18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Report: Germany lobbying to suspend Turkey's EU talks over protests

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14 June 2013, Friday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM, İSTANBUL
Germany is looking for ways to suspend Turkey's EU membership talks after the government's mishandling of protests linked to the demolition of a park in central İstanbul to build a replica of Ottoman-era barracks.

Turkey's membership talks are scheduled to resume on June 26 after a three-year hiatus and are largely seen as a revival of the long-stalled negotiations between the two sides. But Germany is now seeking to delay the talks with Turkey, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

One day after his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government raised the prospect of holding a plebiscite in a bid to resolve the two-week-long Gezi Park conundrum, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued his last call to the protesters on Thursday, saying that they would be evicted from the park within 24 hours.

Erdoğan asked for the park to be cleared of “troublemakers” within 24 hours. “We will clear the square,” he had declared.

“Our patience is at an end. I am making my warning for the last time. I call on mothers and fathers. Please take your children in hand and bring them out. ... We cannot wait any longer because Gezi Park does not belong to occupying forces but to the people," Erdoğan told an AK Party meeting in Ankara.

The Financial Times report quoted a senior German diplomat as saying that this is not exactly a good moment to be giving Erdoğan any reward, referring to the restart of the negotiations.

Germany has long been among the countries who opposed Turkey's full EU membership but believed that continued talks would deepen relations between the EU and Turkey and push Ankara to make more reforms. Officials expect to open at least one negotiation chapter during the June 26 meeting.

Berlin, together with other EU states and the US, has called on Erdoğan to respect the protesters' freedom of expression.

The report stated that several German diplomats said that Berlin was lobbying to persuade other EU states to halt the talks. One diplomat said that “consensus was forming” to delay the talks, focusing on regional policy, while another said that France, Italy, Sweden and Finland were also leaning towards halting the negotiations.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the FT report based on misinformation over Sweden's position on Turkey accession talks. Bildt denied the FT report over Turkey accession talks via his Twitter account on Friday.

The talks on June 26 were to be the first opening of a negotiating chapter in three years -- and have hence assumed considerable symbolic importance. But they can be vetoed by any EU member state.

Some EU diplomats said Berlin was trying to depict the delay as technical formality to avoid angering Erdoğan

“I can't understand why the Germans are behaving like this. … It is going to be really hard to start again if this happens,” said one Turkish official, according to the report. “We won't be knocking on their door for a long time after this. … Things are hardening on both sides.”

In a two-hour speech in Ankara, Erdoğan had linked the protests to the “insatiable” financial sector, criticized the international media for its coverage and said that he would give details of a plot against Turkey on Friday.

Actually it doesn't require a lot of lobbying against Turkey these days. The Turkish government has taken over this job quite successfully. However, Europe longs to see a better, free and democratic Turkey with a government that has a democratic mindset, not only outwardly pseudo-democratic attitude...
Once upon a time, Germanistan did not manage to ascend to the Ottoman European Union either…
Synthetic Turk
That's strange -- was Greece expelled after her riots? Those were 'handled' at least as badly. I also distinctly recall someone getting killed at a G-8 protest in Italy -- surely grounds for at least considering expulsion. Happily, the course of the last ten years has made it clear that it would ...
Colin Wright
Who cares, Muslim Turkey is better of without Christian EU.
RTE does not know the difference between 'the park belong to the people' and the people of Turkey. Actually he is covering his pm chair for the moment. His call was an ultimatum. Perhaps he wanna give Germany another ultimatum as well and then come up on the horizon and say 'I did it in the name of ...
You could see this coming for several years. After Davutoglu's foreign policy gaffes, Bagis' big mouth and Erdogan's atrocious behavior the EU can no longer turn a blind eye towards Turkey. The AKP party will go down in history as the government which cost Turkey it's EU accession.
@jim22 You made very good choice, it should be very good when all anti-islam people should leave Turkey. Than all the real Turkey lovers come back to Turkey.
I am going to say good then and I am proud of this! This will teach a lesson to the current ruling party, that trying to push endlessly for membership to join a "Christian Club" especially when you rule your country with a Muslim Brotherhood-esque government will backfire over a period of time. Also...
I have always thought the majority of the EU did not want us in Europe for whatever reasons but nor did Erdogans AKP so don't blame just one side . We don't need the EU as some other EU members are finding out too but I WANT WESTERN SECULAR STYLE FREEDOMS RATHER THAN WHAT OUR BROTHER MUSLIM COUNTRYS...
@TurkanAsya, you talk about racism, well tell me, how many Muslims live in western countries, or Germany alone? Now let me ask you, what percentage of people in TUrkey are non-Muslims? Something like 1% or so, so who is the racist country? LMAO. Turkey without the EU could not survive, unless u thin...
it is germany. what could you ever expect then this from them? Cowardly waiting for a change and then finish the job easy and cheap :)
The Turks must be saying "Thank God we did not become members of the EU or else we woulod have ended up like Greece or Cyprus"
Now that Germans see they cant stop the construction of the Europe's biggest airport in Turkey which will leave their national carrier Lufthansa trailing behind THY.. and cause alot of financial damage in terms of job losses and lost revenue, they are thinking ok we organised/supported the protests ...
I have to say, I am REAL glad I left Turkey. Turkey is a mess. The AKP is out of touch with half of the population. The disturbing thin is THAT 50% of the country still supports this oppression. I love living in Europe. The turks hate having Christian neighbours, and I WOULD HATE to have a Musli...
Turkan Asya. You are right. 50% of the Turks do not want to have a neighbour who is Christian. So then why should Turkey join the racist EU which houses 16 million Muslims? And why would Turkey need to improve Human rights and Freedom of speech? The last days have clearly shown that everything is ju...
germany showing its real face like my brother ferhat b says save us from your troubles who do yous think yous are trying to threaten turkey the eu is about to collapse Istanbul alone has a bigger economy than 12 eu states yous will never accept turkey anyway InshaAllah yous will put your words into ...
Ah yes, punish the demonstrators who want a more European Turkey with European freedoms, that is the right solution... or could it be that Germany just looks for any excuse to suspend negotiations.
Great!! Turkiye does not need EU membership. Remember, EU does not need Turkiye'a membership either. EU is so corrupt and racist that Turkiye should stay away from EU for several decades, or EU enlightens itself to be a respectful member of human race.
turkan asya
I think it's because they love us. They want to save us from the troubles.
Ferhat B
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