Vortrag

"Turkey´s Way to European Union Membership"

Im Rahmen einer vom Europabüro der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organisierten Veranstaltung hielt der stellvertretende Ministerpräsident und Außenminister der Republik Türkei, Abdullah Gül, einen Vortrag im Brüsseler Cercle Royal Gaulois.

Details

Vor etwa zweihundert Multiplikatoren aus Politik, Diplomatie, Wirtschaft sprach Gül zum gegenwärtigen und den Zukunftsperspektiven im Verhältnis seines Landes zur Europäischen Union.

Der Außenminister unterstrich zunächst die Bedeutung der Arbeit der KAS in der Türkei, die einen wertvollen Beitrag zum Dialog zwischen Ankara und den übrigen Staaten Europas leiste und die Aufmerksamkeit der türkischen Politik gegenüber der Gemeinschaft stärke. Während der Sitzung des Europäischen Konvents, an der Gül am Nachmittag teilgenommen hatte, habe einmal mehr festgestellt, dass sich die Vision der türkischen Regierung von einem zukünftigen Europa weitgehend mit den Vorstellungen Schumans, Monnets und Adenauers deckten, so der Politiker der allein regierenden AK-Partei. Die Vision bestehe u.a. in einer Gemeinschaft, die sich durch Demokratie, freie Marktwirtschaft, Säkularität, Toleranz, „Good Governance“ und starke Institutionen auszeichne, eine Einheit in Vielfalt verkörpere und als Quelle von Stabilität und Sicherheit zum Frieden der Welt beitrage. Die Verwirklichung dieser Vision sei keine einfache Aufgabe und könne nur in mehreren Schritten erfolgen. Der Kopenhagener Gipfel habe mit der Aufnahme von zunächst zehn neuen Mitgliedern und der fortschreitenden Annäherung von drei weiteren Kandidaten signalisiert, dass diese Vision zu verwirklichen sei.

In den Augen Güls war und ist die Türkei auch in Zukunft historisch, geographisch, politisch und ökonomisch ein Teil Europas. Sie teile das Wertesystem der Union. Bereits heute sei die türkische Gesellschaft ein integraler Bestandteil der modernen Welt und trage zu ihren Werten und ihrer Fortentwicklung bei. Die Türkei sei bestrebt, unter Beweis zu stellen, dass eine moslemische Gesellschaft demokratisch, offen, transparent, pluralistisch und modern, d.h. „europäisch“ sein und gleichzeitig ihre eigene Identität wahren kann.

Gül skizzierte die Vorteile, die der Europäischen Union aus einem Beitritt der Türkei erwachsen könnten: Die Union würde demnach einen unerlässlichen strategischen Gewinn im Hinblick auf ihre Sicherheitsstruktur und ihre wirtschaftliche Leistungskraft erzielen. Durch eine Mitgliedschaft der Türkei sei die Gemeinschaft laut Gül besser in der Lage, auf dem Balkan, im östlichen Mittelmeer, im Kaukasus und Zentralasien Frieden, Sicherheit und Stabilität zu fördern. Die Einbindung der türkischen multi-regionalen und multi-dimensionalen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik werde der globalen Rolle der Union und den transatlantischen Beziehungen mehr Nachdruck verleihen. Seit dem Gipfel von Helsinki, auf dem der Status der Türkei als Bewerberland bestätigt wurde, betrachte die türkische Regierung den Weg des Landes zur EU-Mitgliedschaft als Einbahnstraße.

