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A new chapter in Turkey’s struggle with terrorism – Implications for the EU accession process

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Negotiating EU accession on behalf of Turkey is not easy, and no new chapters have been opened for five EU presidencies (almost two-and-a-half years). But that doesn’t mean that the reform process in Turkey has stopped: in fact it is continuing apace, said Egemen Bağış, Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator on EU accession, at this Policy Briefing.

Minister Bağış argued that because resolving the Cyprus issue was not a prerequisite for the accession to the EU of the Republic of Cyprus, nor should it become a prerequisite for Turkey’s EU membership. But unfortunately in the real world, the blocked chapters were giving off that image, he said.

Bağış described terrorism as one of the biggest issues facing the country today and said that putting it to an end is a national (rather than just a Kurdish) issue. Finding new means of creating empathy and mutual understanding of all the different cultures living alongside one another in Turkey is a new stage in the democratisation process and involves not just the Kurds but every single citizen: indeed the whole nation, he said.

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