Next Tuesday, Turkey’s bid to join the European Union will creep forward one more inch. The EU and Turkey will open formal talks on taxation, one of the 35 “chapters”, or policy areas, that a candidate for EU membership must complete before joining the bloc.
Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s chief EU negotiator, is pleased but, unsurprisingly, not overwhelmed. After the taxation talks start, only 11 of Turkey’s 35 chapters will be open. The EU froze another eight chapters in December 2006 in retaliation for Turkey’s refusal to open its ports and airports to vessels and aircraft from the Greek Cypriot-controlled government of Cyprus.