Erdo?an urges Germany to support Turkey’s EU accession

TODAY’S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
?STANBUL


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to hold talks at a dinner today after inaugurating a fair in Hanover.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, speaking ahead of a visit to Germany, has once again rejected calls for a privileged partnership between Turkey and the European Union and urged the German government to take the lead in supporting Turkish membership in the 27-nation bloc.
Erdo?an, who traveled to Germany on Sunday, dismissed calls for a privileged partnership, saying it has been created for domestic political purposes and is aimed at pleasing domestic voters. “Privileged partnership is not part of the EU terminology. The purpose of the talks is membership,” Erdo?an said in remarks published on Saturday. “The expectation of the Turkish population is that Germany … will take up a lead role in EU membership negotiations with Turkey,” Erdo?an told the Rheinische Post daily.
Erdo?an will inaugurate, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a communication and information technologies fair, CeBIT, on Monday in Hanover. Bilateral relations between Turkey and Germany are deep and diverse, yet the two countries are at odds over prospects for Turkish membership in the EU. Merkel opposes membership and calls for a privileged partnership with Turkey instead, a formula Turkey categorically rejects. Erdo?an and Merkel are expected to discuss their dispute when they meet at a dinner on Monday.

Erdo?an said in his Saturday remarks that accession talks were “being delayed for purely political reasons.” Turkey opened accession talks with the EU in 2005, but progress has been slow since then amid disputes over Cyprus and opposition to Turkish membership from countries such as Germany and France. Out of 35 chapters — or subject areas for negotiation — Turkey has only completed one. Twelve are under discussion and 18 have been frozen because of opposition by EU member states, including Greek Cyprus and France.

Merkel opposes Turkish membership, but says talks with Turkey should continue, but some in her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) are opposed even to this. Volker Kauder, who chairs the CDU parliamentary group and its sister party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), in the Bundestag, called for an end to accession talks with Turkey, saying the EU should not open talks on any new chapter unless Turkey improves rights for its Christian population.

Erdo?an’s talks with Merkel follow a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, also an opponent of Turkish membership, to Ankara on Friday, during which he openly said Turkey should not join the EU as a member and called for an alternative association. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, a staunch supporter of Turkish membership, also said Merkel should actively encourage Turkish membership in the EU, in an interview with the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. “All this talk of offering Turkey a meaningless privileged partnership instead of EU membership must end,” Schröder said.

Schröder, of the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), said Germany in particular had good reasons to back Ankara’s EU membership ambitions, as it was Turkey’s largest trading partner by far. He echoed Erdo?an’s remarks, criticizing Merkel for allowing internal politics to determine her foreign policy objectives. Schröder, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, is to meet with the Turkish prime minister early Monday.

Erdo?an also said Germany’s attempt to integrate its Turkish population was one-sided and did not reflect the community’s needs and expectations. “To this day, German authorities dealing with integration issues do not consider the views of the appropriate authorities in Turkey,” Erdo?an said, urging Germany to “seek cooperation with Turkish migrants, civil society groups and the Turkish government.”

On Sunday, Erdo?an was due to address Turks living in Germany. The premier caused outrage in Germany at a similar speech in Cologne three years ago, when he said immigrant families must integrate into Germany but slammed assimilation, saying they should retain their Turkish identities.

Police were preparing for protests in connection with Sunday’s speech, in the city of Düsseldorf, where Erdo?an was due to meet with Turkish community representatives. About 2.7 million Turks are living in Germany, most of whom are descendants of immigrants who arrived in Germany in the 1960s to help sustain the country’s post-World War II industrial recovery.

Another issue that is expected to come up during Erdo?an’s talks with Merkel is the situation in the Arab world, where populations are revolting against their long-time leaders in a wave of protests. Germany backed UN sanctions against Libya, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi responded brutally to protests against his 41-year rule. Erdo?an, on the other hand, spoke hours before the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Gaddafi and his family on Saturday, warning that the Libyan people, not Gaddafi’s government, would suffer most.

Erdo?an was due to travel to Brussels directly from Germany to have talks with key EU officials, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Tuesday. But Erdo?an announced on Sunday that he will return to Turkey to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan on Tuesday. Erdo?an will later travel to Brussels for talks with EU officials and the prime minister of Belgium.

Erdo?an broke off from Erbakan’s political movement in the early 2000s and formed his own party, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).


Related Articles

Naciones Unidas urge a América Latina a adoptar tratado vinculante sobre derechos humanos relacionados al ambiente

Los Estados de la región han afirmado en diversas declaraciones su compromiso para apoyar un texto de carácter vinculante que implemente el Principio 10 adoptado en 1992 en la Declaración de Río

IRELAND: Why is Theresa May protecting the DUP’s dirty little (Brexit) secret?

Theresa May’s Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is going to try to sneak a big favour to the DUP, the small party now propping up May’s government in parliament

Máquinas de guerra: Blackwater, Monsanto y Bill Gates

Máquinas de guerra: Blackwater, Monsanto y Bill Gates Silvia Ribeiro Un reporte de Jeremy Scahill publicado en The Nation (Blackwater’s

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment