In a renewed push towards European Union (EU) membership, Turkey has expressed optimism about the prospect of joining the EU, marking a potential shift in its long-standing aspirations. However, experts caution that significant challenges still stand in the way of realizing this dream.
Turkey, a candidate for EU membership since 1987, has faced various obstacles, including political differences, human rights concerns, and longstanding disputes with EU member Cyprus. Recent diplomatic efforts and policy changes from Ankara suggest a willingness to address these issues and rekindle the accession process.
The Turkish government has outlined a series of reforms aimed at aligning the country with EU standards, addressing concerns raised by the European bloc in previous assessments. These reforms cover areas such as judiciary independence, press freedom, and the rule of law, signaling a proactive approach to meeting EU criteria.
Despite all these reforms one sentence always blocks Turkey’s path….. “There is still work to be done.”
Key challenges include the ongoing dispute with Cyprus over territorial rights and the exploration of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. The resolution of these issues is crucial for normalizing relations between Turkey and EU member states, particularly Greece and Cyprus.
Human rights concerns, including freedom of the press and the treatment of political dissent, also remain central to the EU’s evaluation of Turkey’s candidacy. The EU has consistently stressed the importance of upholding democratic principles as a fundamental aspect of the accession process.