EC to urge Turkey to normalise ties with Cyprus, boost human rights

The European Commission (EC) will urge Turkey to normalise ties with Cyprus and boost human rights’ protections in its progress report on the country’s EU bid, local media reported on Sunday (November 7th). According to an advance copy of the document, due for release Tuesday, the Commission will call on Ankara to open its ports and airports to Cypriot ships and aircraft. The EC will also urge authorities in Ankara to make “significant reforms” in the field of human rights and freedoms, particularly in press freedom, equality for women and the religious freedom of minorities, local media said. At the same time, Brussels welcomes the constitutional amendments adopted during a recent referendum in Turkey. Ankara started its accession talks late in 2005 but has closed negotiations on only one chapter so far.

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