Turkey sounds upbeat about joining EU

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sounded an optimistic note Wednesday about his country's prospects of joining the European Union despite its recent turn toward the East.
The man in charge of expanding the European Union gave a mixed response, praising Turkey's progress in granting more cultural rights to the Kurdish minority and curbing the influence of the military on politics but said the reunification of Cyprus needs urgent attention.
"Turkey has been making remarkable steps toward membership," Stefan Fule, the commissioner for European Union enlargement said on the sidelines of a Balkan summit in Istanbul. "We trust that Turkey will give full attention to the Cyprus problem."