Turkey Rejects Extra EU Conditions
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has outlined his position on Turkey's EU membership ahead of next week’s crucial EU summit to decide whether to start accession negotiations.
Speaking at a press conference with opposition leader Deniz Baykal in Ankara, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said any conditions added to Turkey's application for membership would be "unacceptable." "Turkey has fulfilled all the political criteria," he said, according to Reuters. A second draft of the conclusions for the meeting of EU leaders next week has caused concern in Ankara. Under the negotiation conditions being considered by the EU, Turkey would have to recognize Cyprus and accept permanent restrictions on the movement of its workers as part of the terms for membership. An actual date to open membership negotiations has not been set. This is to be left to EU leaders to decide at the summit in Brussels on Dec. 16 and 17. The second draft does not mention a "privileged partnership" for Turkey as proposed by France as a fall back position if membership negotiations fail. If agreement is reached on starting membership negotiations with Turkey, talks are not expected to finish before 2015.