Seine eigene Partei AKP, die bei den letzten Wahlen einen Erdrutschsieg erringen konnte, sei gegenüber der türkischen Bevölkerung und der europäischen Öffentlichkeit die Verpflichtung eingegangen, den Reformkurs der Türkei zu beschleunigen und zu intensivieren. Auf dem Kopenhagener Gipfel vom Dezember 2002 war festgelegt worden, dass das der Europäische Rat im Dezember 2004 auf Basis eines Berichtes und einer Empfehlung der Kommission darüber entscheiden wird, ob die Türkei die sogenannten Kopenhagener Kriterien erfülle und Beitrittverhandlungen eröffnet werden. Gül betonte, dass sich seine Regierung dieser Herausforderung stelle und die Kriterien bis Ende 2003 erfüllen wolle. In dieser Frage bestehe volle Unterstützung von Seiten des türkischen Parlaments, der Oppositionsparteien und der breiten Mehrheit der Bevölkerung. Gül verwies auf die bislang erreichten Fortschritte im Demokratisierungsprozess: Die Stärkung der Grundrechte und Grundfreiheiten, vor allem die Abschaffung der Todesstrafe, die Aufhebung rechtlicher Beschränkungen für die Benutzung und mediale Verbreitung nicht-türkischer Sprachen, der Kampf gegen Folter, die Erleichterungen für die Arbeitsmöglichkeiten nicht-moslemischer Stiftungen. Zu den skizzierten Maßnahmen sollen laut Gül weitere legislative Reformpakete hinzukommen, die unter anderem letzte Steine auf dem Weg zur vollen Gewährung von Meinungsfreiheit aus dem Weg räumen sollen.Neben dem Verweis auf politische Fortschritte unterstrich Gül die strukturellen Verbesserungen im ökonomischen Bereich, in deren Zuge der Finanzsektor neu strukturiert, Transparenz gefördert, öffentliche Finanzen gestärkt und Wettbewerb und Effizienz der Wirtschaft erhöht würden.

Der AKP-Politiker nutzte die Gelegenheit, um auf die Verbesserungen im türkisch-griechischen Verhältnis zu verweisen, die trotz nach wie vor bestehender zwischenstaatlicher Probleme erzielt worden seien. Seine Regierung habe den Willen, vorbildliche Beziehungen zum westlichen Nachbarn zu etablieren, so Gül. Im Bezug auf die Zypern-Problematik unterstrich der Außenminister, dass die Grundlage jeglicher Lösungsansätze die Anerkennung bestimmter Realitäten sein müsse: Die Existenz von zwei verschiedenen Völkern und zwei unabhängigen Regierungen mit einem gleichwertigen Status. Vor diesem Hintergrund müsse eine Lösung in einer neuen Partnerschaft münden, die auf den Prinzipien der Bi-Zonalität und politischer Gleichberechtigung basieren solle.

Auf Nachfragen aus dem Auditorium etwa zur nach wie vor entscheidenden Rolle des Militärs in der Türkei verwies Gül mehrfach auf die Anstrengungen seiner Regierung, die Kopenhagener Kriterien erfüllen und die Demokratisierung des Landes voran treiben zu wollen: Die Türkei werde von einer gewählten Regierung regiert, unterstrich Gül. Zur türkischen Regierungspartei betonte der Außenminister, die AKP sei wie die zur EVP zusammengeschlossenen Volkparteien eine demokratische und konservative Partei. Gül brachte im Verlauf der Rede und der anschließenden Diskussion wiederholt zum Ausdruck, dass trotz aller vorgebrachten Argumente zu den Unterschieden zwischen Türken und dem Rest der europäischen Familie die unabänderliche Tatsache fortbestehe, dass beide untrennbar miteinander verbunden seien. (TZ)

Im folgenden finden Sie den Redetext von Herrn Abdullah Gül abgedruckt.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

IT IS A PARTICULAR PLEASURE FOR ME TO ADDRESS THIS DISTINGUISHED AUDIENCE ASSEMBLED BY THE KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG AND TO EXPRESS MY VIEWS ON “TURKEY’S WAY TO THE EUROPEAN UNION MEMBERSHIP”.

