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Turkey’s EU membership process frozen in cold ‘European winter’
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1.       tunci
7149 posts
 11 Dec 2011 Sun 08:18 pm

Turkey’s EU membership process frozen in cold ‘European winter’

Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış is seen with European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle in a joint press conference on July when the EU minister paid a visit to Turkey. It is expected to be taken significant steps in EU summit which kicked off Dec. 9 in Brussels regarding Turkey-EU relations while Turkey has stepped up its criticism of the Union’s appraoch toward Turkey especially in Cyprus dispute. (PHOTO AA, RIZA ÖZEL)
 
While European corridors in Brussels are abuzz with debates on whether Turkey could be a model or source of an inspiration for the Arab Spring, Turkey’s European journey, it seems, has turned into a European Winter.

 

No chapters have been opened at the last three term presidencies that mean roughly one and half years when Croatia, the country which started accession talks exactly at the same day with Turkey, has signed the accession treaty yesterday. Croatia will be the 28th member of EU on July the 1st, 2013. The main stumbling block, as it is since the late 1990s, seems to be the Republic of Cyprus, i.e., Greek Cypriots, a one-issue country obsessed with Turkey as it is called in Brussels. I use the term “seems” as nobody is sure whether Turkey will get closer to the goal of membership if, magically, Cyprus problem is sorted out the other day.

    The monumental Cypriot problem obstructing Turks’ 53 years-old march towards European Union has once again been strongly referred to in the EU Summit that ended yesterday. The basic message is: if you want to continue to open the chapters, you need to sort out the Cyprus problem. But no guarantee of a membership. Nobody knows how long the process will take if it ever ends with accession.

The conclusions of EU foreign ministers that were endorsed by EU leaders yesterday simply point to the fact that the EU was willing to give the Christofias administration what it had asked for. The latest salvos by the Turkish government not only criticizing the EU’s stance on Turkey but also ridiculing the economic situation of Europe has emboldened and strengthened the Greek Cypriot position. Capitalizing on what President Abdullah Gül said during his recent visit to Britain, Greek Cypriots have been successful in convincing their fellow Europeans to toughen the language on Turkey in the conclusions. Gül, apparently angry at how the EU had handled the Cypriot problem, had called the EU “a miserable union,” which echoed very badly not only in Brussels but also in some member countries’ capitals.

EU reiterated her full support for Greek Cypriots in their oil and gas exploration, while at the same time declaring their solidarity with the upcoming Greek Cypriot presidency in the latter part of 2012. Regretting the Turkish declaration that all talks would be suspended during Greek Cypriots’ presidency, the EU stressed that the term presidency was a right and stemmed from the EU constitution. On Turkey’s attitude vis-à-vis oil and gas exploration, EU said: “In line with the Negotiating Framework and previous European Council and Council conclusions, the Council underlines that Turkey needs to commit itself unequivocally to good neighborly relations and to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, having recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice. In this context, the Union urges the avoidance of any kind of threat, source of friction or actions that could damage good neighborly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Furthermore, the EU stresses again all the sovereign rights of EU member states which include, inter alia, entering into bilateral agreements, in accordance with the EU acquis and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

In what has become a rule now, the EU also referred to the Additional Protocol and the lack of recognition of Greek Cyprus by Turkey. European leaders said: Recalling its conclusions of Dec. 11, 2006, and the declaration of Sept. 21, 2005, the Council notes with deep regret that Turkey, despite repeated calls, continues refusing to fulfill its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. In the absence of progress on this issue, the Council will maintain its measures from 2006, which will have a continuous effect on the overall progress of the negotiations. Furthermore, Turkey has still not made progress towards the necessary normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus. The Council invites the Commission to monitor closely and specifically report on all issues covered by the declaration of the European Community and its member states of Sept. 21, 2005, in its forthcoming annual report. On this basis, the Council will continue to closely follow and review progress made, in accordance with its conclusions of Dec. 11, 2006, and Dec. 14, 2010. Progress is now expected without further delay.

