EU to revive membership talks with Turkey

Tuesday 25 June 2013 23.18
Protesters from Amnesty International gather outside Turkey's embassy in Berlin urging Turkey to respect the right to demonstrate
Protesters from Amnesty International gather outside Turkey's embassy in Berlin urging Turkey to respect the right to demonstrate

The European Union has agreed to revive EU membership talks with Turkey but postponed the actual date of a new round of negotiations by at least four months.

Germany had wanted to delay the opening of talks on a new chapter, or policy area, which was originally scheduled tomorrow, because of concerns over the Turkish government's handling of weeks of protests.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his government sees no obstacle to the EU opening a new chapter and expects a "positive outcome".

Meanwhile, Turkish anti-terrorism police have detained 20 people in raids in the capital, Ankara, in connection with weeks of anti-government protests across the country, media reports said.

The unrest began at the end of May when police used force against campaigners opposed to plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park.

The protest spiralled into broader demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government.

There have been daily protests in Ankara since then.

Police raided 30 addresses in the capital, targeting people suspected of being members of an unspecified terrorist organisation, broadcaster CNN Turk reported.

Mr Erdogan has said the demonstrators were manipulated by "terrorists".

CNN Turk said police carried out the operation after identifying people who had attacked officers, businesses and public property.

A police spokesman in Ankara said his department had no information on the raids.

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