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Home arrow newsitems arrow MEPs on Turkey: No Accession aim, strict Criteria, calls to Stop. Respect 6/2009 EU Vote +Van Rompuy

MEPs on Turkey: No Accession aim, strict Criteria, calls to Stop. Respect 6/2009 EU Vote +Van Rompuy

Written by ACM
Thursday, 26 November 2009

    EU Parliament refused any "Accession" aim to EU - Turkey negotiations, and stressed that all EU Criteria have to be fully implemented, while several MEPs launched calls to "Stop", "Freeze" or suspend the Talks, reacting strongly to what looked as an attempt to practically overthrow 2009 EU Elections' results, which had boosted parties critical to Turkey's controversial EU bid, by a controversial Resolution prepared in shady circumstances, which, on the contrary, appeared to back the Turkish move. Several MEPs evoked EU President, Herman Van Rompuy's critical stance vis a vis Turkey's EU bid, and a Majority adopted an Amendment asking to "listen to(EU)Citizens' concerns.
    Last-minute Amendments and reactions of key mainstream MEPs, moved to curbe  towards a clear criticism of Turkey's controversial EU bid and blatant disregard of its commitments, a strange Draft Resolution on EU Enlargment and Turkey, which emerged (earlier than usual and stained by brutal violations of Press Freedom) as an attempt by some to practically ...cancel People's Votes at the recent, June 2009 EU Elections, largely opposed to Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    Experienced Strasbourg observers speculated on a last attempt by a group close to out-going EU Enlargment Commissioner Oli Rehn and outgoing EU chair-in-office, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt (both notoriously close to the pro-Turkish lobby)to prevent the incoming New EU Commission (delayed by Barroso, himself an old pro-Turkey lobby fan),  the New MEPs resulting from the June 2009 EU Elections, largely critical against Turkey's controversial EU bid, and Heads of State and Government as Sarkozy and Merkel (recently confirmed as powerful Chancellor for 2009-2014 after clearly winning the September 2009 National Elections), as well as the 1st EU President Van Rompuy (reportedly critical against Turkey's EU bid), to start acting, at the same moment that Cyprus' President Christofias wants Turkey to have "consequences" on December 2009 for its persisting failure to respect its 2005 commitment to stop discriminating against EU Member Cyprus-related Ships and AIrplanes' Freedom of movement.
    * A crystal-clear Majority of some 340 against some 250 MEPs strongly REJECTED any "ACCESSION" "view" on TURKEY's controversial EU Negotiations, which, according to EU Council decisions, are, on the contrary, "Open-ended", and can lead into a "Privileged Partnership", particularly if Turkey doesn't strictly fullfil all EU Condiitons, as the New German Govening Coalition's Program for the years 2009-2014 says, (SEE NEWS REPORTS WE RECENTLY SEND FROM BERLIN).

    + At the same time, a large Majority of MEPs adopted an Amendment tabled by EPP (i.e. the party of French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel), which strengthens EU Conditions by stressing that  "a Firm commitment to FULL and RIGOROUS COMPLIANCE with ALL the CRITERIA established at the Copenhagen European Council in 1993 by candidate countries as well as by the EU is Imperative, including for the EUs Integration capacity". 

    This is significant particularly in view of New German Government, Christian-Liberal coalitions' Program, which, unlike a previous compromise with the Socialists, does not ask, no more, for "EU - Turkey Negotiations to continue", whatever might happen, i.e. opening a possibility to "freeze", suspend or cancel them if Ankara commits gross violations of its EU criteria and values.

    * Both converging moves are explained, and further reinforced, by the adoption of also another last-minute Amendment, tabled by the EPP Group, which calls for the EU to "LISTEN TO and ADDRESS CITIZENS' CONCERNS and Questions" on EU Enlargement, as for Turkey's controversial EU bid, stressing that this is "equally Essential" as the need "to present them with clear and comprehensive information".
The good and bad points of the Resolution  :
    All this augments the interest of EU Parliament's final Resolution, inwhich :

    * EU Parliament "DEPLORES the CONTINUED NON-FULFILMENT OF COMMITMENTS stemming from the Additional Protocol to the EC-TURKEY Association Agreement, and urges Turkey to proceed to its full, Non-Discriminatory implementation", concerning Cyprus' related Ships and Airplanes' freedom of access to Turkish Seaports.

    In this regard, several Key, maistream MEPs, from France, Germany and Cyprus, speaking to EU Parliament and to "EuroFora" in Strasbourg etc., strongly expressed their Countries' will to make Turkey understand that its persisting failure to honour its commitments vis a vis the EU on Cyprus will have consequences from December 2009 (See infra).

    * EU Resolution also "calls on the Turkish Government, and all parties concerned, to contribute actively to the swift devising of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question". This must be "based on UN SC Resolutions and the Principles on which EU is founded".
    * It also "REGRETS ... that the NATO-EU strategic Cooperation extending beyond the ‘Berlin plus’ arrangements continues to be blocked by Turkey’s objections, which has negative consequences for the protection of the EU personnel deployed, and urges Turkey to set aside those objections as soon as possible", (related to Ankara's refusal to recognize EU Member State Cyprus).

    - It asks Turkey to : "implement swiftly" a "Judicial reform",  and "pointing out (its) crucial importance for the functioning of the Turkish State and Society".

