Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described his recent “democratization package” of reforms as an “historical moment” for Turkey. But his failure to revamp controversial anti-terror laws is complicating relations with the European Union.
On October 16, the EU published its annual membership progress report on Turkey. The text contained no surprise criticisms. At the same time, it foreshadowed difficulties for EU-Turkish relations. Officials in Brussels are wrestling with the idea of proceeding on the regional policy aspect of membership talks with Turkey as a way to reanimate the currently moribund accession process. According to an EU status report issued in August, membership talks have been “stalemated” for at least the past 18 months.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.