Foreign Minister Davutoğlu meets EU ambassadors
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. REUTERS PhotoForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu participated in a luncheon hosted in his honor by Ireland’s Ambassador to Turkey Kenneth Thompson, with the participation of the ambassadors of the EU countries accredited in Ankara.
The invitation of Thompson, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, came only days after Egemen Bağış, Turkey’s EU Minister, summoned the ambassadors to a luncheon on June 25, in the shadow of strained relations with the EU due to Turkey’s crackdown on protesters during the Gezi Park unrest.
Prior to the meeting, diplomatic sources indicated that this was not an extraordinary gathering due to unrest caused by the hesitant attitude of the EU to open a new chapter on Turkey’s accession, daily Hürriyet reported. On the contrary, the date was set back in May in order to discuss Turkey’s foreign policy vision and its relationship with the EU, the same sources said.
The tension between Turkey and the EU was heightened when Germany and the Netherlands opposed the opening of Chapter 22 on Regional Policies during a meeting at the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), as the next step in Turkey’s bid to join the EU. The opening of this chapter was critical and the hesitant approach was perceived as a criticism of police brutality during the Gezi protests. Yet the EU refrained from blocking the opening of the chapter, despite postponing negotiations until the fall.