AFOE has a piece on PM Erdoğan’s talk in Brussels:Turkey and the EU: not yet a marriage of true minds
We are here in Turkey more used to Erdoğan’s style, which makes me sometimes very angry. One thing is certain: PM Erdoğan has nothing to do with diplomatic manners. He doesn’t care, he doesn’t mind. In other contexts, this makes him a popular politician. He is radically different from the previous mainstream Turkish politicians. Of course, this may not work with the politically correct EU people. This does not work with traditional Turkish elites, too. However, Erdoğan and his team are changing the very rules of the game. They may or may not accomplish this mission. I don’t know or I don’t condone the process. I am just an observer at the moment. But PM Erdoğan may be successful because of increasing erosion of values and powerful leaderships in Turkey and in the EU. I am a believer of the Enlightenment heritage but who can argue that these values are strongly held in Europe at the moment? Does Europe has a single mind, at all? Is there one politically correct way to continue?
In such a confusion of values and leaderships, Erdoğan could reply that provocative Cypriot parliamentarian in a politically correct manner. But what would that mean? Is too much political correctionism helpful at all? PM Erdoğan probably knows that he has nothing to lose anyway. The negotiations continue so slowly. His politically correct predecessors could not do better. In the mean time, Turkey is trying new leads in foreign policy which could be lucrative, in terms of energy sources, financial flows etc. It is a gamble.
In the end, we laughed at when PM Erdoğan was implying an obscene act…
ISTANBUL – Ahmet Davutoğlu, the government’s key figure on Middle East policy, dismissed claims yesterday that Turkey is drifting apart from the Western bloc.
In recent months, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) has been basking in international praise for a burst of diplomacy in which it mended relations with its neighbours and sought a role as peacemaker in regional conflict
Turkey might be forced to rethink its support for the strategic Nabucco gas pipeline if the EU refuses to unfreeze accession talks on important negotiating chapters such as energy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to Brussels yesterday (19 January).
While bombs rain down on Gaza, there is growing and visible anger in Turkey in response to the Israeli operation. Interestingly, one thing frequently being heard in the Turkish press and from Turkish politicians is that Israel has somehow "disrespected" Turkey by launching its attack. Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has angrily called Israel’s actions "a crime against humanity," while also saying they are "disrespectful to Turkey."
Today is not the first time that the European Union faces stark criticism for its foreign policy. In fact, many political scientists argue that the EU does not and will not for the foreseeable future possess a true common foreign policy due to its intergovernmental character and the resulting conflicts of interest among member states.
After its mediation efforts in the Middle East, Turkey’s influence is expanding. But will it ever be accepted by the EU?
* Simon Tisdall
January 20, 2009
As Barack Hussein Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States today, both Turkey’s expectations and fears regarding the US capital seem to have increased.
By Osman BOLU, JTW
January 20, 2009
BRUSSELS – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday claimed that the Hamas should not be marginalized by the international community.
Prime Minister Erdoğan has, after a long break, begun to revisit the Turkish EU accession process again in Brussels.
The last time Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Brussels was in December 2004, and so the long overdue trip was warmly welcomed by the EU elite and sold as evidence of the prime minister’s undying support for Turkey’s EU accession process.
Change you can believe in: Rethinking Turkish-Greek relations post Gaza crisis (2) by CHRISTOPHER VASILLOPULOS & SEMA EMİROĞLU
What does Gaza have to do with all this? First, the Israeli massacre of Palestinian civilians has made it clear to Turks, as it has long been understood by Greeks, that Israel, at least since 1967, wants to drive Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank.
The bitterest medicine can have beneficial effects. So, too, with bitter experience. Medicine can work without the patient’s effort. Experience, however, requires human knowledge, good will and action to make it yield its benefits.
Experts are finding that the attack on Gaza, when looked at through the perspective of Israel’s stated goals, was “unsuccessful.”
Israel’s intense three-week assault on Gaza halted with the calling of successive (if yet far from comprehensive or stable) ceasefires by Israel and Hamas on
17-18 January 2009. What happened is routinely referred to as a "war", though the label (if sometimes in practice unavoidable) is questionable insofar as a war requires two sides and this conflict – as can be seen from the imbalance of destruction – was overwhelmingly one-sided.
"The EU has to restructure its failed strategy [in Gaza] and seek to bring the new US administration to a similar re-appraisal and policy change," argue Michael Emerson and Richard Youngs, associate senior research fellows at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), and Natalie Tocci, senior research fellow at the in Rome, in a January CEPS report.Istituto Affari Internazionali