Corridors of Power: Turkey’s EU Candidacy, Nuclear Recycling and More

TALKING TURKEY TO THE TURKS -- European Union uncertainty about whether Turkey will ultimately make the cut and join the union continues. One senior European diplomat in Washington said outright Friday that, in his opinion, it will not happen. He said the Turks are beginning to come to the same conclusion, although "they tell us to keep saying that their application for membership is under consideration."

Following last week's EU summit, a document called "Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006-2007" was circulated among member governments listing areas where Turkey and other aspiring countries, including Croatia and Albania, need to improve before membership can be considered. For Turkey, the document says -- among other things -- that "the impunity of perpetrators of torture remains a problem," "anti-corruption policies are weak," "a significant number of persons have been prosecuted for expressing non-violent opinions," and "the independence of the judiciary needs to be further established."

The document also says that the adoption of a law intended to improve the situation of religious minorities in Turkey "has been postponed several times." Certainly not trivial matters!

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