April 1 2004
EP says Turkey lagging in reform in many areas
Brussels, April 1, IRNA — Turkey has made many important reforms
since last year in order to meet the political criteria for EU
membership but still needs to go considerably further and rigorously
implement the reforms in many areas, the European Parliament`s
Affairs Committee said Thursday in a draft resolution on Turkey`s
progress towards accession.
The resolution calls on the Commission, as part of the
Pre-Accession Strategy, to systematically address the shortcomings in
the rule of law and the democratic deficit in Turkey.
MEPs criticize the continuing influence of the army in politics,
business, culture and education, continuing torture practices and
mistreatment, the intimidation and harassment of human rights
defenders, the discrimination of religious minorities and the fact
that trade union freedom is not fully guaranteed.
The EU itself must also be prepared, say MEPs, for Turkey`s
possible accession and the consequent new geo-political situation for
The Foreign Affairs Committee stresses again that settlement of
the Cyprus conflict was an essential condition for progress on
Turkey`s EU membership application.
It also called on Turkey to reopen its borders with Armenia and
promote good neighborly relations with that country.