"German Socialists have hard words for Turkey
21.03.2005 - 09:54 CET | By Honor Mahony
A leading Socialist MEP has warned that without further reform by Turkey and legal recognition by Ankara of Cyprus, there will be no opening of EU talks later this year.
Martin Schulz, head of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, told German daily Berliner Zeitung, 'At the moment, I see no movement there. If that remains the case, then there will be no opening of accession negotiations'.
Following an agreement by EU leaders in December, talks are due to start on 3 October.
The German MEP also said that recent events in Turkey were a 'cause for worry' citing the brutal crackdown by police earlier this month against demonstrators ahead of international women's day and then the harsh reaction by Ankara to EU criticism of the event.
'That goes against every normal way of doing things and so it is not acceptable', said Mr Schulz, the first leading Social democrat to speak so critically of Turkey's membership prospects."