"Why is it that Turkey had those Brussels pouts?
By Philip Robins
Special to The Daily Star
Friday, December 24, 2004
When is a diplomatic triumph not a triumph? When the negotiations involve Turkey and the European Union.
Commentators and participants are still scratching their heads trying to understand why Turkey is not celebrating the outcome of the European summit last Friday. At that meeting the EU took the momentous decision to open accession negotiations with Turkey on October 3, 2005. By doing so, it paved the way for a converging relationship between the EU and Turkey, one that is most likely to end in Turkey becoming a member of the union.
In one move, the European Council dispatched all the idle chatter in the run-up to the Brussels summit. The meeting confirmed that there was no place for further discussions about whether Turkey was technically part of the geography of Europe, or whether its religious, cultural or national character barred it from membership. Thus, Brussels 2004 is set to take its place alongside the other historic thresholds in bilateral relations - notably the 1963 Ankara Agreement, the 1995 Customs Union decision, and Helsinki 1999, which recognized Turkey as a candidate for EU membership."
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