European Parliament head visits Turkey

Martin Schulz begins official talks in Ankara with Turkey's EU Minister Bozkir

European Parliament head visits Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz began his two-day official visit to Turkey on Wednesday.

At his meeting with Turkey's EU Minister Volkan Bozkir in Ankara, Schulz said that he made this visit with "one of the most important strategic partners."

Schulz added during his meetings with officials they will discuss Turkey's EU membership process.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005. To gain membership, Turkey must successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters, which include reforms and the adoption of European standards. So far 14 chapters have been opened, while 17 remain blocked and another four have yet to be discussed.

"I hope we can make progress on several issues within the framework of the meetings," he said.

Minister Bozkir also hoped the meetings would be beneficial for the both parties.

Schulz will meet separately with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek and a meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has already taken place. At the meeting, Cavusoglu said, new chapters are to be opened, diplomatic sources said. Cavusoglu expressed his expectations about visa exemption issuses for Turkey.

He will also meet main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party co-chair Selahattin Demirtas.

After his meetings with officials, Schulz will hold a press conference at the Delegation of the European Union.

Schulz is expected to visit southeastern Gaziantep province on Thursday.

After having met with Schulz, EU minister Bozkir hosted Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe President Anne Brasseur. The accession process and the activities of the parliamentary assembly were discussed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Nisan 2015, 13:32