EU parliament voted to start Turkey accession talks

On December 15, 2004, the European Parliament voted to formally begin discussion of Turkey's accession into the European Union in a non-binding resolution. The EU insisted on close scrutiny of Turkey's progress on improving human rights, religious freedom and women's rights, while Turkey maintained that it would not accept membership under special conditions. As of December 2011, Turkey has still not gained membership in the EU, following numerous conditions set by the EU for the country's accession. The requirements include: amending a law criminalizing insults of "Turkishness," lifting the country's ban on headscarves, and enacting judicial reforms. Turkey's role in the mass killings of Armenians between 1915 and 1917 has also created friction in the EU, although Turkey and Armenia restored official ties in October 2009.

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