EU officials critical of Turkey

Nov. 7, 2007 at 4:08 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The European Union has condemned Turkey's failure to address human rights issues and other reforms considered critical to its admission to the EU.

"Now is the time for Turkey to regenerate the momentum of the reform process," EU Commissioner Olli Rehn told a news conference.

Rehn's report Tuesday on Turkey's progress toward meeting criteria to join the EU criticized the Ankara government for its failure to address issues such as freedom of speech, the EU Observer reported Wednesday.

The report also criticized the significant political influence of the military within the government, citing statements made by senior generals regarding Kurdistan and other issues, the Observer said.

Commissioners condemned Turkey's lack of progress on minority issues and said its educational system was suffering because of restrictions placed on foreign speakers.

EU officials did, however, note progress was made in issues related to consumer and health protection.

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