4/23/2008

EU commissioner expects Turkey to join EU in 10-15 yrs

Hurriyet - EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said he expects Turkey to become a member of European Union (EU) within 10 or 15 years should it continue reforms decisively, the Anatolian Agency reported on Monday. The EU has been planning to open two new chapters in Turkey's accession negotiations in June, Rehn told Germany's Die Welt daily, adding that Turkey still has a long way to go. Rehn also said Turkey has been passing through a very critical period, which it had not experienced since the start of EU membership negotiations in 2005, implying the closure case against Turkey's ruling AKP. In the case all parties developed a culture of reconciliation and the necessary reforms were fulfilled, Turkey might become stronger after this critical period, Rehn added. The EU has opened six chapters in Turkey's accession negotiations, which started in 2005. The EU also suspended negotiations in eight policy chapters because of Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels.