EU tells Turkey to speed up reforms for entry bid in progress report.hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;}.hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;}The European Union said Wednesday Turkey must speed up political and legal reforms if it wants to improve chances of EU membership. (UPDATED)

The annual report on Turkey’s progress toward its long-held goal of becoming part of the EU said Ankara is yet to develop a comprehensive political reform program.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn is presenting the EU executive body's annual progress reports on countries likely to be considered for membership in the bloc.
Wednesday's report listed areas where insufficient progress toward democratic standards had been made, including the military, anti-corruption efforts, human rights, gender equality and respect for minorities.
The report card is an eagerly awaited annual event for both proponents and opponents of Turkey’s membership in the EU.
The report - which also praises Turkey, according to Rehn - is unlikely to significantly affect the negotiations regarding Turkey's EU membership, which began in 2005 and are expected to last about a decade.
The EU opened entry talks with Turkey in 2005, but there has been little progress amid disagreements over Cyprus and opposition from France, which took over the bloc's presidency from Slovenia on July 1 for six months, among other EU countries, including Austria and Germany.

The bloc opened the negotiations on two chapters, "company law" and "intellectual property law", in June, bringing the number of policy areas Turkey has opened to eight. Fifteen of 35 chapters remain suspended.