|Diverse Voices Agree: The EU & Turkey Must Do More|
Since the opening of accession talks in October 2005, the pace of political reforms has slowed, and in some cases regressed. Kerim Yildiz , Executive Director of Kurdish Human Rights Project, opened the Third International Conference on the EU, Turkey and the Kurds at the European Parliament in Brussels on 16 October 2006 . Yildiz spoke of Turkey 's accession to the EU, the need for a radical change in attitude from the Turkish government in order to implement real changes on the ground, and the potential role of the EU in the resolution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey .
The conference also heard from several other human rights advocates, esteemed lawyers, politicians from across Europe and Turkey , and academics such as Eren Keskin, Francis Wurtz MEP and Professor Dogu Ergil. Speeches were made on topics as diverse as linguistic rights, Turkey 's Anti-Terror laws, citizenship and democracy.
The conference continues on 17 October 2006 with speeches from international experts such as Margaret Owen, Mayor Osman Baydemir, Mark Muller and Joost Lagendijk, Co-Chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, on topics such as the obstacle to peace posed by the ‘deep-state', the implementation of reforms, political representation of the Kurds, freedom of expression and association, promoting cultural, social and economic rights through decentralisation and local governance and the situation of IDPs and women. The conference will conclude with the announcement of resolutions.
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