Füle calls for revival of Turkey-EU negotiation process

(Photo: Today's Zaman)

October 28, 2012, Sunday/ 16:56:00

The European Union's top enlargement official, Stefan Füle, on Saturday called for the revival of the negotiation process between Turkey and the EU, adding that the revival of the negotiation process would serve the interests of both Turkey and the union.

Füle's statements came ahead of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Germany, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Füle stated in an article published in Germany's Die Tageszeitung newspaper that the developments in Syria have indicated Turkey's important role with regard to Europe's foreign policy and energy security.

Füle also underlined that the EU should remain a standard for the reform process in Turkey.

A German politician and member of the European Parliament for the European Greens, Cem Özdemir, has also stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have played an important role in holding up Turkey's EU negotiation process by using delay tactics.

Turkey opened accession talks with the EU in 2005, but progress has been slow since then due to the Cyprus dispute and opposition from some member countries, such as France and Germany, to Turkey's membership. Out of 35 chapters which have to be successfully negotiated by any candidate country as a condition for membership, only 13 have been opened, 17 are blocked, four have not been opened yet and one is provisionally closed -- the science and research chapter.

Özdemir also added that Turkey has proven it would be a valuable member of the EU with its democracy and developing economy.

Meanwhile, Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk on Friday received the Sonning Prize, Denmark's highest cultural award, for his contribution to European culture in a ceremony at the University of Copenhagen.

Pamuk, 60, spoke about European culture, history and identity as well as modernization, Turkey and the European Union in his speech.

Stating that in recent times the interest in Turkey's EU accession process has decreased in Turkey, Pamuk said that if the borders of Europe were drawn by religion, then Turkey has no place within the EU. “Would the European people be happy if Europe were limited to Christianity only,” asked Pamuk.

"To think that my novels, my essays might inspire, in some small way be a part of this great culture is a happiness matched only by the honor of receiving this great prize," he said in his acceptance speech. The Sonning Prize is given every other year.

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