German FM supports Chapter 23 in Turkey's EU bid

Photo: German FM supports Chapter 23 in Turkey's EU bid / Turkey

German Foreign Minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier reaffirmed Saturday his support for Turkey on the opening of Chapter 23 - Judiciary and fundamental rights - during its accession into European Union, Anadolu Agency reported.

Delivering a speech at the 10th session of Turkish-German Society, Steinmeir said Turkey and Germany have deeply rooted relations and that Germany's affirmative stance in 2005 paved a way for the negotiations between Turkey and the EU.

Neither European Union nor Germany are excellent, stated the German foreign minister, adding Turkey has a long path ahead on judiciary and democracy and should not abstain from critics.

Turkey's EU membership negotiations have recently progressed erratically, with relations almost frozen for three years before a new chapter - No. 22 on regional policies - was opened to negotiations in November last year.

Turkey began negotiations with the EU in 2005. It must comply with all 35 chapters to become a member. So far, only 14 negotiating chapters have been opened while 16 remain blocked due in part to the ongoing dispute over Cyprus.

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