EU enlargement chief says European Commission has been a strong supporter of Turkey's integration into EU, but concerned by recent incidents in country
BRUSSELS - The European Commission has always been a strong supporter of Turkish integration into the EU, but concern has risen over recent incident in the country, the EU's enlargement chief said Thursday.
Stefan Fule said relations between Turkey and the EU accelerated last year. But he said "doubts about Turkey's commitment to the European values and standards occurred during the recent three months."
"I sincerely hope that the coming three months will wrong me," he added.
Fule listed the positive developments of 2013 as the opening of the 22nd negotiating chapter, which is on regional policy; the starting of the visa liberalization dialogue and the signing of the readmission agreement; the development of trade relations; and successful cooperation in energy and foreign policy.
However, he said, the EU had also seen "worrying and disappointing incidents" during the negotiation process, adding that the reverting of some important powers from the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors to the Minister of Justice had "reversed" a previous reform, which had been put into effect in consultation with EU.
Fule also said the change of place of duties of several police officials and judges created risk to investigate the corruption claims and criticized the internet law.
He said EU officials would continue to observe developments in Turkey and reporting on those in the progress report to be published this fall.
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