THE KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN TURKEY IN PROMOTING POLITICAL AWARENESS ABOUT THE EUROPEAN UNION. SUCH PEOPLE TO PEOPLE CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION ARE VALUABLE FOR TURKEY’S DIALOGUE WITH THE REST OF EUROPE. ACTUALLY, AK PARTY GOVERNMENTS HAVE MADE IT A PRIORITY TO SUPPORT THE CIVIL SOCIETY INSTUTITIONS AND THE NGO’S. WE BENEFIT FROM THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO PUBLIC DEBATE. IN THIS CONTEXT, I SHOULD START BY EXPRESSING APPRECIATION FOR THE WORK BEING UNDERTAKEN BY THE STIFTUNG.

  • * *
TODAY, I ATTENDED THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION SESSIONS WHERE EUROPE CONTINUED TO DISCUSS ITS FUTURE. I ONCE MORE REALISED THAT OUR VISION OF EUROPE LARGELY COINCIDES WITH THAT OF SCHUMANN, MONET AND ADENAUER:

-THIS IS A EUROPE WHICH HAS DEFEATED ITS VIOLENT HISTORY AND FORGED A UNITY OF VALUES AND PURPOSE.

- AN ALLIANCE THAT SIGNIFIES DEMOCRACY, FREE MARKET ECONOMY, SECULARISM, TOLERANCE, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND SOLID INSTITUTIONS.

- A GROUP OF NATIONS THAT HAS RESCUED ITSELF OF SELF-INFLICTED FIXATIONS ON NARROW CONCEPTIONS OF GEOGRAPHY OR RACE, RELIGION OR CREED.

- AN EXEMPLARY MOSAIC THAT CHERISHES UNITY IN DIVERSITY.

- A EUROPE WHERE THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DIVIDING LINES OR SO-CALLED CLASHES OF CIVILISATIONS.

- A EUROPE THAT MAKES A GREATER POSITIVE IMPRINT IN WORLD PEACE AS A SOURCE OF SECURITY AND STABILITY.

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS INSTITUTIONS LIE AT THE CORE OF THIS QUEST.

EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THIS IS NOT AN EASY TASK. ACHIEVING THIS GOAL COULD BE LABORING AND THERE ARE MORE STEPS YET TO BE TAKEN.

HOWEVER, THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT HAS SIGNALLED THAT SUCH A VISION IS WITHIN REACH. TEN MORE COUNTRIES ENTER THE UNION, THREE ARE IN PROXIMITY. HOPEFULLY MORE WILL FOLLOW. I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE EU WILL ACHIEVE TO ADJUST ITS MACHINERY IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE CHANGE WITHOUT LOSING ITS EFFECTIVENESS.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

MY COUNTRY HAS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE PART OF EUROPE HISTORICALLY, GEOGRAPHICALLY, POLITICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY. WE SHARE THE SAME VALUE SYSTEM WITH THE UNION. TURKISH SOCIETY IS ALREADY AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE MODERN WORLD AND A CONTRIBUTOR TO ITS VALUES AND FUNCTIONING.

WE ARE EAGER TO PROVE AND CONFIRM THAT A MUSLIM SOCIETY CAN ACHIEVE TO BE DEMOCRATIC, OPEN, TRANSPARENT, PLURALISTIC AND CONTEMPORARY, THAT IS “EUROPEAN”, WHILE PRESERVING ITS IDENTITY.

TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP WILL PREVENT NEW DIVIDING LINES IN EUROPE BEFORE THEY WOULD BE REDRAWN. IT WILL DEEPLY ANCHOR TURKISH DEMOCRACY IN THE NORMS OF EUROPE.

WITH TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP, THE EU WOULD GAIN INDISPENSIBLE STRATEGIC BENEFITS IN TERMS OF ITS SECURITY ARCHITECTURE AND ECONOMIC REACH. IT WILL BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO PROMOTE PEACE, SECURITY AND STABILITY, WHETHER IN THE STILL FRAGILE BALKANS AND THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN OR IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA. TURKEY’S MULTI-REGIONAL AND MULTI-DIMENSIONAL FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY WILL BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GLOBAL ROLE OF THE EU. TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS WILL THUS BE ENFORCED.

