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Report: Turkish EU Talks Should Start Within Two Years

EU membership negotiations with Turkey should open within the next two years, the Dutch government’s Advisory Council on International Affairs suggested in a new report.

EU membership negotiations with Turkey should open within the next two years, the Dutch government’s Advisory Council on International Affairs suggested in a new report. The report published on Wednesday praised Turkey for reforms in recent years, but also stressed that new democratic laws were not yet implemented at the lower bureaucratic levels where human rights violations still occur. "Admitting a Muslim country may be new to the EU but does not principally differ from earlier expansions. One way or the other, Islam should gain a place within the EU, if only because there are 20 million Muslims" in the EU countries, the report said, according to the International Herald Tribune. The Dutch advisory council did not, however, recommend setting a date for actual membership. Holding the presidency of the European Union for the rest of this year, the Dutch government will be one of the deciding factors in running the negotiations on Turkish EU membership. A report to be issued by the European Commission on Oct. 6 will play a large role in deciding whether the EU begins accession talks with Ankara. (EUobserver.com)

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