ANKARA - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was due to start a three-day visit to Brussels Sunday for talks with European Union officials on Turkey's struggling membership bid, his office said Thursday.
Turkey last week appointed a new chief negotiator, Egemen Bağış, a close aide of Erdoğan -- to lead the country's membership negotiations. Turkey's accession talks began in October 2005 after a series of far-reaching democracy reforms.
Ankara has so far opened talks in 10 of the 35 policy areas that candidates must successfully negotiate amid a trade row over Greek Cyprus, which it does not recognise, and strong opposition from some EU members to its accession. Eight policy areas remain frozen because of Ankara's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot use under a customs union pact with the EU.
The government discussed the country's EU bid at a cabinet meeting Monday and voiced determination to revive the reform process.