Turkish minister says EU membership delayed due to political reasons
EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagıs told reporters on Sunday that Turkey's membership in the European Union has been delayed due to political reasons in a press conference before he left for Zagreb to attend celebrations marking Croatia's entry into the European bloc Today`s Zaman reported.
"One would wish to see that we were a member of the bloc together with Croatia, the country with which we started negotiation talks at the same time. Yet, so many obstacles and hurdles that have not been put in the way of other countries were put in the way of Turkey's membership process. Turkey's membership has been delayed due to political reasons," Bagıs told reporters.
He added that some circles in Europe are concerned about Turkey's membership as the country is one of the strongest and biggest countries on the continent. "For Turkey, the [membership] process is far more important that the result [of this process]. This process is crucial for us to become a more democratic, more transparent and a more respectable country," added the Turkish EU minister.
Although Turkey started accession talks with the 27-nation bloc in 2005, the process has ground to a halt due to an intractable dispute over Cyprus, the divided island state that Turkey does not recognize, and opposition from core EU members France and Germany.