By Manolis Kostidis – Istanbul
A half – solution was given by the EU on the issue of new chapters opening in Turkey’s accession talks. Following several days of tension between Turkey and Germany, a compromise was finally reached.
According to the decision made by European governments, the EU will open a new chapter in Turkey’s accession talks; however, the process was postponed until October 2013. The 27 EU member-states will wait for the Commission’s annual progress report. Normally, talks were supposed to begin Wednesday.
Vienna and Berlin had reacted strognly to the violent response of Turkish police against demonstrators in Gezi park as well as statements by Turkish officials against Angela Merkel claiming she was threatened with electoral defeat in upcoming elections.
Ahment Davutoglu – who in recent days talked several times with German counterpart Guido Westerwelle – stressed he “saw no obstacle” to opening a new chapter. “An issue that was considered a potential stumbling block in Turkey – EU relations was overcome. The Turkey – EU train could travel at full speed now” said the Turkish Foreign Minister.
Accession negotiations have been divided into 35 chapters, of which 14 have opened and only one has closed so far. The new chapter which now opens is that of Regional Policy.
Meanwhile, Turkey has yet to implement the “Ankara Protocol” which provides the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot ships and aircrafts respectively.
Obama phone call regarding Gezi Park and Demonstrations
Political analysts consider the US President may have played a role in the offering of a compromise by the EU.
Barack Obama made a phone to call to Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday night in order to discuss recent incidents in Turkey with him.
The Turkish Prime Minister was at a cabinet meeting at the time of the call and had to interrupt it in order to speak to Barack Obama at 5 p.m.
The conversation lasted more than one hour, focusing on the clashes that erupted in Taksim Square after the Gezi park incidents.
The Prime Minister’s office issued a statement which read: “The two leaders discussed the importance of nonviolence and of the rights to free expression and assembly and a free press”. The statement is evident of US concern at what took place in Turkish streets in recent weeks.