  • * *
AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND, I SHOULD NOW LIKE TO GIVE YOU AN OVERVIEW OF TURKEY’S RELATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION.

I WOULD START BY RECALLING THAT THE ELECTIONS OF LAST NOVEMBER PROVED TO BE A LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR MY PARTY. THE AK PARTY’S POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO TURKEY’S INTEGRATION WITH THE EU HAVE BEEN CRYSTAL CLEAR. WE HAVE MADE A FIRM COMMITMENT TO OUR PEOPLE AND TO THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC THAT TURKEY WOULD SPEED UP REFORMS AND THEIR IMPLEMENTATION. HENCE, THE DETERMINATION, CONSISTENCY AND VIGOUR WITH WHICH WE PURSUE REFORMS IN TURKEY.

THE HELSINKI EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF 1999 HAD ALREADY BEEN A WATERSHED. IT WAS A COMMITMENT NOT ONLY FOR TURKEY, BUT ALSO FOR THE EU TO REACH A NEW LEVEL OF CONVERGENCE. IT HAS REAFFIRMED THE STATUS OF TURKEY AS A CANDIDATE COUNTRY DESTINED TO JOIN THE EU ON THE BASIS OF THE SAME CRITERIA AS APPLIED TO THE OTHER CANDIDATES. SINCE THEN, WE REGARD OUR ACCESSION PROCESS AS A ONE-WAY STREET. WE ARE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT THE EU IS A STRUCTURE. A STRUCTURE WHICH NOT ONLY BRINGS TOGETHER THE GOVERNMENTS, BUT ALSO UNITES PEOPLES OF EUROPE.

IN DECEMBER 2002, THE COPENHAGEN EUROPEAN COUNCIL TOOK THE FOLLOWING DECISION:

“IF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL IN DECEMBER 2004, ON THE BASIS OF A REPORT AND A RECOMMENDATION FROM THE COMMISSION, DECIDES THAT TURKEY FULFILS THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA, THE EU WILL OPEN NEGOTIATIONS WITHOUT DELAY”.

MY GOVERNMENT IS FULLY AWARE OF ITS RESPONSIBILITIES, OBLIGATIONS, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THIS REGARD. WE WELCOME THIS TASK.

WE ARE DETERMINED TO COMPLY WITH THE COPENHAGEN POLITICAL CRITERIA BY THE END OF 2003. WE ENJOY THE FULL SUPPORT OF OUR PARLIAMENT INCLUDING THE OPPOSITION PARTIES AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE IN THIS PROCESS.

POLITICAL REFORMS CONTINUE TO REMAIN HIGH ON OUR AGENDA. THE PRIORITY OF OUR GOVERNMENT IS TO EXTEND AND DEEPEN DEMOCRACY IN TURKEY. WE AIM TO ACHIEVE TWO MAIN OBJECTIVES IN THIS REGARD. THE FIRST IS TO PROVIDE FULL AND PROPER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EXISTING LEGAL ARRANGEMENTS. THE SECOND OBJECTIVE IS TO UNDERTAKE ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO ENSURE FULL ALIGNMENT WITH THE COPENHAGEN POLITICAL CRITERIA.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND OTHER LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS, THE NEW TURKISH CIVIL CODE AND SUBSEQUENT HARMONIZATION PACKAGES WERE ALL MILESTONES IN OUR POLITICAL REFORM PROCESS. IN THIS CONTEXT:

- WE HAVE ENHANCED FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. WE HAVE ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY;

- WE HAVE LIFTED LEGAL RESTRICTIONS ON THE LEARNING OF AND BROADCASTING IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS USED BY TURKISH CITIZENS IN THEIR DAILY LIVES;

- WE HAVE DECLARED TO IMPLEMENT A POLICY OF “ZERO TOLERANCE” AGAINST TORTURE AND ILL TREATMENT;

- WE HAVE SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURES FOR THE ACQUISITION AND DISPOSAL OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY BY NON-MUSLIM COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS;

- AND, WE HAVE INTRODUCED EXTENSIVE EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMMES FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION.

