Published on Oct 23, 2013 EU ministers agreed on Tuesday to resume accession talks with Turkey on November 5th after a three year break.
Originally scheduled in June, negotiations were put on hold after the EU accused Turkish police of using excessive force against anti-government protests earlier this year. 'Firstly I would like to share good news and congratulate our Turkish friends after the Commission progress report. The Council gave green light to the opening on a new negotiation chapter with Turkey. After more that three years break, negotiations are gaining a momentum and I hope to see a speedy progress. First step would be an accession conference at ministerial level agreed today scheduled on 5th November in Brussels', said Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Antanas Linkevičius.
The move comes after Germany dropped its strong opposition against Turkey's EU membership following episodes of police violence in Istambul and Ankara. But earlier this month, the European Commission praised recent judicial (JUDISHAL) reforms in Turkey. 'We got the report of the EC about the situation in Turkey. Turkey had a good reaction. It is getting better and this is the right signal: the way of getting dynamic. This is really the signal to Turkish population that EU is ready to extension. Now Turkey has absolutely to work and improve on Justice and Rights', said German Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Michael Link.
Talks on Turkey's EU accession started in 2005, 18 years after Ankara applied for EU membership.