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The European Union is stepping up its courtship of Turkey, promising to inject fresh momentum into accession talks in return for more help from the government in Ankara to stem the flow of migrants traversing the country.

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Turkey has swiftly dismissed the European Union’s criticism about the dramatic curtailing of press freedoms as well as significant shortcomings affecting the independence of the judiciary, while calling on the European bloc to appropriately interpret “facts” about followers of the government’s ally-turned foe U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen.
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European Parliament’s Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri says EU’s offer to provide funds to Turkey should have been made a long time ago.

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Following AK Party’s victory in Sunday’s election, top EU officials say they will work with Turkey’s future government to further enhance relations.

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Turkey’s stalled EU membership talks must move forwards, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday.

“We hope that these negotiations would progress in the areas on which Turkey is ready,” he told lawmakers in the National Assembly.

He added: “Turkey is a big country. It is a strategic partner of France and the EU, an ally for the transatlantic alliance.”
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Germany is offering to support Turkey’s faster track into the European Union on condition that Ankara helps alleviate Europe’s growing immigration crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the announcement Sunday in Istanbul after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

In return, Turkey is expected to sign an agreement to take back migrants returned by the EU.

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The European Union is seeking to accelerate Turkey’s almost stalled accession negotiation process by annexing a set of priorities and concrete recommendations to its soon-to-be released progress report, seen as a short-term road map for the next government to be formed after Nov. 1 elections.  Continue Reading »

A draft action plan to step up cooperation between the EU and Turkey on the refugee crisis that has overwhelmed EU member states was released on Tuesday. The plan will allow Turkey and the EU to better cope with the refugee burden, with the EU intending to mobilize up to 1 billion euros for Turkey. The details of the plan, however, are still open to negotiation between both parties. Continue Reading »

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu called for sincerity in talks for the reunification of Cyprus in his first official trip abroad Monday. Continue Reading »

Recent research suggests that almost half of the people in Turkey believe the country will become a full member of the EU. The results from the fifth year of research on Turkish citizens and the EU conducted by the Turkey-Europe Education and Scientific Research Foundation (TAVAK) indicates that 43 percent of those surveyed believe in full EU membership, which is a record high, as opposed to the record low of 17 percent in 2012. Continue Reading »

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