The opening of negotiations with Turkey would allow expediting reforms in this country and contributing to resolve the problem with Cyprus.
Due to its geographical location, Turkey is a key strategic allied in fighting drug trafficking, transnational crime and terrorism. It is one of the European countries with one of the highest growth rates. In short, it would make the European Union stronger, safer and more competitive. Its accession has already brought about major changes under Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Death penalty is abolished today and Human Rights as well as the Rule of Law are more respected although there is still a lot to be done. The harmonious adjustment of the Turkish legislation to that of the EU would take time.
It is a difficult task, but the current process has shown to those, who consider that a clash of civilizations is unavoidable, that religious and cultural differences are not an obstacle for the association. Turkey will be a living example of how reforms can be implemented without affecting or infringing on the national particularities of the country. The Union does not impose anything on Turkey. It is Turkey the one which is determined to carry out this task.
We want to have a prosperous, democratic and stable Turkey as our neighbour. We want the rest of the countries from the region to take also the path of reforms and economic development.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

La promesse d’Europe, levier des réformes en Turquie″, by Douglas Alexander, Le Figaro, October 14, 2005.