Turkish opposition 'opens doors' to EU bid The leader of the main Turkish opposition party, the CHP, has given assurances it is not opposed to Turkey’s membership of the EU.
Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, Deniz Baykal said, “We have never shut the doors to the EU bid. We are ready to carry out European standards of democracy and human rights.” The CHP, or Republican People’s Party, is the country’s oldest political party and presently the largest opposition party in the Turkish parliament. Baykal, who was in Brussels to open the CHP’s Brussels representation office, was also a guest speaker at the launch of a new ‘Labour friends of Turkey’ group in parliament. The group aims to promote EU/Turkey relations. A similar group exists in the UK House of Commons. One of its founding members, UK Socialist member Claude Moraes, said he hoped the group would help promote the “positive aspects” of Turkey’s future EU membership. “In these economically difficult times this is a show of support for Turkey’s membership. Some member states have
membership but we are appealing to them and the EU not to back-track or give in to prejudices,” he said. His comments were echoed by Glenis Willmott, the newly elected leader of the UK Socialist group in parliament, who said, “This new group is an important development in assisting Turkey with its reform process on the road to EU membership.” During the rare visit to Brussels this week, Baykal also met with commission president José Manuel Barroso and EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn.