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As Europe limps along economically and struggles to speak with a single voice on? well almost anything, and at a time when the EU’s two flagship projects – free movement and the single currency – are coming under massive strains, the contrast between the bloc and perennial candidate country Turkey could not be starker.
Jailing of 17 journalists since September is fueling accusations that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s changes to the legal system are designed to eliminate opponents rather than harmonize laws with the European Union.
By Benjamin Harvey
Turkey press freedom under fire
They join hundreds of other jailed suspects awaiting trial in the sprawling investigation into “Ergenekon,” an alleged gang led by ultra-secularist Turkish military officers aimed at toppling Erdogan’s Islam-inspired government.
International Herald Tribune, Friday, May 6, 2011, p. 8
By Andrew Finkel *, Istanbul
Imagine if back in the days of Watergate, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had been put on trial for being part of the very conspiracy they were trying to uncover. Then suppose a large section of the Washington press corps proceeded to pat federal prosecutors on the back for a job well done.
Chief negotiator outlines Ankara?s ?five demands? from EU I quote: A fair negotiation process tops the list of five Turkish demands for establishing healthy relations between the European Union and EU-aspirant Turkey, State Minister and Chief EU Talks Negotiator Egemen Bagis said on Monday. ?Turkey wants a just negotiation process,? Bagis told a dinner he hosted for members of the Diplomatic Correspondents? Association (DMD). ?It wants an end to this nonsensical mentality on the visa issue; it wants concrete cooperation against terrorism; it wants an end to using the Cyprus problem as an obstacle; and it wants its leaders to be invited to EU summits alongside other candidate countries.?
Austria said it was considering holding a referendum on Turkey’s EU accession, even if the candidate country successfully completes its accession negotiations. The statement apparently left Ankara unimpressed. EurActiv Turkey reports.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
With the ?Arab spring? becoming a more violent whirlwind, not only is it posing imminent threats to European security, but it is also dumping thousands of refugees at the doors of Europe. Some ?big? states such as France are demanding, if not abolishment, a renegotiating of the Schengen agreements; involvement of some leading members of the European club of democracies in support of the ?pro-democracy? uprising in Libya, so far only in the North African country, but God knows what will happen tomorrow.
Perceptions (Turkey) Autumn 2004, pages 59-72
Angelos Giannakopoulos *
The essay deals exclusively with the question of how Turkey?s potential accession to the EU might determine how a European identity evolved. Following this, two disparate views of perceiving and defining a European identity are compared and analysed: a maximalistic? and a ?dialogistic?. These represent opposing ways of understanding political community: the maximalistic definition represents an ?ethical cultural community? and the dialogistic a ?universal community of citizens?. European identity is then conceived as an open process and is brought into relation to the democratic process. Also investigated is which understanding of European identity is implied, by the draft for a European constitution. The thesis of the article is, that Turkey? future accession to the EU cannot be judged on the basis of a ?historical-cultural? argument but rather on the basis of whether or not a shared European political culture and its main elements have been realised.