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POLITICS > Turkey prepares its own EU progress report for first time

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EU Minister Egemen Bagış. AA Photo

EU Minister Egemen Bagış. AA Photo

Turkey’s European Union Ministry has shared the first progress report that the country has ever prepared on its own, Anatolia news agency reported today.

The report was not prepared as a reaction to EU’s progress report, but to share Turkey’s determination, EU Minister Egemen Bagış said.

“The report is Turkey’s self-confidence and its challenge to the skewed mentality in Europe,” the minister said.

Bağış highlighted some topics from the report to show Turkey’s determined steps.

The number of female deputies in the Turkish Parliament has been increased to 14.4 percent while the imprisonment rate in the country was reduced from 49.2 to 23.5 percent, according to the report. The percentage of disabled people who have been employed was dramatically increased and important steps on visa formalities between Turkey and Schengen countries were taken, the report also said.

The report also includes responses to criticisms mentioned in the 2012 Turkey progress report that was revealed by the EU in October.

“We wrote Turkey’s own progress report when [we] saw the skewed nature of the text that was prepared by the EU,” Bagış had said earlier on his official Twitter account. 

“I am highlighting that there is no other EU country that can attain Turkey’s rate of progress this fast,” Bağış said.

Turkey claims progress in EU bid despite Brussels criticism

ANKARA - Agence France-Presse

Turkey claimed Monday it has made progress over the last year toward accession to the European Union, rejecting accusations by the 27-nation bloc against its human rights record and reform efforts. "Our government has become the most reformist government in Europe despite all political obstacles," EU Minister Egemen Bagis said in the introduction to a report published for the first time by Ankara since it began entry talks in 2005.

The report, which was published on the ministry's official website, comes after Ankara slammed the 27-nation bloc's annual report on the Turkish bid as "biased" and "unbalanced." In its report released in October, the EU said Turkey's bid to join the European Union stalled due to shortcomings in democratic reforms. It also criticised lack of sufficient progress in improving the country's human-rights record.

The foreign ministry charged that the report focused on shortcomings in the Turkish bid rather than on the reform effort itself. Turkey's own report lists sector by sector the reforms undertaken by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government over the past year and responds to the criticism levelled by the EU's progress report.

It cited, for example, what it called improvements in freedom of expression, human rights, the judicial process and economic performance.

"This report has been drafted not only as a reaction to the EU's own progress report but at the same time to highlight our country's determination to press ahead with reforms," Bagis said in a separate statement.

"The report represents Turkey's self-confidence and a challenge to the paralysed mentality in Europe," he said. Turkey first sought to become an EU member 25 years ago but only launched formal accession talks in 2005 and they have made little progress since then because of the quarrel with Cyprus as well as stiff opposition from some member states.

Brussels has opened only 13 of the 35 policy chapters that every state must negotiate in order to join the bloc. Just one chapter has been successfully closed.

Besides opposition from France, along with Austria and Germany, the talks have stalled over problems relating to the ethnic Greek government of EU member Cyprus, a Mediterranean island divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Only Ankara recognises the Turkish Cypriot statelet in the north.

In a New Year message, President Abdullah Gul said EU membership would remain one of Turkey's priorities.

"We believe that the EU has vital interests in full membership as much as Turkey has," he said.

December/31/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Jon Goodfellow

1/5/2013 7:46:33 PM

Everyone here is getting distracted by the Greek-Turk animosity. Please set aside the strident nationalism. The issue of EU accession is a nice but not necessary issue for Turkey. Consider recent remarks of German FM that their bilateral economic relation with Turkey will develope despite EU issue. Also, some major EU member pols clearly regret the decision over Greek Cyprus accession. Turkish integration into Europe will continue naturally thru EU Balkan countries and Germany regardless.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/5/2013 8:16:41 AM

