Wednesday, May 11, 2005

EU, Ankara exchange criticism on reforms, nationalism

The European Union expressed concern yesterday about the rising nationalism in Turkey and criticized recent suggestions by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the EU would play a role in breaking the country into pieces by insisting on cultural rights.

“The application of essential human rights is the centerpiece of the Copenhagen Criteria and the EU will never compromise on this point,” Dutch Ambassador Sjoerd Gosses said in a closed-door meeting that brought together Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül and EU ambassadors in Ankara. He said he hoped Turkish authorities would firmly renounce these suggestions.

Gül, on the other hand, warned the EU side of rising skepticism in the Turkish public, a sentiment which grows especially among the country's young who feel that the EU wants too much from Turkey. He also called on EU officials not to bring up the issue of signing a protocol extending Turkey's Customs Union deal with the EU to the 10 new members repeatedly, as if Turkey has not done its part.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with the TDN, Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek said instead of concentrating on deficiencies in Turkey's reform process, the failure of the EU to keep the promises it made on the matter of Cyprus should be noted.

(Source: Turkish Daily News)

No comments: