21 March 2014
For Turkey, there is no alternative to the European Union if it is to invigorate its democratic reforms, the political affairs chief of the EU Delegation to Turkey has said.
“Several years ago there were reports in the media that Turkey mulled close cooperation with Arab countries or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, but there is no alternative for Turkey [other than EU],” said Michael Miller, who is also the head of the press and information section of the EU Delegation to Turkey.
Miller, who was in the southern city of Antalya to attend a youth conference on personal rights and identity, said the EU was a place where good policies were made in terms of human rights and democracy and that was the reason why Turkey had decided to join the union.
“Our recommendation to the Turkish government is that they discuss their plans to amend or introduce laws with us, before going to the parliament,” he said.
One of the first countries to seek close cooperation with the European Economic Community, Turkey began full accession talks with the EU as late as 2005.
However, the process has proved less than smooth and concrete progress has been elusive; nearly 10 years on, Turkey faces blocks by member states on a third of the negotiating 'chapters' or policy areas - required to be successfully completed for membership - with the rest not even open to talks.