    - expresses "Concern" "about the situation in in the area of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press",

    - "regrets the limited progress made in the are of Freedom of Religion", and urges the government to establish a legal framework in line with the European Convention on Human Rights enabling all Non-Muslim Religious Communities and the Alevi ...to function without undue constraints",

    - "encourages the Turkish Government to take concrete measures to address the situation of citizens of Kurdish origin and asks all political forces to support this process",

    - "urges the Turkish Government and all parliamentary parties to establish consensus about the formulation and implementation of key reforms", currently stalled.

    - "calls on the Turkish Government to intensify the foreign policy coordination with the EU, in particular regarding Iran", where recent moves by PM Erdogan to approach Iran's controversial president, provoked bad impressions at Western capitals and Israel.

    - "urges Turkey to fully implement, ..., the existing bilateral re-Admission agreements with (EU) Member States", in order to contain massive illegal immigrants' Human Trafficking.

=> Key MEPs ask to STOP opening CHAPTERS in EU - Turkey Negotiations (See Infra)
    In addition, key MEPs made several interesting Statements, asking to STOP opening new Chapters on EU - Turkey negotiations, until Ankara fullfils its commitments. [ See also INFRA, for concrete details).

    Led mainly by France's and Germany's , Cyprus' a.o. MEPs, such statements (often welcomed by APPLAUSE in EU Parliament's Plenary Session in Strasbourg), made even more topical an eventual  SARKOZY - CHRISTOFIAS meeting, on the sidelines of Commonwealth's Summit on Friday.  (NB)

    + Going further, various MEPs from differend countries and horizons, started also to evoke Sarkozy-Merkel's well known rejection of Turkey's controversial EU bid, adding now also .. EU President VAN ROMPUYs reported statements against that, as well as EU Citizens' concerns (See. infra]
    * But, at the same time, that Resolution doesn't even mention the "December 2009" Time Deadline, that the EU had set since 2006 in order to check if Turkey will fullfil, or not, the commitment it took since 2005, at the start of EU Negotiations, to stop discriminating against Cyprus-related Ships and Airplanes.

    Amendments which clearly "remind(ed) Turkey that refusal to comply with its commitments towards the EU (on Cyprus-related ships and airplanes' freedom of movement), as prescribed in the ..2006 (EU) Conclusions, will lead to Consequences ...in December 2009", tabled by Cyprus' MEPs, either EPP's Kasulides or AKEL's Hadjigeorgiou, were rejected.

    Even another Amendment, tabled by mainstream German, French and Spanish EPP MEPs, referring to "the designated Date", was also rejected, (by an unspecified difference of votes).

    * Thus, instead of evoking any Sanction for Turkey's failure to respect its commitments, on the contrary, that controversial Resolution even .. "calls for the opening of the Energy chapter", in EU - Turkey negotiations, making Ankara a gift !

    An amendment tabled by mainstream German, French and Spanish EPP MEPs, adding that this should be done only after the "removal of obstacles", (i.e.  after Turkey ceases to harass Cyprus' Ships from peacefully exploring Oil-Gaz in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, and starts applying Ankara Protocol on Cyprus-related Ships and Airplanes' Freedom of Movement), was rejected, (by an unspecified difference of votes).
+ Turkey whitewashed for its Responsibility for Cyprus' talks deadlock, by only one (1) vote difference, thanks to  ..."Greek Socialist" MEPs+ !..


* Moreover, Turkey was unexpectedly whitewashed for its responsibilities on Cyprus' Talks' delays and deadlock, (despite the written denunciation made this week by Cyprus' President Christofias), after the Draft Resolution, which initially called on the Turkish Government to contribute actively" to a solution, was ..worsened by an Amendment extending this call to "all parties concerned", (i.e. also on Cyprus' Government) : Initially tabled only by "Greens"' Minority Group, it was surprisingly adopted by only.. "one (1) vote" difference : 286 to 285 !.

    This was made possible thanks to the astonishing stance of many "Greek Socialist" MEPs, who, instead of supporting Cyprus, on the contrary, abstained. It was aggravated also by one (1) EPP "Greek" dissident, Mr. Skylakakis from Crete, (HQ of the biggest American US Base in the Mediterranean).

    * In addition, the text does a  huge .. Publicity to the Anglo-American and Turkish' controversial project of a notoriously too Long, too Expensive and too Dangerous (given risks by EarthQuakes, Clashes, Financial problems, etc) Gaz pipeline "Nabucco", that it "welcomes" as "one of EU's highest energy security priorities", as it claims, (despite several other EU-led Alternatives : See relevant previous NewsReports on this point).
    + Curiously, the 1st Resolution on EU Enlargement after EU Elections of June 2009, which were notoriously won by parties whch had declared their Opposal to Turkey's controversial EU bid, (fex. in France, Germany, Austria, but also in Bulgaria, the UK,  Holland, etc), makes, on the conrtary, a huge Propaganda in favor of EU Enlargement to .. Turkey !

    Indeed, that Resolution, instead of anouncing any opposition or criticism against Ankara's controversial demand to enter in Europe, on the contrary, ... "Commends the progress (sic !) that Turkey as a candidate country has made towards fulfilment of the Copenhagen political criteria", and "remains strongly committed to the Enlargement policy", considering that "on the basis of Article 49 of the EU Treaty, ‘[any] European State ... may apply to become a member of the EU".

