DUFF: TURKEY MUST NOW STRENGTHEN ITS EFFORTS TO ADAPT TO EU STANDARDS

ABHaber, Belgium
EU-Turkey News Network
Sept 27 2006

Andrew Duff, (UK, Lib Dem MEP) and a vice president of the EP
delegation for relations with Turkey reacted to today's vote:

"The European Parliament has taken two steps forwards and one step
back in its approach towards the controversial issue of Turkish
EU membership.

It is good news that MEPs have dropped their demand that Turkey
recognises Ottoman 'genocide' against the Armenians as a precondition
of accession.

And the Parliament is right to maintain its overall support for the
modernisation of Turkey along European lines.

It is a pity, however, that we have missed our chance to add value to
the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. The
EU still needs to fulfil its commitment to ending the isolation of
the Turkish Cypriot community.

Many MEPs are ignorant of the geo-political importance of embracing
Turkey fully within the European family. Despite its many current
difficulties, Turkey should be encouraged to continue developing a
European brand of Islam which will help to unite East and West. And
without Turkey the European Union will hardly succeed in building a
serious common foreign, security and defence policy.

Turkey must now strengthen its efforts to adapt to EU standards,
especially with respect to freedom of expression.