After a three-year delay, Turkey will resume membership negotiations with the EU in November. BBC reports:
The EU had first agreed to relaunch negotiations in June, but postponed the talks after members criticised Turkey’s crackdown on anti-government protests….But it recognised that Turkey had introduced judicial reforms. It also praised the announcement last month by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of a series of political reforms, including increased rights for Kurds.
This is good news. For all the EU’s faults, one of its strengths has been its ability to use the “power of attraction” to influence the behavior of its neighbors. By giving the cold shoulder to Turkey for so long, the EU risked losing that influence over an important geopolitical region.There are still reasons to be skeptical about whether this will go anywhere, as interest in Turkey’s accession has been cooling on both sides. For Turkey, the EU’s economic woes make membership less enticing, and years of rejection have somewhat soured its public on the prospect. Meanwhile, many European citizens, discomfited by rising immigration, have never been particularly enthusiastic about Turkish accession in the first place. But regardless of the outcome, resumed talks are a positive sign that relations between the two are taking a turn for the better.[Photo of EU and Turkish flags courtesy Shutterstock.]