Peace process will help Turkey's accession process to the EU


The peace process and rewriting of the Constitution are two key issues for the future of Turkey, the European Union's envoy to Ankara has said, noting that it will bring Ankara closer in line with EU standards. As Turkey and the EU mark 50 years of their relationship this year, the 27-nation bloc needs to give the message that membership will take place, Jean-Maurice Ripert told the Daily News in an interview ahead of May 9, Europe Day. When asked about the frustration among people in Turkey in terms of EU membership, Jean-Maurice Ripert said if EU was able to put some dynamism in the negotiation process and gave again a sense that "yes, it will happen in your lifetime," then people would be committed. About the rewriting of the constitution, Ripert told the redrafting of the Constitution in connection with the peace process and reconciliation in the southeast were two key issues. "Of course, to make peace is a difficult endeavor; but it will bring something very important: pride, dignity, the recognition of some sort of identity, cultural rights, the use of people's own languages for non-Turkish citizens; this is very important," Ripert said. About the ongoing peace process Ripert said, if successful, it would bring Turkey closer to EU standards. "We hope it will end the terror situation and will help Turkey go all the way down in what remains to be done in terms of freedom of expression and independence of the judiciary," he said.