NOW, A FRESH PUSH MARKS THE TURKISH POLITICAL SCENE:

WE HAVE ACCELERATED THE ONGOING WORK TOWARDS ALIGNING OUR LEGISLATION AND PRACTICES FULLY WITH THE COPENHAGEN POLITICAL CRITERIA. THE REVISED ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP IS A ROADMAP THAT ASSISTS THE EFFORTS TO REVISE OUR NATIONAL PROGRAM BY JUNE IN A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH. THIS DOCUMENT WILL INDICATE SPECIFIC TIMELINES AND ASSOCIATED BUDGETARY MEANS.

ON THE EXECUTIVE SIDE, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS HAS RECENTLY HELD A SPECIAL SESSION TO REVIEW THE PROGRESS IN OUR PREPARATIONS FOR ACCESSION. THE COUNCIL PUT EMPHASIS ON THE NEW MEASURES FOR BETTER COMPLIANCE WITH THE COPENHAGEN POLITICAL CRITERIA.

THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT SET UP AN EU INTEGRATION COMMISSION. A SPECIAL SESSION WILL SOON BE HELD IN THE PARLIAMENT TO DISCUSS THE EU-TURKISH RELATIONS AND THE POLICIES TO STRENGTHEN THEM.

PREPARATIONS ARE WELL UNDERWAY FOR A COMPREHENSIVE NEW LEGISLATIVE REFORM PACKAGE. IN THIS CONTEXT, WE, AMONG OTHER THINGS INTEND TO:

- REVISE SANCTIONS AGAINST VIOLATIONS OF ELECTION RULES BY BROADCAST MEDIA;

- EXTEND RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR CONSTRUCTION PLANNING WITH REGARD TO PLACES OF WORSHIP TO COVER ALL FAITHS;

- AMEND THE RELEVANT LEGISLATION TO ALLOW BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC BROADCAST MEDIA TO BROADCAST IN LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS USED BY TURKISH CITIZENS IN THEIR DAILY LIVES;

- EXTEND THE APPLICATION PERIOD FROM 6 TO 18 MONTHS FOR COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS TO REGISTER REAL ESTATE IN THEIR POSSESSION;

- ABOLISH THE PROVISIONS FOR REDUCTIONS IN SENTENCES FOR “HONOUR KILLINGS”, AND

- PERHAPS FOREMOST REMOVE THE FINAL REMAINING OBSTACLES ON THE WAY TO ESTABLISH CONTEMPORARY NORMS OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, NAMELY ARTICLE 8 OF THE LAW ON FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM.

I WOULD LIKE TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT ALL THESE COURAGEOUS STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN AT A TIME WHEN PERSONAL LIBERTIES WERE BEING RESTRICTED DUE TO SECURITY CONCERNS IN MANY COUNTRIES.

  • * *
WE HAVE ALSO UNDERTAKEN SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURAL REFORMS IN THE ECONOMIC AREA. ALTHOUGH THE COPENHAGEN ECONOMIC CRITERIA DO NOT CONSTITUTE A PRE-REQUISITE FOR THE OPENING OF ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS, OUR GOVERNMENT IS RESOLVED TO IMPLEMENT THE ECONOMIC REFORM PROGRAM FULLY.

THE ECONOMIC REFORM PROGRAM THAT WE RUN IN COOPERATION WITH THE IMF AND THE WORLD BANK RESPONDS TO THE MAIN REQUIREMENTS OF THESE CRITERIA. IN BOTH TRACKS THE EMPHASIS IS ON RESTRUCTURING THE FINANCIAL SECTOR, IMPROVING PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY, STRENGTHENING PUBLIC FINANCES, AND INCREASING COMPETITIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY IN THE ECONOMY.

