Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Turkey requires change of mentality: Schroeder

ISTANBUL - A "change of mentality" is required in Turkey in order to ensure that reforms necessary for European Union entry are long-lasting and effective, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in an interview published on Monday in the Turkish daily Milliyet.

Basic freedoms such as human rights and equality for minorities must be guaranteed, said Schroeder, adding that changes to legislation must also become part of the daily lives of ordinary people in order to ensure that the reform process cannot be reversed.

"A change of mentality is necessary for this," said the German leader, adding that it would not happen "overnight".

Schroeder, who is due to visit Turkey on Wednesday, said talks with Istanbul over accession to the European Union would be "long and difficult" and their outcome would depend to a large extent on progress on the reform front.

Turkey is set to begin EU entry negotiations on 3 October.

(Source: Expatica)

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