Turkey has fulfilled the benchmarks for the opening of an EU membership negotiation chapter that is planned to be opened shortly and will present a draft action plan concerning this chapter to the EU Commission Feb. 19, EU Minister Egemen Bağış has said.
France announced Feb. 12 that it would assist Turkey in opening one of the five chapters once blocked byParis for Ankara’s long-stalled EU membership talks, Chapter 22, “Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments.”
A party crisis in the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is deepening as CHPAdıyaman deputy Salih Fırat announced Jan. 25 that he would resign despite calls from the party administration to withdraw his resignation.
“I assure everybody that my resignation is not connected with single statement or person. There has been a long process that led me to resign,” Fırat said in a written statement.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Turkey on Dec. 17 upon an invitation from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the visit comes increased tension due to the two countries’ differences over Syria, as well as difficulties stemming from sanctions against Tehran.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has offered to postpone discussions at Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission on its proposal for a presidential system to avoid obstructing the body’s work after the three opposition parties backed the continuation of the parliamentary system.
The AKP has also suggested that their presidential system proposal for Turkey’s new Constitution could eventually be drafted with red lines from opposition parties, in other words, with reservations and parentheses.
Turkish army fires mortar after Syrian round lands near village of Guvecci, second exchange of fire in as many days.
Insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad cannot be considered freedom of speech, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today in relation to protests that are sweeping the world in response to an anti-Islam film. At the same time, however, such insults do not provide people with the right to attack others, Erdoğan said in the Ukrainian city of Yalta. “Those who made this movie should be condemned in the harshest terms. But insulting religion cannot be an excuse to attack people,” Erdoğan said, according to daily Hürriyet.