DESPITE CERTAIN CHRONIC PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE STARTED TO TACKLE, THE TURKISH ECONOMY HAS FIRM FOUNDATIONS. THE LATEST ECONOMIC INDICATORS TESTIFY TO THIS FACT. NONETHELESS, WE NEED FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR OUR REFORM EFFORTS. THIS WILL REINFORCE CONFIDENCE OF FOREIGN INVESTORS AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN OUR COUNTRY. WE ATTACH IMPORTANCE TO INCREASING DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN INVESTMENTS, CHANNELLING RESOURCES TO PRODUCTIVE INVESTMENTS AND GOING FURTHER AHEAD WITH PRIVATISATION.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

TAKING THIS OPPORTUNITY, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT OUR RELATIONS WITH GREECE. BESIDES SHARING A COMMON HISTORY, GREECE HAS BEEN OUR NEIGHBOUR FOR ALMOST TWO CENTURIES AND OUR ALLY WITHIN THE NORTH ATLANTIC ALLIANCE FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS. AS IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURS, INEVITABLY WE HAVE SOMETIMES BEEN FACED WITH A NUMBER OF ISSUES AND PROBLEMS.

UNTIL RECENTLY, THE APPROACH OF THE TWO COUNTRIES TO THESE CORE ISSUES WERE CONFINED TO, SOLVING THESE CORE ISSUES AND THEN TRYING TO ENHANCE COOPERATION BETWEEN THEMSELVES. SINCE THESE CORE ISSUES COULD NOT BE SOLVED, THE CLOSE COOPERATION EXPECTED TO FLOURISH FOLLOWING A SOLUTION DID NOT MATERIALIZE.

THE TRAGIC EARTHQUAKE IN TURKEY IN 1999 WAS A TURNING POINT IN OUR RELATIONS AND INSTRUMENTAL FOR THE TWO PEOPLES TO REDISCOVER EACH OTHER. INSTEAD OF TRYING TO COME TO GRIPS WITH THE CORE ISSUES IN THE FIRST STAGE, THE TWO COUNTRIES DECIDED TO ESTABLISH CLOSE COOPERATION AMONG THEMSELVES IN NON-CONTENTIOUS AREAS SUCH AS TRADE, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM, SECURITY ETC. SIX WORKING GROUPS WERE ESTABLISHED FOR THIS PURPOSE. THEY WERE ABLE TO CONCLUDE 13 DOCUMENTS WHICH SET THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE VARIOUS AREAS OF COOPERATION.

IN THE NEW SPIRIT OF REDISCOVERY AND COOPERATION, THE TWO GOVERNMENTS HAVE ALSO INITIATED EXPLORATORY TALKS ON THE COMPLEX ISSUES RELATED TO THE AEGEAN. THESE ARE PRELIMINARY TALKS TO SEE WHETHER THERE CAN BE A COMMON GROUND FOUND TO INITIATE TALKS ON THESE FORMERLY DIVISIVE ISSUES.

ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO SOLVE THEM, DEFINITELY THERE EXISTS A MUCH BETTER AND CONDUCIVE CLIMATE FOR THIS PURPOSE.

I WANT TO UNDERLINE THAT MY GOVERNMENT HAS THE INTENTION AND THE WILL TO ESTABLISH EXEMPLARY RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE.

THE IMPRESSION WE HAVE IS THAT THE GREEK GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO ADOPT A SIMILAR POLICY TOWARDS TURKEY. I FEEL THAT IT IS HIGH TIME FOR THE TURKS AND THE GREEKS TO START WORKING HAND IN HAND TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE FOR THEIR PEOPLE.

AS TO THE CYPRUS PROBLEM: ALTHOUGH THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TURKISH-GREEK RELATIONS, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE SITUATION IN CYPRUS NEGATIVELY AFFECTS THE TURKISH-GREEK RELATIONS.

