Praise, criticism for Turkey in EU progress report
In its annual progress report on Turkey set to be released today, the European Union Commission reportedly praises Turkey for its active diplomacy and key role in finding peaceful solutions to disputes in the Middle East and Caucasus. Stressing Turkey's importance for the diversification of EU energy resources, the report urges the Union to boost its relations with Turkey. It reportedly highlights President Abdullah Gul's conciliatory role, his good working relations with the government, his calls to speed up reform efforts, and his active role in foreign policy. The report also reportedly criticizes both the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), saying that the government has failed to take necessary steps to amend the Constitution in line with EU criteria and that the CHP continually tries to block reform efforts. It urges Turkey's major political parties to work together to find consensus. On the controversial Ergenekon case, the report notes claims of irregularities in the case. The report also stresses concerns about the impartiality of Turkey's judiciary.