    (Albertini's initial claim that "Turkey made some progress", was changed on Monday in Committee, by a Socialist amendment into a triomphal : EU Parliament "commends the progress that Turkey .. made", without any known reason)...
    Thus, it already drops all well-known debates, and Political declarations at the highest EU level, on Turkey's "Non-European" character, without even presentring any argument !

    On the contrary, under the Heading : "Enlargment Strategy 2009 of EU Commission" (i.e. of out-going Oli Rehn), that Resolution practically assimilates unquestionably European Countries, as those of "West Balkans' Countries, (and of) Iceland", with the 95% Asiatic "Turkey".. 

    It even attempts to give a .. Priority to Ankara, by saying that "Turkey has been a candidate country since 1999, Croatia since 2004 and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since 2005; whereas Albania, Montenegro and Iceland have applied for membership of the EU", i.e. .. ommitting to remind Moroco, a much older case than Turkey's, whose demand to enter into the EU was bluntly rejected by a clear "No"..

    Adding obvious Propaganda, it claims, on the occasion of these Countries, Turkey included, that EU Parliament "remains strongly committed to the Enlargement policy, which has proved to be one of the most successful (in Institutional and Economic Crisis ?), ...and has ..contributed to an unprecedented extension of ..Prosperity in Europe, (with an ...unprecedented Crisis in 2008, and galoping Unemployment in 2009-2010, etc), "it is essential to create the conditions needed to ensure .. Future Enlargements", as MEPs elected for the period 2009-2014 say, i.e. threatening all that for soon !..

    It doesn't even mention the clear "No" to Turkey's controversial EU bid, declared by Governing Partis in the biggest EU Membe Counntries, as UMP in France and CDU/CSU in Germany, at their Electoral Programs to June 2009 EU Elections ! Neithert he anouncements, made at the highest level, by State and Government Heads in France and Germany, by President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel, when they launched together he Campaign for the 2009 European Elections..

    Moreover, it was even in the UK and in Holland, etc. that European Citizens surprisingly voted to make former marginal parties grow until they became the No 2 in each country, winning an unprecedented Popularity after simply promissing to be clearly opposed to Turkey's demand to enter in Europe, (fex. UKIP, "Freedom party", etc). Added to big augmentations, sometimes doubling votes received by other parties when they also promised a firm opposition, (as, fex. in Bulgaria, Greece, etc). While everywhere traditionally non-opposed parties changed their stance, by raising, for the 1st time, more strict Conditions than in the past, (as fex. the PP in Spain, or the Liberals in Germany, etc), they immediately won more and more new votes..

    As for the recent regressions on Human Rights' problems, such as the worsening of Torture cases, (given the augmentation of reported cases), the persisting Total Impunity of Torturers and even Murderers (recently condemned by ECHR : See previous NewsReports), not even a word !

    Signed by a new Italian FAC's chairman, this controversial text, (which was even made worse by a "Compromise Amendment" imposed in secret, Monday evening, on Turkey), was practicaly shaped in an unprecedented shady context (Comp. supra), without EU Citizens being warned at all, in due time, and in a quasi-Empty room (as several MEPs denounced) !

    Worse : An EPP leader, (of the Group whose MEPs were, in most cases, elected on a program clearly opposed to Turkey's controversial demand to enter in the EU), reportedly claimed, cultivating "Fatalism" and Defaitism, that this "Group was always divided" (sic) on the issue of EU Enlargement to Turkey ! While, it's well known, that EPP always had a strong Majority against that, opposed to "Socialists", so often favorable to this, that they were accused of "laxism". Make such an erroneous claim, even after the 2009 EU Electoral Campaign, launched and won by EPP over the popular "No to Turkey's accession", during the 1st battle inside EU Parliament on that issue, it's as if someone stumped his own soldiers in the back..

    => In fact, the only Hope for EU Officials not to betray European Citizens who elected them, (via the concerned Governments and at EU Parliament)(given that Text, and other related facts), is :

    At least to find an agreement on the fact that Turkey did not fullfil the required Conditions for EU Enlargement, (fex. by disrespecting Human Rights, by refusing to meet the commitments undertaken for EU Negotiations to start, etc), in order to stop, (fex. "freeze", postpone, cancel or change) at last, these controversial negotiations, which cost too much to EU Tax-payers, (Poor included), while the Economic Crisis augments the urgent need to make economies in order to become able to Invest in Europe in activiies of high  productivity in sectors pointing to the Future. 

    Several EuroMEPs, Parti leaders, Governments of EU Member Countries, etc., recently showed that they were ready and would like to act in this direction, (not only in France and Germany, but also elsewhere). But the question obviously is if they will really do so, in an efficient and serious way, (i.e. not merely symbolic or superficial), before EU Citizens start thinking that those whom they elected, seem ready to betray them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Strange, undemocratic circumstances :
    The unexpetedly controversial Resolution was practically obtained by strange, shady manoeuvers, in exceptionally undemocratic circumstances. Among many other Facts :

    + The Draft was debated and voted initially at EU Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, a Monday Evening in Strasbourg, the 1st Day at the beginning of the Weekly Session in Strasbourg, when many MEPs had not yet enough Time to arrive in Strasbourg.

