What ‘common European values’?

The German Marshall Fund of the US sponsors annual surveys on "Transatlantic Trends." The "Key Findings" of the 2008 survey conducted last June in the US and a number of European countries, including Turkey, was published this month. The report’s section titled "Turbulent Turkey" opens by pointing to the fact that "in recent years observers have expressed concerns about Turkey turning away from the Western alliance."

Armenia May Recognize Turkey’s Borders


By Sedat Laciner

Notwithstanding all risks, President Abdullah Gul’s visit to Armenia ended as a success story in all aspects. Turkey reiterated and proved its peaceful stance and give positive signals to Armenia. Sarkisyan accepted Turkey’s invitation and this may be seen as the first consequence of the visit. And of course there will be reciprocal visits of lower level officials. Especially, the Armenian side does not seem to wait until the next match for paying these visits. They are planning an extensional diplomatic action towards Turkey. As we know, Ankara is already waiting for such move that improving relations with Armenia is the primary objective of the AKP government.

Turkey’s widening diplomatic horizons

By Jonathan Marcus
BBC diplomatic correspondent, Istanbul

Hydarpasha station opened in 1908
Long before Turkey sought to join the European Union, the European powers were eager to penetrate deep into Turkey’s hinterland."

Turkey’s Armenia policy

As a guest on a television program the other day discussing recent foreign policy issues ranging from Turkey’s potential Security Council membership to NATO, I suddenly found myself defending our policies toward Armenia.

Chosen path

Is Turkey turning its back on the West and looking East?

There I met Ambassador Ahmet Davutoglu, a quietly spoken academic who is widely acknowledged as the architect of the Turkish government’s new foreign policy……..

His 2001 book, entitled Strategic Depth, sought to chart a new course for Turkey in the aftermath of the Cold War.

"There was a need to reinterpret the geographical and historical context of Turkey," he told me.

"The aim was to reintegrate the country into its surrounding region."

Nonetheless, he was at pains to point out that these new relationships were compatible with Turkey’s long-standing Atlanticist and European tilt.

"If you have more influence in your own hinterland, you will be a more meaningful contributor to the EU or to Nato," he told me.

"Turkey’s diplomatic power," he said, "is an asset for our western orientation."

 Turkey, Armenia Engage in ‘Football Diplomacy’ By: Eric Palomaa | World Politics Review

2008 Turkey International Religious Freedom Report

Conservative bosses warn government

A conservative group of businessmen asked the prime minister to openly fight corruption, focus on Turkey’s European Union membership bid and reshuffle the cabinet, newspapers reported

Turkish opposition vows to cooperate on EU bid

Turkish opposition leaders pledged on Tuesday to support the government’s drive for membership of the European Union despite bitter differences oversecularism and press freedom.Leaders of the

Turkey: emerging donor country


Clues from New York for Turkey and the Caucasus


Meanwhile, in Cyprus

By Douglas Muir

It’s generated amazingly little discussion in the international press, but the Greek and Turkish Cypriots are sitting down and trying to resolve their 35-year-old-and-counting conflict.

The talks started about three weeks ago. They are moving slowly — the negotiators just took a break for two weeks, and they don’t expect to complete the discussions until early next year — but they’re serious.

Enter Turkey, the new global actor


Turkey should support EU integration of S. Caucasus

“Following the Oct. 15 elections in Azerbaijan, a conclusion satisfactory to Azerbaijanis will be reached in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue by the end of 2008, in November or December, to be precise.

The EU and southeastern Europe: Is all still well?

The prospects for acceleration in the EU process do not look too bright at the moment.

Breaking into Central Asia: an uphill battle for the EU

Last week the EU-Central Asia Ministerial Troika took place in Paris. It involved the five countries of the region (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) as well as top EU officials.

New draft constitution, Third National Program and opposition

The Third National Program for EU harmonization was welcomed by all parties in the Turkish Parliament except the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Turkey sets sail for the world


There could be no better chance for Turkey to display to world leaders the fact that it is ready to play a truly global role and what types of economic and technical projects it has prepared to this end than appearing before the United Nations General Assembly.

Mehmet Simsek :
” La Turquie reste un atout pour l’UE”

La Tribune (France), 25 septembre 2008

Propos recueillis par Lysiane J. Baudu

En 2007 les investissements directs étrangers ont été de 22 milliards de dollars en Turquie. Ils ne devraient être que de 15 milliards cette année, êtes-vous inquiet ?

Tout en relatif : les montants sont en baisse certes, mais représentent bien plus que ce qui arrivait chez nous dans les années 1980. Sans oublier que le contexte économique et financier actuel est peu porteur pour les investisseurs qui rechignent à agir. Cela dit, c’est vrai qu’en Turquie le phénomène d’aversion au risque semble plus prononcé, les incertitudes politiques de ces derniers mois en sont sans doute responsables. Je suis cependant optimiste sur le long terme. La Turquie offre un bon potentiel pour les investisseurs : sa croissance devrait rester bonne – de 4 % au moins, son niveau de vie augmente, sa démographie est excellente -, 65 % des Turcs ont moins de 34 ans et ce sont autant de consommateurs potentiels, la ressource humaine est de qualité, et enfin, les réformes économiques et structurelles se poursuivent. La Turquie reste donc un atout – en particulier pour l’Union européenne. Il faut simplement qu’elle s’en rende compte…

Ahmet Insel

Libération (France)

20 septembre 2008

Depuis que l’adhésion de la Turquie à l’UE s’est révélée successivement plausible, possible et enfin prévisible, le débat sur les frontières de l’Europe est devenu passionnel. En effet, le cas turc rassemble tous les cas limites de la réflexion sur l’élargissement. Limite géographique certes, mais aussi limites culturelle, religieuse, démographique, politique et économique.

La Turquie, nouveau pivot de la politique internationale ?

L’Humanité (France), 19 septembre 2008, p. 16

Françoise Germain-Robin, Ankara (Turquie), envoyée spéciale

Le gouvernement turc joue les médiateurs dans plusieurs crises régionales, au Caucase comme au Moyen-Orient. Entre Est et Ouest, États-Unis, Union européenne et Russie.

[MONDAY TALK] Professor Inbar: Israeli-Turkish-US relations will grow stronger


Efraim Inbar, a professor in political studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, says Turkish-Israeli and Turkish-American relations will become stronger, especially after the Russian show of force in Georgia in response to Georgia’s attack on the autonomous pro-Russian territory of South Ossetia in early August.

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