The European Commission has recommended the start of EU membership talks with Turkey, but only under certain conditions.
Commission President Romano Prodi made the announcement Wednesday at the delegates' meeting in Brussels, saying commissioners had given a qualified "yes" to Ankara's request to start membership talks.
Before the meeting, EU officials said they wanted to include a strong warning that negotiations could be broken off if Turkey fails to proceed with sweeping democratic and human rights reforms.
The commission's recommendation will be considered by the 25 EU leaders at a summit in December, and talks could begin early next year.
In another development, the European Commission confirmed today that Romania and Bulgaria are on track for EU membership in 2007.