Ankara Steps Up To The Plate

This is a very intelligent move:

Between the rock of the French and Dutch referenda and the hard place of the looming early elections in Germany, Turkey has reiterated its determination to seek full EU membership. Ankara has also named its chief EU negotiator.

Turkey’s 38-year-old chief EU negotiator Ali Babacan is a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who believes that there is no slowdown in Ankara’s reforms, notwithstanding that “political reforms, unlike economic reforms, do need some adjustment time to change the mental framework of the people”. In an interview with Reuters a few days prior to his appointment on 24 May, Babacan said that Turkey had no reason to fear from the referendum in France provided that Ankara stayed calm, pursued its own reform agenda and met all EU conditions for opening accession negotiations on 3 October 2005. He has said that he had “no solid reason” to believe that the scheduled 3 October launch of accession talks would be in jeopardy.

Handling matters this way throws all the pressure back on the EU. “We are ready to negotiate, now lets get on with it”.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

2 thoughts on “Ankara Steps Up To The Plate

  1. Prediction: it ain’t gonna cut it.

    Supporting evidence: Turkey is making it too easy for its enemies by doing stupid things like suppressing ana academic conference planned for today on the Armenian genocide. Germany is, if anything, going to become even more anti-Turkish during the coming campaign. And the French referendum on the EU constitution, while forgotten in a few months’ time, further highlights how unpopular Turkish membership is in Western Europe.

    But the real question is, can the Turkish government keep up the pace of reform? In that sense, the ball is still in their court.

  2. “But the real question is, can the Turkish government keep up the pace of reform? In that sense, the ball is still in their court.”

    I’m not sure whether it will cut or not, but I agree with this.

    What I’m getting at is that I think it’s a smart move by Turkey to get the EU be seen to be backing away. That way they’ll be under more pressure.

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