from Hurriyet Dailynews by ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
The European Parliament expressed serious doubts about press freedom in Turkey in a criticism-laden report it adopted Wednesday. (UPDATED)
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (C) and his counterparts, Franco Frattini (L) of Italy and Carl Bildt of Sweden talk before their meeting in Istanbul March 5,2011.? Read more » REUTERS/Osman Orsal
The Cyprus-Turkey deadlock, lack of dialogue among Turkish political parties and the undermining of press freedom and other basic rights in Turkey are the main factors slowing down the country’s EU accession talks, said Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, Netherlands), the rapporteur for a report and resolution adopted by the European Parliament, on 9 March, on the progress made by Turkey. The drafting of the resolution generated intense debate and the resolution itself expresses the EP?s concern about the slow progress that the country is making in major democratic reforms.”
Mavi Boncuk |Turkey slams EP progress report
Turkish Foreign Ministry said European Parliament’s reports can have a meaning for Turkey only if the parliament takes a serious, constructive and neutral stand.
Mavi Boncuk |Enlargement: slow progress by Turkey regretted, Montenegro’s candidacy welcomed
in two resolutions adopted on Wednesday on the progress of Turkey and Montenegro in their EU membership negotiations, Parliament express concern at the “slow progress” on human rights and key reforms in Turkey in 2010, while welcoming Montenegro’s official candidate status despite concerns over corruption.
from World news: Turkey | guardian.co.uk by Fiachra Gibbons
Despite the Turkish leader’s criticisms of the EU, it’s clear his country’s future lies with the union
If you are going to be a hypocrite, it’s best to be so spectacularly hypocritical that you momentarily deprive your audience of the oxygen that would permit them to process the sheer absurdity of what you have just said. It works every time. Just ask the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the proud recipient of quite probably the last Muammar al-Gaddafi International prize for human rights.
In my column yesterday I tried to analyze the absence of democratic opposition to Israel and the US in the Middle East and finally I asked if this gap can be filled by Turkey. If there is one single country that could act as a democratic opposition to Western hegemony in this region and thus will contribute to peace and stability in this problematic corner of the world, I think it is Turkey. But can Turkey play this role successfully? Can Turkey be a fair broker in the Middle East with its current stance and mindset?
When discussing Turkey?s troubled relations with the European Union, it does not suffice to put the blame on the Sarkozy-Merkel line of ?calling the shots.? Regardless of whether they will insist on that folly, Cyprus looms on the horizon as a wall to be avoided or crashed into.
The delays in Turkey?s European Union membership process, as well as continued sluggishness in negotiations, have effects reaching beyond the membership process. Despite the always-one-step-ahead policy Turkey has implemented since 2003, Cyprus, too, is getting its share of the negative course our EU process has taken. Although the Turkish side opted for solution while the Greek side chose to prolong the stalemate in the referendum held on April 1, 2004 on the Annan plan, which was seen as a glimmer of hope for a solution on the island, the EU chose to reward the Greek side, foiling Turkey?s well-intended efforts.
Turkey lies north of Syria and across the Mediterranean from Libya. Because of its proximity to the unrest in North Africa, Turkey has been punished by equity investors. The country has gone from one of the best performing emerging markets in 2010 to levels not seen since March 2006.