Turkey welcomes EU's "2010 Turkey Progress Report"
Turkish Foreign Ministry welcomed the European Union's highlighting in its latest report on Turkey's recent progress in terms of political criteria late Tuesday, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Commenting on the EU's "2010 Turkey Progress Report and Enlargement Strategy Document" made public on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement that the report widely covered the political reforms Turkey had implemented since last year, Xinhua reported.
The ministry said Turkey was pleased with the EU's confirming with its report the progress Turkey had made in the political arena.
Turkey became an EU candidate country in December 1999 and launched accession talks with the EU in October 2005, but only 13 out of 35 chapters have been opened so far.
Pointing to the report's remarks on Cyprus issue, the ministry said Turkey would continue to support the ongoing negotiation process in the island, moreover, as a guarantor country, it would continue to develop initiatives aiming at finding a rapid solution to the matter.
The ministry said that the desired progress could not be achieved in Cyprus despite Turkey's efforts, adding "Neither the Turkish Cypriot party, nor Turkey is responsible for the current situation. Under these circumstances, it is strange that the report includes remarks calling for the Turkish party's active support."
The ministry noted that the EU should take into consideration such facts and fulfill its responsibilities concerning the lifting of isolations on Turkish Cypriots.
Turkey continues to fulfill its responsibilities towards its strategic goal of the EU membership, however, it also expects the EU to stick to its commitments, the ministry added.
The major stumbling block is the issue of Cyprus, a Mediterranean island divided since 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the northern third of the island following a coup by a group of Greek officers. Eight chapters remain frozen since 2006 because Turkey refuses to open its ports to the Greek Cypriot government, a member state of the EU.