Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Germany: Turkey not ready

Germany says that Turkey is not ready for EU membership:

While the question of Turkish EU membership is expected to become a major issue in the European Parliament election campaign in Germany, a new German report says that Turkey is far from being politically ready to join the EU.

A study published on Monday (1 March) by the Osteuropa-Institut, a Munich-based research institute, says it is "not very likely" that Ankara will meet the European Union’s democratic and human rights criteria before the end of this year.

[...]

The Munich institute says that although "remarkable efforts" towards political reform have been made by Turkish governments in the last few years, reforms remain essentially bound to the formal legal sphere.

However, the practical effect of the reforms remains limited, the report states, "Despite formal judicial progress, citizens’ rights are not yet fully guaranteed".

Among other issues, the report mentions the practice of torture and the limited freedom of speech and religion as examples of continuing violation of human rights in the country. The Munich researchers conclude that Turkey will need "considerable time" to meet the EU’s political criteria.


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