    + All Critical Amendments (many on Cyprus and Human Rights) were technically "droped", without even any discussion, nor any vote (!), merely because they were considered "incompatible" with one and only "Compromise Amendment", Secretly negotiated between only a Few MEPs, without any Transparency  : You couldn't find its text, nor even a mention of its existence, at any of the usual normal areas at the website, the distribution service, etc., unless you were present at that meeting, where it appeared only at the last minute !

    + A Permanent European Correspondent, the only Cyprus and Greece-related Journalist permanently based in Strasbourg to follow EU Parliament, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, etc. (+selectively UNO at nearby Geneva, Burgenstock, etc), for more than 16 Years (+9/1993-2009), was, suddenly assaulted by 4 Gorilas - local "Security Guards", brutally hindered even to appoach the Press Accreditation Desk at the entrance, where he used to go for Decades, Discriminated, Slandered, Humiliated, submitted into Inhuman and Degrading Treatments, obliged (by orders, dilatory manoeuvers, false promises, lies, etc) to stay for many Hours even at the Rain, standing, without any chair or a drop of water to drink, facing provocations, insults, defamation, harassment, etc, and finally totally hindered to continue his work as a 16 Years Journalist, (despite many Thousands of Publications up to the last Day, to several Media, and brutally obstructing him even to present a New Accreditation Letter from another Media !), without any warning. All this was done with a Total Arbitrariness, without even showing any Decision, without even telling Who decided such a blatant Violation of Freedom of Press against a Journalist notoriously covering Cyprus' and other Political and Human Rights issues, without even saying Why, for which motives, for how long, and what should be done, while also totally obstructing any contact to EU Parliament's Press Service, holding their victim, among 4 or 5 Gorilas, far away from the Press Accreditation Desk, to the astonishment of many collegues and passers by.    

Shortly before the Journalist was aggressed by 4 Gorilas, he crosssed, neaby, the Brittish conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden, who, notoriously is ...the most pro-Turkish MEP in the entire Parliament, for Decades, (the only one to have openly justified even atrocious killings of helpless Women in Turkish Prisons back in 2000), and who was alone to launch, later this week in Strasbourg, the worst pro-Turkish attacks against Cyprus, during the EU Enlargement Debate !... 

=> All Facts clearly indicate a politically motivated sly trap.     

European/International Federation of Journalist's Secretary General, AIdan White, - who was informed and personally witnessed a large part of the Brutal behavior and Total Arbitrariness of the "Gorilas" surrounding and obstucting their Victim Journalist from any access to the Information Sources, while Turkey's controversial Draft Resolution was 1st debated and voted, behind closed doors, at the Foreign Affairs Committee, in the absence of most MEPs-  said that he was "shocked", and "deeply disapointed", after vainly trying to talk to the "Gorilas", and after he saw that even an Agreement that he had got with EU Parliament's Press Director, to let free access to the Press Center, was finally proved to be either a blatant lie, or brutaly hindered to be respected.


=> MEP's DEBATES + 1st Reactions after the vote  : ------------------------------------------------   

Such Contradictions, and unacceptable events, provoked manifold Criticism from many MEPs of various Political horizons and Countries during the Debates, which was strengthened further also by statements made after the Votes  : ------------------------


    - "On Turkey, remain many concerns,  over Human Rights, the ongoing Blockade of Armenia, Religious freedoms and the refusal to admit Cypriot ships to Turkish ports. It was also regrettable, in my mind, that Turkey recently invited to the OIC summit in Istanbul President Bashir of Sudan, a man indicted by the International Criminal Court for the horrors of Darfur", denounced British Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group.


    - EU "must exert Pressure on Turkey to keep the commitments it has undertaken", and "mainly the Ankara Protocol, which relates to the recognition of Cyprus' Republic", without "challenging Rights resulting from International Law", said Greek MEP Nicos Chountis, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group.  "There are also problems for the respect of Democratic Rights and Trade Union's Freedoms in Turkey, as they were recently highlighted by the prosecution and trial of Turkish Trade Unionists in Smyrna", he added.


    - Even this Resolution clearly says that "there are many things which have yet to be done", in Turkey, "on Human Rights, Freedom of Expression and Religious Freedom, as well as on Turkey's general behavior on Justice system", observed Greek MEP Nicolas Salavracos, on behalf of the EFD Group.

    + "But its is clear that Turkey, recently, tries to dominate the area of Middle East and Caucasus, in a way contrary to EU's principles", Salavracos denounced, (concerning also Ankara's notorious sympathies to Tchechnyan terrorists, military bombardments and invasions at Northern Iraq, etc. "Turkey's behavior on the issue of Iran, is typical, and entirely opposite to EU's Foreign Policy", as well as "on its commitments stemming from Ankara's Protocol" on Cyprus. "8 Chapters" of EU negotiations "remain yet to be examined, together with Turkey", on which, "it'is not yet ready to take any Date for opening negotiations with the EU", Salavracos concluded.


    - "EU President, Van Rompuy, was quite right, when he said in 2004, that Turkey does not belong to Europe, and it will never belong to Europe, because, otherwise, "Turkey will undermine the Fundamental values of  the European Union", stressed Dutch MEP Barry Madlener  

    Netherlands' "Freedom Party, completely agrees with EU President Van Rompuy's objections of principle against Turkey''s accession to the EU", he stressed. Even after taking a plumb job, nobody can deny what he said before,  added.the MEP, who asked for "Freedom of Expression" to be respected also for those who critcize "Islamist ideology", as he said.