Davos is where Erdogan gained respect around the world for speaking up against the atrocities committed daily in Israel. Greeks didn't have the nerve to do it nor care about innocent civilians who are muslims being murdered did they? And Erdogan said he won't return to Davos, and the World Economic Forum was held in Istanbul amongst other important political and economic summits that Greece nor South Cyprus could block or boycott.

gercek sesi

1/5/2013 6:23:37 AM

@thessa your sincerity towards turkeys economic prosperity continuing indefinetly is hard to believe judging by all your comments on HDN. imagine if the shoe was on the on the other foot and greece were in the position of turkey today,how much jubilant you would be feeling and gloating at us turks!what makes us better people is all we do on this site is adress all your anti turkish propaganda in the correct appropriate manner, turkey is far more important nation than greece on the world stage!

Cilginbebek Ms

1/5/2013 5:53:09 AM

@Thessalonian: Turkey's recognition is long overdue by the international community after year's of trying to overcome propaganda. As for the warnings issued by the US State Department and other embassies, its online so you can confirm it for yourself. And Turkey is safer than Greece and other countries. There are intelligence and cameras everywhere. Their technology on safety is advanced, and Turks and visitors don't feel threatened as tourism is skyrocketing.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/5/2013 5:46:55 AM

@ Thessalonian: Thank you. But I am not bragging or boasting. Recognition of Turkey is long overdue. Every nationality should be proud of who they are without hindrance or being slandered as Turks have been for decades. And as for Turkey's prosperity, analysts project it will last for years to come. And I encourage you to read the warnings issued by the US State Department and other countries if you don't believe me. And Eastern Turkey is only dangerous near the Syrian Border.

Thessalonian

1/4/2013 6:36:08 PM

@Cilginbebek Ms. There is no travel advisory against Greece as there is no danger to travelers there. A lot more that can be said for those travelling in Turkey's south eastern regions. As far as Turkey's economic prosperity is concerned, may it continue and may it last indefinitely. I wouldn't boast, brag and blow wind in my own sails if I were you, as economic prosperity tends to be periodic and cyclical. Davos economic summit was the place where Mr. Erdogan took a temper tantrum. Regards

Cilginbebek Ms

1/4/2013 1:51:35 AM

@ Thessalonian: The World Economic Forum was held in Istanbul not Davos. Erdogan was on Time Magazine's cover over ten times. The US President Barack Obama calls Erdogan not Greeks more times second only to Cameron of UK. The Arab Spring countries are using Turkey as a role model for modern Islamic countries. Turkey is in the G20 soon to be G8. Where is Greece and South Cyprus? We have the Third strongest Army in the World. The Second fastest growing economy in the world. Where are Greeks?

gercek sesi

1/4/2013 1:42:34 AM

@mara you conveniently forget the double standards of the greek cypriots to the turkish cypriots, the eu treatment of turkey and trnc! the greek side said no to the annan plan and were still rewarded whereas the eu promised the turkish side lifting of embargoes equal status with the greek cypriots you conveniently forget this! the greek side continues to act negatively, this wont continue much longer. @thessalonian turkey is a much more important than greece and the world know this,your bankrupt

gercek sesi

1/4/2013 1:32:29 AM

@thessalonian your comments are anti turkish on a turkish site you have no respect for. I sincerely hope you are right about the true frame of the mindset of the greeks,on this site your fellow greeks comments have nothing but contempt jealousy and an unbalanced obsession for turkey & turks! Greece for 33 years a member of the eu has received nonstop one way cash which has paid for everything it is today! turkey what it is today stands on own its feet and commands far more respect than greece!

Cilginbebek Ms

1/3/2013 11:59:46 PM

As for Greece, what is your excuse? In Greece and South Cyprus, you have been getting EU and foreign aid for decades and squandered it away. Racism, discrimination and violence against immigrants is on the rise. Every international embassy and the US state department issued a warning to travelers not to travel to Greece. The Golden Dawn are wearing Nazi symbols and preaching for a new Holocaust. The Greek Church is promoting hatred daily as well. You can't hide these facts!
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