BRUSSELS, March 9 (UPI) -- The European Parliament on Wednesday pointed to limited progress on reforms needed by Turkey to become a member of the European Union.
The European Parliament issued a report on the accession process for Turkey, which became a formal candidate to join the European Union in 1999.
Ankara in September passed a constitutional reform package meant to address concerns raised by the EU in the accession process. The measures weaken the position of the military in the judicial system, increase civil oversight of the courts and lift immunity for leaders of a supposed coup.
Ria Oomen-Ruijten, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, said Turkish constitutional measures were welcomed but members of Parliament in a statement said "an overall constitutional reform" was still necessary for Turkey to become a vibrant democracy.
Lawmakers also mentioned ongoing acrimony with Cyprus, declines in press freedoms, honor killings and the lack of protection for religious minorities.
Cyprus has been divided into a Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied north since 1974. Ankara doesn't recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member.
A Turkish envoy to the EU said last year that Ankara wouldn't give up on the issue for the sake of accession nor would it abandon accession for the sake of Cyprus.