Turkey was going through a deep democratic transformation - U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs

Iran Materials 15 December 2006 16:16 (UTC +04:00)

(zaman) - U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried noted that reforms have been made in Turkey in recent years that have changed the country's outlook.

Saying Turkey was going through a deep democratic transformation, Fried said the Turkey of the 1960s, '70s and '80s remained in the past, and noted the country has been deepening its democracy with reforms and maintaining its secular republic.

In a round table meeting attended by journalists from European countries, Fried assessed latest developments in the Brussels-Ankara axis, reports Trend.

Saying the United States has always supported Turkey's intention to join the European Union, the assistant secretary of state noted that they believed Turkey had met EU criteria.

Fried underlined secularism and religious rights could co-exist, and said a Muslim country with deep democratic roots democracy such as Turkey did not contradict Islam.

A country could be a secular republic and respect religious rights at the same time, he said, and wished the process between the European Union and Ankara to be concluded successfully.