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EU opens membership talks with Turkey

[JURIST] The European Union [official website] officially opened accession negotiations [EU press release, PDF] Tuesday with Turkey [JURIST archive] after member states were able to overcome a deadlock on whether to offer Turkey full membership [JURIST report]. Late Monday, Austria withdrew its opposition to full membership [BBC backgrounder] and Ankara agreed to conditions included in the EU's negotiating framework [PDF text]. The forthcoming negotiations are expected to take more than 10 years, as deep pre-accession reforms need to be made in Turkey. The bid is a culmination of a more than 40-year effort [Turkish MOFA backgrounder] by Turkish diplomacy to begin the integration process with the EU. BBC News has more. The EU has background on its enlargement negotiations with Turkey.

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