EU resumes membership talks with Turkey
( Cihan ) - The European Union resumed membership talks with Turkey, which weresuspended on Dec. 15, 2006 due to Ankara's refusal to open its ports to vessels from EU-member Greek Cyprus.
A negotiation chapter called "enterprise and industry policy", one of the 35 chapters, was opened with an intergovernmental conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels.
Chief EU Negotiator Ali Babacan represented Turkey in the gathering while Wilhelm Schцnfeder of Germany, the current holder of the rotating EU Presidency, attended the conference on behalf of the EU. Representatives from the 27 EU-member countries were also present at the meeting.
Membership talks of Turkey with the bloc, thus, re-opened today three and a half months after the EU leaders decided to stall negotiations of eight chapters of accession talks with Turkey.
The decision was a sanction because of Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to EU member Greek Cyprus according to a customs union agreement with the EU.
Apart from the chapter in question, Turkish officials expect three more chapters, namely statistics, financial control and economic and monetary policy, to be opened during German Presidency by July 1.
Last month, "We hope to begin (European Union) accession talks at least in four chapters if unexpected events do not occur in the first half of the year," said Ali Babacan, Turkey's chief negotiator for European Union talks.