President Barack Obama on his visit to Turkey came out strongly in support of that nation’s entrance into the European Union, but his views were not necessarily those of Europeans. The Council of Europe on Tuesday urged more constitutional reform in Turkey that would meet the concerns of secularists. The ongoing crisis between secularists who fear the Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Erdogan seeks to undermine Constitutional guarantees that Turkey is a secularist state. The Council of Europe took note that “many reforms announced by the government are perceived from the outset as attempts to erode the founding principles of the Turkish Republic.”
The Council of Europe is still not pleased at failure on the part of Turkey to ensure torture is not used in prisons as well as greater evidence the rights of minorities is protected. If Turkey is able to address these issues the question of entrance to the EU might well be resolved.