The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continued its activities in the European Union throughout 2012, Europol said in its 2013 terrorism report released on April 25.
Neither the PKK nor its affiliates carried out any terrorist attacks in the EU in 2012, noted the report titled, “EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report.” However, the group continued to conduct activities such as “fund raising, propaganda, logistical support and the recruitment and training of potential fighters,” in the EU. Continue Reading »
The European Union will become a global peace project when Turkey will join the bloc, EU Minister Egemen Bağış said April 24 during a conference in Washington.
“The EU is the most important peace project of the humanity. When Turkey will join the bloc, it will be become a global peace project, not only a continental one. Because Turkey’s EU process is watched by 3 billion people which feels ignored by the West,” Bağış said at a conference organized by Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) and German Marshall Fund (GMF) in Washington. Continue Reading »
The sun rises for Europe in Istanbul, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış said today, addressing the audience at an Erasmus student exchange program meeting in the city.
“A European Union without Turkey is a poor, plain and simple one,” Bağış said.
“The sun of Europe rises from Istanbul every morning nowadays,” he added, in an indirect reference to the current economic problems of the union. Continue Reading »
Lawmakers at the European Parliament appear to have prepared the ground for greater détente between Brussels and Ankara that would include the opening of new accession chapters
The European Parliament’s General Assembly adopted a 2012 progress report on Turkey yesterday, providing a potential catalyst for the opening of new accession chapters for Turkey after years of deadlock between Ankara and Brussels.
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) called for the opening of negotiations on the judiciary, fundamental rights and home affairs, while also praising recent talks that could help settle the Kurdish issue. Continue Reading »
Turkey may want to join the eurozone after it has established properly functioning mechanisms, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said.
“When there is a complete and serious eurozone, Turkey may want to participate in it someday in the future,” Babacan said during a panel discussion “The Eurozone: Has the Crisis Ended?” organized in Washington by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Financial Times. Continue Reading »
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership process currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union is a historical step that is supported by Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said, while adding that Ankara does not want to be excluded from the deal.
Speaking during a dinner held April 17 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the last stop of a U.S. visit, Babacan said Turkey had been experiencing a very critical transformation process. Continue Reading »
The top European Union diplomat based in Turkey praises Ankara for its performance this year, acknowledging the presence of tremendous progress
The top European Union diplomat based in Turkey has praised the EU full membership candidate for its performance this year, acknowledging the presence of “tremendous progress” while noting certain flaws.
“There are some difficulties, some shortcomings, but at the same time we recognize the tremendous progress that was made this year. The creation of the ombudsman, the creation of the National Institution for Human Rights, the third and fourth judicial reform packages, the law on foreigners, the law on protection of women against violence, the law against financing of terrorism… Those are very important progress,” Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, the head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey, said in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News on the recent improvements in Turkey’s human rights record and the need to empower civil society. Continue Reading »
The focus of Turkey’s European Union membership used to be whether Turkey was ready or not, but the main question is now when Europe will be ready, according to Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.
“I think we’ll need to wait for the European crisis to soothe and for the EU to regain its confidence,” Babacan said during his public talk on “Turkey as a Manufacturing and Investment Hub for U.S. Companies” at Emory University in Atlanta.
“When Turkey began negotiations for EU membership, it was always asked, ‘When will Turkey be ready?’ But now the main question is, ‘When will the EU be ready?” he said. Continue Reading »
‘We regret all political blockade on Turkey’s EU accession talks,’ says Finland’s Foreign Minister Tuomioja, voicing his expectations that there is a possibility of getting a more normal negotiation process
Finland regrets the political blockade that has been applied to Turkey for Ankara’s European Union-accession process, Finland’s foreign minister has said.
Erkki Tuomioja said they thought Turkey’s negotiations should proceed normally, “opening and closing chapters as the objective negotiation situation evolves.” “There will be some chapters opened,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News April 12 alongside the Second Istanbul Conference on Mediation. Continue Reading »
Turkish President Abdullah Gül criticized yesterday the European Union over its slow visa procedures during a speech at the Lithuania-Turkey Business Forum in Vilnius.
The EU has fallen short in failing to sign a visa exemption agreement with Turkey, particularly as it has been signing such agreements with states that have not even started membership negotiations, Gül said.
“Visa procedures unfortunately take too long and this is a big injustice. What we request from Lithuanian officials, primarily from President Dalia Grybauskaite, is to discuss in meetings, which Turkey doesn’t attend, that this is not fair and to take steps that we expect,” Gül said.
“It is a shortcoming for the EU not to sign a visa exemption agreement with a big economy like Turkey while signing it with Brazil, which is a Latin American country, and with countries which haven’t even started membership negotiations,” Gül said. Continue Reading »