EU delays Turkish entry talks

Written by Reuters | Luxembourg | Updated: Jun 26 2013, 09:00am hrs
The European Union rebuked Turkey on Tuesday for its crackdown on anti-government protesters by postponing a new round of membership talks for at least four months, but said its path to the EU remained open.

The EU had planned to open a new chapter, or policy area, in talks with Turkey on Wednesday, reviving the Turkish membership bid that has been virtually frozen for three years.

But Germany, backed by several other states, blocked the plan, believing it would send the wrong signal so soon after police cracked down on protesters in Turkish cities.

EU governments on Tuesday backed a German-inspired proposal, agreeing to open the new chapter but delaying the formal launch of the talks until after an Oct. 9 report by the European Commission on reforms and human rights in Turkey. EU governments will meet again after the report comes out to set a date for talks on the new chapter.

Delays in Turkeys EU entry discussions fan doubts about whether Turkey, a largely Muslim country of 76 million people, will ever be admitted to the European club.