Journal of Turkish Weekly
March 11 2009


We Are Receiving Positive Signals From Turkey Since Beginning of 2009,
Commissioner Rehn

European Union (EU) Commissioner in charge of enlargement Olli Rehn
said Wednesday the reform process in Turkey slowed down in
2008. "However, we are receiving positive signals from Turkey since
the beginning of 2009".

Speaking at the general assembly of the European Parliament where a
debate on a report on Turkey, prepared by rapporteur Ria
Oomen-Ruijten, is taking place, Rehn said that the establishment of a
Kurdish tv channel, formation of a parliamentary committee on women
and men equality and the appointment of Egemen Bagis as the new chief
negotiator are all positive steps taken in Turkey.

Rehn stressed that they closely monitor developments regarding freedom
of the press and the freedom of expression in Turkey.

A crucial opportunity exists in 2009 to re-unify the island of Cyprus
and Turkey's strong contribution to the process in Cyprus is
important, Rehn said.

Ria Oomen-Ruijten said that the report prepared on Turkey actually
makes a call on Turkey to "speed-up the reform process".

Fulfilling the Copenhagen political criteria would contribute to the
modernization of Turkey, Oomen-Ruijten said.

Among the prior issues to be dealt with in Turkey are the
establishment of a state based on the rule of law, the establishment
of an independent judiciary and the development of basic rights and
freedoms, Oomen-Ruijten said.

In the report on Turkey, we have criticized the slow pace of reforms
in Turkey but also mentioned important developments, Oomen-Ruijten
said.

"It would have been an imagination to establish a Kurdish tv channel
in Turkey ten years ago," Oomen-Ruijten said.

"Turkey's development of its relations with Armenia is an important
matter. Turkey should open its border with Armenia and end the
isolation of Armenia," Oomen-Ruijten said.

"We expect more steps in Turkey in the areas of freedom of expression
and the freedom of press," Oomen-Ruijten also said.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009
STRASBOURG (A.A)

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress