.”
However, Rehn repeated the EU’s rebuke of Kurdish rebel attacks on Turkey launched from Iraq. He said: “Turkey faces continual cross-border terrorist attacks from the PKK which is on the EU list of terrorist organisations. The European Union condemns all terrorist attacks and understands Turkey’s need for protection its citizens.”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, enjoying a strong electoral mandate, said Ankara was allowing time for a diplomatic solution.
The EU said it expects to broaden Turkey’s adhesion talks in the coming weeks — on consumer protection and trans-European rail, motor and energy transport routes. The EU partly froze the talks last year because Ankara had not moved on Cyprus. It still has not.