EU set to renew negotiations for Turkish membership


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, eastern France, on April 13, 2011.


Frederick Florin

The European Union has said it will resume talks with Turkey to join the 28-member organization.

Discussions between the EU and Turkey have been stalled for the last three years and were postponed in June after a crackdown on anti-government protests.

European officials said that the talks will begin on November 5.

Turkey applied for full membership to the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union, in 1987.

It had been an associate member since 1963.

Turkey has made massive progress throughout the 1990s, with regards to political and economic reform and entered formal negotiations to join the EU in 2005.

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The EU's progress reports show there are still concerns about freedom of speech, treatment of minorities, tensions in Cyprus and judicial reform.

European officials were also worried about the treatment of demonstrators during last summer's crackdown.

They have been heartened by recent announcements about increased rights for the Kurdish minority in the country's southwest.

The resistance of Germany and France to allow Turkey inside the EU has also stalled membership but Britain has strongly supported its desire to join.