I had the privilege of speaking at the Labour Friends of Turkey event at the Labour Conference this year.
I back the Labour Friends of Turkey’s call for the accession of Turkey to the EU to be agreed as soon as possible.
My constituency of North East London is home to one of the largest Turkish and Kurdish communities outside of mainland Turkey, and the country plays a vital role in global economics and the interface between western and eastern governments.
Negotiations for Turkey to join the EU started back in 2005 – at the same time as Croatia. Yet, Croatia was able to join the EU family in July this year, while talks are still on-going between the EU and Turkey. It seems to me that the EU’s negotiations with Turkey are unnecessarily protracted.
For the benefit of Turkey, the UK and Europe as a whole, we need Turkey’s application to join the EU to be accepted as soon as possible. This will bring with it great economic, social and cultural opportunities for us all. And it is on these grounds that I will continue to add my voice in support of Turkey joining the EU.