It was not only the Greek Cypriots’ who wanted to toughen the language but also the French whose allergy against the word “accession” persisted when it comes to Turkey. France did not want to see the words “accession” and “Turkey” together in the Turkish part of the conclusions. While EU leaders mentioned the word accession 11 times for Croatia, 5 times for Iceland, 2 times for Montenegro, which has not even started accession talks, once for both Serbia and Albania, who are not even declared candidates, the word “accession” was not used for Turkey. The conclusions were not all bad. There were positive notes on constitutional reform, civilian oversight over the military and the economy, but also criticism on deficiencies in fundamental freedoms, first and foremost in freedom of expression and press.

On the increasingly active Turkish foreign policy, the EU was somewhat ambivalent; welcoming the candidate country’s active and positive role on the one hand, but hesitant about the possible fallout on the other; hence, calling for a coordinated foreign policy with Brussels.

“Turkey has continued to be active in its wider neighborhood and remains an important regional player in the Middle East, the Western Balkans, Afghanistan/Pakistan, the Southern Caucasus and the Horn of Africa. In line with the principles set out in the Negotiating Framework, the Council encourages Turkey to develop its foreign policy as a complement to and in coordination with the EU and to progressively align with EU policies and positions. In this regard, the Council remains committed to further reinforcing the EU’s existing political dialogue with Turkey on foreign policy issues of mutual interest.” said the EU statement.

Every indication shows, for the time being, that Turkey’s European Winter will be a long one. Croatia, which started accession talks on Oct. 3, 2005, together with Turkey, will be a member as of July 1, 2013, while Turkey has only been able to close one single chapter out of 35. One chapter in six years means hundreds of years to complete them successfully as long as the current political climate dominates Europe.

Brussells Sunday’s zaman.

 

Note : All I can say is that I am sick of seeing the EU´s unjust approach to Turkiye.
 

nifrtity liked this message
2.       lemon
1374 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 10:48 am

Why? What has EU done to you or Turkiye?

3.       harp00n
3993 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 11:18 am

 

Quoting lemon

Why? What has EU done to you or Turkiye?

 

 Where are you living ? Dont you read news paper or watch TV ?

nifrtity liked this message
4.       tunci
7149 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 11:29 am

 

Quoting harp00n

 

 

 Where are you living ? Dont you read news paper or watch TV ?

 

 I think she is living in "Lemon World"  which is a planet that no scientist was able to discover it yet.

 

 

nifrtity and harp00n liked this message
5.       Abla
3647 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 11:34 am

"Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it."

6.       tunci
7149 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 11:39 am

 

Quoting lemon

Why? What has EU done to you or Turkiye?

 

 Personally, EU hasnt done anything to me yet. It would do something if we ever go into EU. Most probably the prices would rocket up. And its silly regulations would limit our life-style.. It would bring more harm than benefits to us. Therefore  I rather support to form other unions such as " TU" [Turkic Union] or MEU [Middle East Union] or OTU [Ottoman Union]....

 

nifrtity liked this message
7.       tunci
7149 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 11:56 am

 

Quoting Abla

"Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it."

 

 Abla, Başa gelen çekilir. {#emotions_dlg.nargile}

8.       lemon
1374 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 12:30 pm

 

Quoting tunci

 

 

 I think she is living in "Lemon World"  which is a planet that no scientist was able to discover it yet.

 

 

 

To be honest, I am not watching TV neither I read papers.

Why? Why is Tunci angry with EU? Has EU harmed Tunci? Cut off his hands or ears? Killed his beloved?

 

9.       lemon
1374 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 12:31 pm

 

Quoting tunci

 

 

 Personally, EU hasnt done anything to me yet. It would do something if we ever go into EU. Most probably the prices would rocket up. And its silly regulations would limit our life-style.. It would bring more harm than benefits to us. Therefore  I rather support to form other unions such as " TU" [Turkic Union] or MEU [Middle East Union] or OTU [Ottoman Union]....

 

Then why were you angry?

 

10.       tunci
7149 posts
 12 Dec 2011 Mon 01:06 pm

 

Quoting lemon

 

Then why were you angry?

 

 

 First, I am NOT angry. I am sick of bunch of European politician´s double starndart approach with Turkiye. There is a difference. Their excuises and fear of potential Turkiye´s EU membership by thinking  that We might invade Europe. they have other fears and political, religious ,racist concerns too...But after all silly things , they need us more than we need them for long term.

 

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