    => "There is only one correct reply to Turkey's scandalous behavior, and that's to STOP the Negotiations" with the EU, underlined the new Dutch MEP, asking "to be honest with the Turks, as German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy, as well as EU President Van Rompuy" : "So, we (EU) must STOP Negotiations with Turkey". In fact, "there are multiple reasons to say "No" to Turkey", he  concluded, (applauded).


    - "We should not give False Hopes to some countries" which can't cope : Fex. "on Turkey we (EU) must see that Copenhagen Criteria on Freedom of Expression, Democarcy, Rule of Law, and Religious Freedom, are really respected : We (EU) cannot make any compromise on our values", stressed mainstream German ChristianDemocrat MEP Elmar Brosk, accusing Socialist and "Green" MEPs to underestimate the fundamental importance of Copenhagen Criteria for Europe.


    - On Enlargement, "we have left behind the Hearts and Minds of the People",  observed Romanian SocialDemocrat MEP Adrian Severin. - "We have to revisit the problem issue of our Identity, our Cultural and Geopolitical Identity, in order to know exactly what the Limits of our Enlargement are", he concluded, (curiously approaching ChristianDemocrat French President Sarkozy's initial vocabulary).. 

    => "Perhaps ..we should be a little bit more imaginative in trying to allow for some kind of "Gradual Integration" of a country for which full integration is not to be envisaged", at least not in the short term, he proposed, (using also a similar idea to "Privileged Partnership").
    - "Turkey .. insists in the Occupation of a large part of Cyprus, has revendications in the Aegean Sea, keeps Thousands of Prisoners among Kurds, Journalists, etc... We are against Enlargement.. struggling together with the Peoples of Europe, against Imperialism", said Greek MEP Babis Angourakis of EuroLeft.


    - "When it comes to enlargement, we must choose : Do we want to turn a blind eye, or do we want to give our Citizens a say ? A REFERENDUM is the best way for Democratic decisions and in order to bring Europe closer to Citizens", proposed Italian MEP Fiorello Provera, of the EFD Group. 

    - "We have to STOP this mascerade on accession of Turkey", said Belgian MEP van Claeys. "We have to stop minimizing the problems. We really have to face the reality : We have been witnessing, all these 5 Years, what it gives to have Turkey on accession negotiations : Turkey is one of the most anti-Western and anti-Democratic Countries, with an Islamic State, where Freedom of Expression has no perspectives. We are in favor not of a "closed", as someone claimed, but for a European concept of Europe. As (recently appointed EU President) Van Rompuy said : Turkey was never part of Europe, and will NEVER be !".   


- Enlargement was not led in a satisfactory way", "it increases complexity, and difficulties". Meanwhle, "we need to get Citizens behind us, and for this, to have a Logic policy", advised German Liberal MEP Alexander Lambsdorf. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - "In a recent Euro-barometer, EU Citizens voted 28% for, and 59% against Turkey's accession into the EU. These are clear Numbers, that Politicians cannot ignore, unless to widen the gap vis a vis Citizens", observed Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen.

- "As (EU President)van Rompuy said, Turkey is not located in Europe, and is no part of EU's History, in which Christianism,  Enlightnment, and the Democratic Nation-State, have fixed the Religious, Cultural and Political Landscape. A Privileged Partership would better associate the best 2 parts of the worlds. .. Time for Clarity : - STOP with Accession Negotiaions.  START with Negotiations for a Privileged Partrnership : Let that be the Enlargment Stratey of 2010", van Dalen concluded.


    - "It's amazing how the Parliament has let itself to be drag" by an "enlargment optimism" desired by EU Commissioner Oli Rehn..; Why should we compliment Turkey ? ...We'd better look at our Duties to respresent the People of the EU. We have to look at what the People wants. We only reach the People if we are honest about our assessments about the extension to which candidate countries really comply with Copenhagen Criteria", ssid Dutch MEP Bastian Belder (EFD)


- "It's frightebing how Democratically deficient is the EU, when it comes to Tukey's accession !", stressed Austrian MEP Franz Obemayr. 

- "Most of our Citizens are opposed  to Turkey's acceession, but over the heads of our Citizens hangs this rosy picture that, despite everything, EU negotiations continue. The suggesion is that there is no immediate acceession. But, between 2007 and 2012 Turkey will get 2,26 Billion Euros, and that''s not what EU Citizens want. Money comes mainly from net payer countries whose Citizens don't want Turkey's accesssion", he denounced.

 - "This is obviously a rather US American interest. Turkey will cause a number of Conflicts that they will have to be solved by the EU. Now, despite Turkey's participation to an Eurovision song contest, a honored former President of Germany had clearly defined Europe, based on 3 Hills : Akropolis, for Greek Humanism, Rome's Capitol for European State Culture, and on Golgotha for Christianism of the Western World", he Obermayr concluded.


    Only Brittish conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden was 100% for Turkey's accession to the EU, launching a series of verbal atacks against its critics, and mainly Cyprus : - "In relation to Cyprus, ... a distorted version of recent history has unfortunately become the accepted wisdom", he accused all other MEPs. 

