Said Barroso: "We all accept that Turkey is a very important country, and that it has very great potential in terms of the social and economic future of Europe. Personally, I completely support Turkey's bid for full EU memberhsip."
An overview of some of Barroso's ideas on steps Turkey needs to take to achieve full EU membership:
Bringing democracy and human rights criteria into place:"The Kurdish problem and the rights of religious minorities are delicate questions in Turkey. There have been positive developments on the Kurdish question. Religious minorities in Turkey are facing violations of their basic human rights. Christians are not being allowed to open seminaries which were closed tens of years ago. Turkey needs priests and religious personnel for its Christian population."
Bettering relations with neighbors
"Turkey has really improved its relations with Greece. The same thing should happen with Armenia. The Turks should accept that a claim to the Armenian genocide exists. The Orhan Pamuk incident is an embarassment from the perspective of freedom of expression. Turkey should be sophisticated when dealing with the Armenian accusations. Saying that there "was no genocide" is not pleasing the Europeans. The best thing Turkey could do would be to open the borders with Armenia, and create economic and diplomatic ties with this country."
The truth is that Greek Cyprus is an EU member, and should be recognized as such
"We understand the difficulties presented by history, but the Turks have got to understand that by not having relations with an EU member country, they are not supporting their own entrance to the club. The Turks think that because Cyprus is not very big, that they can reach their goals by dealing with larger members. This has got to change, and the Turks need to start up a civilized dialogue with the Greek Cypriots.....The Turks will be able to achieve membership by winning the hearts of the Europeans."