IF THERE IS TO BE A SOLUTION TO THE CYPRUS ISSUE – AND THERE SHOULD DEFINITELY BE ONE -, THE STARTING POINT WOULD HAVE TO BE THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF CERTAIN REALITIES ON THE ISLAND BY ALL PARTIES. THERE ARE TWO DISTINCT PEOPLES AND ADMINISTRATIONS WITH EQUAL STATUS. A SOLUTION SHOULD HAVE TO REFLECT THESE REALITIES, CULMINATING IN A NEW PARTNERSHIP BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF BI-ZONALITY, POLITICAL EQUALITY AND EQUAL STATUS.

TURKEY HAS APPRECIATED THE SINCERE EFFORTS OF THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL TO ASSIST THE PARTIES TO FIND A LASTING SOLUTION. UNFORTUNATELY, THE UN PLAN PRESENTED TO THE PARTIES WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO EITHER OF THEM. WHAT THE TURKISH CYPRIOTS AND THE GREEK CYPRIOTS HAVE TO ACCOMPLISH NOW IS TO TAKE THE NECESSARY MEASURES IN ESTABLISHING AND ENHANCING CONFIDENCE. IN SUCH A CONSTRUCTIVE SPIRIT, THE TWO PARTIES SHOULD ONCE AGAIN INITIATE TALKS TO COME TO TERMS ON THE PARAMETERS OF A COMPREHENSIVE, JUST AND LASTING SOLUTION.

THE TURKISH CYPRIOT PARTY HAS RECENTLY ADOPTED SPECTACULAR CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES. THE POSITIVE REACTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE CYPRIOTS THEMSELVES, GREEK OR TURKISH, PROVE THAT THESE ARE DEFINITELY CONCRETE STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. I VERY MUCH HOPE THAT THE GREEK CYPRIOT PARTY WOULD RESPOND TO THEM IN A POSITIVE WAY.

THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FINDING A COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION LIES TOTALLY WITH THE TWO PARTIES IN THE ISLAND, YET I FEEL THAT TURKEY AND GREECE AS TWO GUARANTOR POWERS AND TWO MOTHERLANDS, COULD ALSO PLAY AN EQUALLY CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE IN ENCOURAGING THEIR RESPECTIVE COMPATRIOTS IN THE ISLAND IN THIS DIRECTION.

MR. CHAIRMAN,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

DESPITE ALL THE ARGUMENTS ABOUT WHAT DIFFERENTIATES TURKEY FROM THE EU COUNTRIES, THE IMMUTABLE FACT REMAINS THAT TURKS AND THE REST OF THE EUROPEAN FAMILY ARE BOUND TOGETHER. I SHOULD CONCLUDE MY WORDS BY RECALLING A RECENT COMPELLING ARGUMENT SET OUT BY NICOLAIDIS AND BERTRAND FROM THE OXFORD UNIVERSTY:

“EUROPE SHOULD NOT ASK WHAT IS TURKEY, BUT RATHER WHAT IS EUROPE. WE WISH FOR A EUROPE THAT WOULD CARRY A UNIVERSALIST MESSAGE, BEYOND INCLUSIVENESS AND TOLERANCE AND BEYOND CONTAINING DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS AND CULTURES. BECAUSE WHAT IS OUR UNION IF NOT A MAGNIFICIENT MACHINERY TO MANAGE DIFFERENCES. IT IS SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS SORT OF EUROPE THAT TURKEY SHOULD RECEIVE A YES.“

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION

Zum Kalender hinzufügen

Veranstaltungsort

Cercle Royal Gaulois, Rue de la Loi 5, 1000 Brüssel, Belgien

Referenten

  • Herrn Abdullah Gül
    • Stellvertretender Premierminister und Außenminister der Türkei
      Kontakt

      Dr. Peter R. Weilemann †

      _Turkey´s Way to European Union Membership_

      Bereitgestellt von

      Europabüro Brüssel