A two-day conference (19-20 September) entitled “The EU, Turkey, and Kurds” is under way in Brussels. A high-level panel opening the European Parliament-sponsored event yesterday was in general agreement that Turkey’s treatment of its Kurds and other minorities is the main yardstick for measuring the country’s progress toward EU accession criteria. The panelists agreed that the implementation of recent democratic constitutional reforms adopted in Turkey leaves a lot to be desired. The conference comes as EU ministers are expected to approve today a declaration on another troubling issue -- Turkey's refusal to recognize EU-member Cyprus. The declaration is said to clear the way for membership talks between the EU and Turkey to begin on schedule.
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