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051026 - ANKARA: European Parliament MPs say Turkey must improve minority, human rights
European Parliament MPs say Turkey must improve minority, human rights-- Anatolia news agency, Ankara 21 Oct 05
Istanbul, 21 October: Renate Sommer, German Christian Democrat Party (CDU) and European Parliament (EP) member, has said today that every
one wants good neighbourly relations but not every body wishes for Turkey's full membership to the European Union (EU).

Sommer participated in an international conference on "Foundations for European Solidarity and Cooperation Making Enlargement Possible" held in association with the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate and the European Parliament Christian Democrats and European Democrats Group in Istanbul.

Sommer reminded that during the discussions certain representatives talk about their wish to see Turkey as a member in the EU. "No, this is not so. We all want good neighbourly relations but we do not, as a
whole, want Turkey's membership to the EU," said Sommer.

According to Sommer, the EU can not carry the weight of a large population in the next 10-15 years. "In fact, the Turks seem to be not wanting to join the EU. The Turks are not fulfilling the necessary criteria. Despite Turkey's failure to fulfil the EU
criteria, negotiations (as a big error) have begun," noted Sommer.

"We must end all rhetoric that Europe must prove that it is not a Christian club and that Turkey should prove it is not a Muslim club," noted EP Turkey Rapporteur Camiel Eurlings.

Eurlings told that the European Commission will pay high attention to freedom of religion in Turkey. "We must get together during Turkey's negotiation process and take concrete steps," expressed Eurlings.

Camiel Eurlings stressed that Turkish authorities must find a way to re-open the Heybeliada Seminary. "If there is a will, a way can be
found," said Eurlings.

Eurlings reiterated that, being unable to train individuals, the Orthodox Church has difficulty in having new clergies.

Eurlings commented that the Alevis in Turkey are not regarded as a religious society. "As the EU, we have to handle the matter of Allusive," stated Eurlings.

Eurlings added that certain clauses in the Turkish Penal Code that limit the freedom of writers as Orhan Pamuk must get removed soon.

Meanwhile, Antonio Tajani, member of the Forza Italian Party, has remarked that Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan must take initiatives about religious minorities. "We have to make sure that
none of the Orthodox believers leaves Turkey. Their properties must be protected... just as in the case of Muslims in Europe," said Tajani.

Wilfried Martens, leader of the European People's Party (EPP), has stressed that what are being said in the conference are not negative..."they are merely a call to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)."

"I am making a call to the prime minister of Turkey and his bureaucrats. We are partners with you. We must openly talk all issues and defend the reality. The membership of the AKP in our group is
prominent. We should accept open dialogue and comments made at the conference. I invite my friends at the AKP to accept the essential conditions on the road to accession into the EU," pointed out Martens.

The Istanbul conference ended with a final statement which indicated that churches can play a vital role in providing freedom for NGOs in the EU.

"This dialogue must continue every year. It is crucial for Christians, Muslims and Jews to work together to preserve freedom of religion. The Turkish government must take the necessary steps to open the Heybeliada Seminary soon. We congratulate the Turkish government for implementing the Copenhagen criteria. The next dialogue meeting may take place in Slovakia between October
19th-20th, 2006," commented the statement.
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Envoyé : lundi 24 octobre 2005 17:03
À : Armenian News Network


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