Turkey will resume EU membership process

The European Union will be resuming its long-running membership talks with Turkey, having agreed yesterday, to restart membership talks with Turkey next month, ending a three-year hiatus despite Ankara’s crackdown on protests this year.

EU European and foreign affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg said talks would resume in a fortnight, with an inter-governmental conference to be held in Brussels on 5th November.

Some EU states in June blocked the opening of new talks to protest Turkey’s heavy-handed response to peaceful protests which began in May over the plans to build over Gezi Park, one of the last few green spaces in the heart of Istanbul.

The new chapter covers regional policy, one of 35 chapters aspiring members must address.

The EU started negotiations with NATO member Turkey in 2005 despite scepticism among some of its member states about a large Muslim nation joining the predominantly Christian bloc of around 500 million people.

The talks have been hindered, amongst other issues, by Turkey’s dispute with South Cyprus – an EU member.

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