November 23, 2011
Last Monday Turkish President Abdullah Gül stated through The Guardian:
Relations with the EU are a strategic choice. It goes beyond political parties.
It should be the same within the EU.
In 2004 Germany (Mr Gerard Schröder) and France (Mr Jacques Chirac) strongly supported Turkey and its EU path and signed for the opening of the EU-Turkey negotiations (in 2005).
But the current extremely questionable French and German leaders (who most probably will lose the next elections) deny the signatures of their predecessors and discredit the whole EU which they ought to lead with a global vision scanning the whole planet.
That is unbelievable. We’re in the 21st century.
France and Germany and the EU can’t be ruled that way. The EU and its citizens don’t deserve that.
Well have we to wait for the new goverments of France and Germany to recollect the signatures of the whole EEC/EU of 1963, 1999 and 2004?
1963: the Ankara Agreement that foresaw Turkey’s membership to the bloc,
1999: Turkey’s EU candidacy status at Helsinki,
2004: the key decision to open the EU-Turkey negotiations.
These kind of important and historic decisions are expected to go beyond political parties and governments.
True and dignified heads of state would protect these involvements.
In a friendly manner,
PS. Harriet Alexander from the Sunday Telegraph interviewed Mr Abdullah Gül last week in Turkey, one day before his departure for Britain. The Turkish president told her:
“We are between Asia and Europe – we are like a bridge. Some of us are in Asia, some in Europe. We are at the very centre of both sides.”
I quote the newspaper:
“Turkey is a natural part of Europe,” he told The Sunday Telegraph in the elegant, cream marble surroundings of his Ankara palace.
“Being a member of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights; being one of the oldest members of Nato, as well as being part of European culture and art – this is a natural path Turkey is flowing into.”
PPS. I didn’t know that Mr Gül studied in England:
Mr Gül, 61, founded Turkey’s ruling AKP party before becoming prime minister and then foreign minister. He speaks with the calm, self-assured manner of a diplomat, talking in Turkish through a translator but then interrupting in English to finesse his points.
Several years spent at university in Exeter and London have given him a strong grounding in English, and he is already acquainted with the Queen, who visited Turkey at his invitation in 2008. His visit to London is the first by a Turkish president for 23 years.cem