Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday accession to the European Union was a top priority and that he hoped his country would move closer to that goal in 2009.
"Accession to the EU is a top priority for Turkey," said Erdogan at a news briefing.
"I hope there will be a leap in 2009."
Erdogan's trip is his first to Brussels in four years.
Erdogan said Turkey was working on many of the reforms asked for by the EU, including laws governing trade union.
He said, for instance, TRT 6 (state-run TV channel broadcasting in Kurdish language 24 hours a day) would be a road map for reforms to be made in the next four years.
"We don't ask for privileges, what we ask for is equal and fair treatment," he said, complaining that areas of talks (chapters) had been blocked for political reasons.
Referring to scepticism among many Turks regarding EU accesion, he said the government were working on convincing them: "As the results of our efforts our people are going to come to believe that this is important and they are going to give our support to us," he said
"Despite Turkey's all efforts in EU process, negative statements made by EU politicians caused a downturn in Turkey's public support to EU membership from 75 percent to 50 percent over the past four years," he warned.
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2009, 15:56