    Van Orden was anxious to solve the 35 Years old Cyprus' issue in a few Months time, "before another Turkish Cupriot leadership is chosen  on April 2010 : - "There is a real opportunity between now and the presidential elections in Northern Cyprus ( as he called the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, held by Ankara's Invasion Army) in April which should be seized, and this is a matter for all sides", he said. Reminding the controversial 5th version of a failed UNO Secretariat's Plan, prepared with the participation of UK/USA Officials, but in the absence of any European envoy, with the result tio be accused of neglecting, Van Orden recalled that, obviously, Turkish Cypriots agreed .. in April 2004. (while) & It was rejected by the South", as he called the legitimate, internationally recognized, Republic of Cyprus.  And he found that "EU has a moral (sic !) duty" to satisfy Turkey's controversial demand to open for direct trade the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, from which some 200.000 Greek Cypriot Refugees have been brutally forced to flee, their Family Homes and private properties usurpated by the illegal occupation regime, and hindered to return, by Ankara's Foreign Occupation Army. He called on Representatives of EU Citizens, to better "treat Turkish interests", threatening them that, otherwise, they risk to "encourage ... wrong tendencies in Turkey itself", implying that now Ankara would follow a "right" tendency, despite its persistent failure to comply with its commitments. (See aboveà)    But, even Van Orden was "deeply concerned about Migration problems" imported from Turkey, as "many of us" (MEPs), as he said. - "This is an aspect of our negotiations with Turkey that will have to be dealt with in a particular and Robust way", he warned Ankara.


     However, another Brittish MEP, William (The Earl of) Dartmouth (of the EFD Group), denounced, on the contrary, the fact that, while "rich countries, for example Norway and Switzerland, simply do not want to join the EU", on the contrary, some propose for EU membership only "poor" countries as Turkey, etc., whose only "European Dream", "is that they will receive subsidies". "This situation is unstable, untenable and unsustainable" : "In fact you are driving (the EU) towards Economic Chaos in the future", he warned Oli Rhen.

  - "Most People would be impressed by the fact that only 3% of the land mass of Turkey is in the continent of Europe at all, and this proposition that Turkey should become a full member of the European Union is, on Geographical grounds, completely Bizarre", added Earl of Dartmouth.    


+ Moreover, Italian MEP Mario Borghezio (EFD), warned that, those who push to enlarge the EU to Turkey, may endanger Europe's "Stability" :   

  - "A few days ago, Turkish PM Erdogan claimed that he felt badly in relation to Israeli PM Netanyahu, but "much better" when he's near Bashir, the Sudanese President who is under investigation for accusations of "Crimes against Humanity", he denounced. - "If Turkey enters  in Europe, we (EU) shall have had as neighbors : Iran, Iraq and Syria", Borghezio warned. "It's better to link Turkey to Europe with a "Privileged Partnership", he proposed.

    - In the meantime, "there is a worrying trend of de-occidentalisation in Turkey, in very advanced state : Fex. measures to separate men from women in pools, restrictions of the freedom of the political opposition, imposition of heavy fines, and so on, while, in fact, the majority of the Turkish people is against the entry of Turkey in the EU. "Turks are Turks", he concluded.


       - "It's a matter of Credibility for the EU to see that its Conditions are really fullfilled with acts, and not only words : .. Concerning Turkey, there are 2 serious elements : It's by normalising its relations with Cyprus, and by stopping overflight on Greek territory by its Military airplanes that it (Ankara) could accelerate its accession process", said Greek MEP Georges Cumutsakos (EPP).

    - But, if things go like this, (i.e. as the controversial Resolution claims that Turkey would have made some "progres"), then, "the only good news, for EU Citizens, is that, at least in 2009 there will be no EU Enlargement !", joked Polish MEP Krzysztof Lisek (PPE).


    - Refering to Rehn and Bildt's remark that "Lisbon Treaty opens a new era to EU Enlargeent", EU Parliament's Security and Defence Committee President, French MEP Arnould Danjean, (EPP), stressed that this should be done "with realism and lucidity, not as race", in order to avoid provoking "Incomprehension, or even Suspicion, in our Public Opinions, as well as False Illusions in certain countries, inciting them to limit themselves merely into words and a few "cosmetic" changes, instead of profound reforms".

    - "On Turkey, before speculating about a highly Hypothetical future, ... I simply observe that, for the 2nd year in a row, EU Commission noted that there was No progres on  the Ankara Protocol, (about stoping obstruction of EU Member Cyprus-related Ships and Airplanes' Freedom of movement)".

    => In consequence, "this does not allow to open new Chapters of negotiation", the mainstream MEP of the Governing UMP party warned Ankara, (creating a Surprise among other MEPs, but attracting also Applause)...


    - "I am disappointed by the fact that issues for which Turkey should be criticized, are abused now (in the controversial Resolution in order, on the contrary, to upgrade Turkey's position on its EU accession bid", denounced Cyprus' Socialist MEP Kyriakos Mavronicolas, EU Parliament's Security and Defence Committee's vice-President, and former Minister.

    - "It's since 2006 that Turkey has a commitment to recognize Cyprus, to apply the Ankara Protocol, and to help solve Cyprus issue. But it hasn't done none of that. On the contrary, EU talks are  exploited in order to make an attempt to open the Energy Chapter" (See supra), he criticized. "But, Cyprus, as a small State, has to protect its interests and ask Sanctions vis a vis Turkey. One among them is to STOP opening Chapters" , Mavronikolas warned. 


+ Reacting after the final vote, Bulgarian MEP Dmitri Stoyanov, denouncent inter alia that "Turkey has comitted and still commits Genocide, and is even linked to Terrorist Networks", as he said, (probably referring to some Mafia-like Turkish networks extending  in certain areas of Bulgaria, as he had earlier observed]

- Finnish Liberal MEP Hannu Takkula stressed the need for Turkey to "respect Human Rights", adding that "I don't  think that it will happen during a Life-time !"..

- German ChristianDemocrat MEP Martinn Kastler, said that "Turkey has first to show that it respects its EU commitments, but this is not the case actually", he denounced.
+ More MEPs continued to react critically, adding their voices to various, growing reactions after a final vote on a controversial Resolution, prepared in controversial circumstances (See above),


* One of the most topical Criticisms came from Austrian MEP Franz Obermayr :  - "EU Commission continues further accession negotiations with Turkey, without taking into account neither the objections of several EU Member States, nor what EU President Van Rompuy has said, i.e. that "Turkey is not part of Europe, and will never become a part of Europe". And that the Universal Values, that Europe defends, founded on Christian values, would be compromised by the entry of such a big Islamic country as Turkey. So, I ask you, will EU Comisssion at least take into account EU Citizens' legitimate concerns ?", he asked Barroso.

- EU Commission's President simply replied that, by continuing EU - Turkey negotiations he simply applies a "mandate given by all EU Member States, unanimously", as he stressed : Something which obviously leaves ground for a different future if one, two or more EU Member Statess start to object on Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    As for EU President, Herman Van Rompuy's views vis a vis Turkey, Barroso, refusing even to "comment" them, merely said that he (Van Rompuy) ;will also have to "respect the mandate that he receives from (EU) Member States"..;

    But, significantly, Barroso forgot 1 out of the 3 factors cited in Obermayr's question : EU Citizens !.. 
=>Strong  Reactions by key-MEPS (+ Sarkozy - Christofias meeting ?) :
    + Moreover, strong reactions by mainstream, key-EuroMPs, speaking to "EuroFora" after the Thursday afternoon votes in Strasbourg, were clearly critical vis-a-vis Turkey, pointly mainly to the December 2009 EU Council :

    -  "The position of the Governing parties in Germany : CDU/CSU, and in France : UMP, remains clear", stressed after the votes the President of EU Parliament's Security and Defence Committee, mainstream MEP of the French Governing party UMP, Arnould Danjean, speaking to "EuroFora".

    =>  And, "in the EU Parliament, some may say what they like, but, at the end of the day, Decisions are taken by the EU Council and its Member States", Danjean warned.

    Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy just left for an exceptionnal visit to the ... Commonwealth Summit, at the other side of the Globe, at Trinidad-and-Tobago, where he will be on Friday, 27 November, together with Cyprus' President Demetres Christofias...


    This fits another converging fact : Contrary to an inaccurate "Simerini" report from Brussels, Cyprus' Governing Party AKEL's Top MEP, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, speaking to "EuroFora", confirmed that in an earlier declaration he made during EU Parliament's weekly Plenary Session in Strasbourg, he clearly warned Turkey that, "as long as Turkey doesn't respect its commitments, and doesn't lift its discriminating obstacles against Cyprus by recognizing it, Cyprus cannot agree to the opening of any (EU negotiation's) Chapter".

    -  "We shall continue our efforts and shal fight up to the end (i.e. December 2009's EU Council). This was only a Step, not the entire Road", stressed to "EuroFora" the Top MEP representing Cyprus' Governing party.

     - It's clear that Turkey does not really respect European Court of Human Rights' judgements, does not apply the Ankara Protocol but continues discriminating against Cyprus' Ships, that she also harasses when they peacefully explore Cyprus' exclusive Economic zone for Oil-Gaz. That's why  "Cyprus cannot consent to the opening of the Energy Chapter", MEP Antigoni Pericleous-Papadopoulou, of the Governing Coalition's party DHKO, told "EuroFora" that she stressed in a Letter to EU Commissioner Oli Rehn.

    Warning him that, otherwise, "by insisting to open that chapter", he obviously risked to extend even further "Turkey's intransigeance and impunity".

    Even softly-speaking usually, Head of Greece's ChristianDemocrat/EPP Delegation MEP, former Minister of Education and Culture, Marietta Gianakou, was led to warn that, despite supporting EU's Enlargment, people "start yet to have DOUBTS about he Chanllenges faced by our EU common Principles"..
BILDT tries to make MEPs afraid that Turkey might go away...
    In reply to MEP's concerns, Swedish EU Chairman in office, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt,  admitted that "the Magnitude of the transformation (needed by) Turkey has not escaped us either",  that "are all aware that there are those in our respective public opinions that would prefer just to shut the door,  hoping that the issue will go away, and who opt for a more closed idea of Europe", as he said, while  it "will have to travel a long and difficult road of reforms".

    But Bildt tried to make MEPs fear that Ankara, if it doesn't enter into the EU, might turn towards the Islamic world : - "Were that door to be shut, other doors would immediately open up to other forces, and we might well see those parts ...moving off in directions that over time will have negative consequences for us all", he threatened,

    On the "ongoing talks on the reUnification of Cyprus", which are of "obvious significance", Bildt simply "urged" "President Christofias and Mr Talat", "to move forward towards a comprehensive solution on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality in accordance with the relevant UN SC Resolutions". "'The importance of this can hardly be exaggerated", he added.

    But he curiously avoided any reference to Turkey's responsibilities to help find a solution, despite more than 40.000 Turkish soldiers occypuing the norther part of Cyprus..

    + There are "fundamental reforms under way in Turkey on the Kurdish question", Bildt claimed also, expecting that, if they "succeed," they "would bring the country much closer to our European standards in areas of fundamental importance"

    Out-going, controversial EU Commissioner on Enlargemnt, Finnish Socialist Oli Rehn, claimed that he has "seen steady progress in Turkey". He spoke about a "democratic opening to resilve the Kurdish question", without giving concrete details, while recently many Children and even freshly elected Mayors were reportedly arrested in Turkey. Without even a drop of gaz or oil, "Turkey plays a key role in Energy Security", Oli Rehn claimed, apparently referring to the Anglo-American and Turkish project for a too long, too expensive, and too dangerous gaz/oil pipeline, (facing risks of Earthquakes, Clashes, and Financial burdens, etc). As well as to "the Dialogue between Civilisations", as he added, probably referring to Turkish PM Erdogan's controversial deals with the Iranian President, which provoked reactions in Western capitals and Israel.

    - "But Turkey still has a long way to go. Besides reforms, we expect Turkey to ensure full implementation of the Ankara Protocol and to make progress towards the normalisation of relations with Cyprus", EU Commissioner warned Ankara.
    - "We (MEPs) should be happy after the ratification of Lisbon Treaty and the appointments of an EU President and Foreign Minister, but, I don't know why there is this FEELING OF UNEASINESS, a Lack of enthousiasm, ... and this EMPTY room", critically observed French Governing UMP's EuroMP Jean-Pierre Audy.

    - "An extremely Worrying" fact for the EU is also a "Disappointing" ambiance, and an "Empty" room indeed, added also Top French EuroMP, former Minister of Justice, Mrs Rachida Dati, (notoriously close to President Sarkozy).


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     The High-Tech, brand new Crisis' management Center (CMC) inaugurated Wednesday by French Minister Bernard Kouchner, fits well EU's Humanitarian and Security-Defence aims, revealed a gathering of the largest Group of MEPs (EPP) organised in Paris these days, to prepare the debate on French EU Presidency's priorities (July - December 2008), that President Nicolas Sarkozy will present next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

        Due to face a large spectrum of Crises : from Humanitarian (f.ex. Natural Catastrophes, evacuation of Civilians or rapatriation of expats, populations exposed to Hunger and/or risky Sanitary conditions, etc), to various consequencies of Terrorist threats, Armed conflicts, or of Peace-keeping operations, etc, and joining Geopolitics with Diplomacy, CMC is able to deal with urgencies in real time anywhere in the world, by concentrating qualified Experts and impressive High-Tech equipment (i.e. Giant Computer Screens working in parallel, Visio-conferences, Satellite connections, etc).




        Kouchner stressed that "Humanitarian and Political considerations can co-exist in real practice, if each one respects its independence", and, speaking to EuroFora, underlined his intention to have special representatives in "Strategic" locations, creating a "Network", open particularly to European cooperation.


        - "We must fill the gap in Europe's Civilian and Military capacities", declared earlier at Matignon, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, while EU Commissioners met with their counterparts among French Ministers.

        This point was at the focus of European People Party's "'Study Days" in Paris, from 2 to 4 July 2008, entitled  : "For a Safer Europe", with a central Debate on EU's Security and Defence policies, where EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert Poettering, French Minister of Defence Herve Morin, and the Chairman of EU's Defence Committee, MEP Karl von Vogaw, spoke before meeting with Sarkozy, Wednesday afternoon.

    - "We need specifically European systems, including, f.ex. Satellite networks, etc", stressed the experienced Chairman Karl von Vogaw, speaking after the meeting with President Sarkozy to European Journalists from EuroNews, EuroPolitique and EuroFora.
    - And there where "European forces are already gathered, (f.ex. in Cyprus, Balkans, Lebanon, etc), if new operations started, I'd prefer to see them under European command in Future", he added, in reply to questions on how to overcome problems raised by a 3rd Countries as Turkey.

    Vogaw presented earlier, at EPP's plenary, a comprehensive Report on EU's Security and Defence policy, with a strong High-Tech component (including Satellites, UAV, protected Telecoms, Strategic Air and Sea Transports, Space assets, etc), sharp references to Political will and Historic necessities, while also stressing that EU must overcome the divide between Civilian and Military research and activities, making "a close cooperation between Civilian and Military means" a "specific" mark of Europe.

    The experienced Top MEP, after helping to build the "EuroZone", as a long-time Chairman of EU Parliament's Economic Committee, has recently started to chair a brand new "Security and Defence Committee", aiming to build European Defence, as the 2nd task of his life, as he told earlier to EuroFora.


     The Committee, chaired by Vogaw, will hear, next week in Strasbourg an Experts' view about on the French EU Chairmanship's priorities in ESDP on Wednesday, before President Sarkozy's plenary debate, exceptionally on Thursday.


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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