ASBAREZ ONLINE
TOP STORIES
08/31/2005
TO ACCESS PREVIOUS ASBAREZ ONLINE EDITIONS PLEASE VISIT OUR
WEBSITE AT <http://www.asbarez.com/>HTTP://WWW.ASBAREZ.COM

1) EU Insists Turkey Fully Implement Customs Protocol
2) Turk Novelist May Face Jail for Genocide Comments
3) Parliament Approves Proposed Constitutional Reforms, Opposition Exits pre
Vote

1) EU Insists Turkey Fully Implement Customs Protocol

BRUSSELS (Combined Sources)--The European Commission has insisted that Turkey
must fully implement an EU customs protocol if it hopes to join the bloc,
despite Ankara's refusal to recognize Cyprus as a member state.
Spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy said Turkey's hopes of joining the EU hinged on
its
respect for the revised Ankara protocol. Turkey signed the pact in Brussels
last month but added a declaration that it did not amount to recognizing
Cyprus.
"What is important for the commission is to see a full and total
implementation of the Ankara protocol and the customs union," Nagy told
reporters.
She said that would include allowing Cypriot ships to use Turkish ports.
"There are conditions on the free movement of goods in those documents," Nagy
stated. "Turkey has to grant access to Cypriot vessels."
EU leaders gave the vast Muslim state the green light in December to start
entry talks despite its refusal to recognize the government of Cyprus, which
was among 10 countries that joined the EU last year.
Nagy's comments came as EU ambassadors were being briefed on the protocol and
the attached declaration by a commission legal expert.
The ambassadors are preparing the ground for a meeting of EU foreign
ministers
in Wales on Thursday at which the issue is certain to figure high on the
agenda.
The issue of Turkey has recently become contentious again, as member states
such as France and Austria--as well as potentially Germany under a new
conservative leadership after its upcoming elections--have signaled that they
prefer a loose partnership with Ankara as opposed to full membership.
Austria has stated that Vienna will seek 'privileged partnership' to be
explicitly stated as an alternative to full Turkish EU membership.
The European Commission's negotiating terms state open ended process with the
aim of EU membership, but not with Turkey's entry as guaranteed conclusion.
In a letter to her EU colleagues on Thursday, Austrian foreign minister
Ursula
Plassnik said the mandate should specify a "specific alternative to EU
membership."
"Such a partnership would constitute a more realistic goal in the middle
term,
for Turkey as well as for the EU member states, without excluding the
perspective of full membership," Plassnik wrote.


2) Turk Novelist May Face Jail for Genocide Comments

ANKARA (Reuters)--Best-selling Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk faces up to three
years in jail for saying that Armenians suffered genocide at the hand of the
Ottoman Turkish government 90 years ago, his publisher said on Wednesday.
Turkish prosecutors are also investigating comments by Pamuk that some 30,000
Kurds were killed more recently in Turkey in separatist clashes with security
forces.
"A lawsuit has been filed against Orhan Pamuk that could result in a
three-year prison sentence," Iletisim Publishing said in a statement faxed to
Reuters.
Pamuk made his comments about the Armenians and the Kurds during an interview
published on Feb 6, 2005, in Das Magazin, the weekly supplement of Swiss
newspaper Tages Anzeiger.
"Thirty thousand Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands and
nobody but me dares to talk about it," Pamuk was quoted as saying in the
interview.
His remarks drew an angry reaction from Turkish nationalists and politicians
at the time, and the author even received anonymous death threats.
The public prosecutor in Istanbul's Sisli district found that Pamuk's remarks
violated Turkey's newly revised penal code, which deems denigration of the
"Turkish identity" a crime, the publisher of Iletisim, Tugrul Pasaoglu, told
Reuters.
Pasaoglu said the first hearing in Pamuk's trial was scheduled for December
16.
The prosecutor's office declined to comment on the case.

SENSITIVE ISSUE

Ankara has long denied that Armenians suffered genocide, or systematic
killing, at Ottoman hands during and after World War I, saying they were
victims of partisan fighting which also claimed the lives of many Muslim
Turks.
Turkey is also very sensitive to portrayals of the Kurdish issue. Its
security
forces have been battling separatist guerrillas in Turkey's impoverished
southeast since 1984. Fighting has recently flared up after a period of
relative calm.
Pamuk is best known as the author of historical novels set in Ottoman Turkey,
including "My Name is Red" and "The White Castle." His recent novel "Snow"
is a
meditation on love and politics in modern Turkey. His book "Istanbul" is a
personal memoir of growing up in Turkey's sprawling biggest city.
His books have been widely translated into English and other foreign
languages.
Pamuk's trial is likely to prove embarrassing for the Turkish government
as it
prepares for the launch of European Union entry talks on October 3. The EU has
said Ankara must meet European standards on freedom of expression.


3) Parliament Approves Proposed Constitutional Reforms, Opposition Exits pre
Vote

YEREVAN (RFE/RL/Armenpress)--With a vote of 92 to 1 and no abstentions,
Armenian parliament approved on Wednesday the first reading of 18 revised as
well as new articles to the Constitution.
Lawmakers from opposition Ardarutyun (Justice) bloc and National Unity vetoed
the vote. They had indicted on Tuesday that they would reject the draft
because
their proposals were turned down.
Following speeches by the opposition's leadership, there was a collective
walkout of the more than two dozen parliamentarians affiliated with the two
opposition groups. They suspended their 18-month boycott of parliament
sessions
on Monday to attend the debate broadcast live by state television.
The Armenian opposition decided to reject the draft amendments despite the
fact they are supported by the Council of Europe, the European Union and the
United States, who say constitutional reform would result in a more effective
system of checks and balances among Armenia's branches of government.
Adoption of the proposed reforms is expected in the second and final readings
scheduled for Thursday and September 11 respectively.


All subscription inquiries and changes must be made through the proper carrier
and not Asbarez Online. ASBAREZ ONLINE does not transmit address changes and
subscription requests.
(c) 2005 ASBAREZ ONLINE. All Rights Reserved.

ASBAREZ provides this news service to ARMENIAN NEWS NETWORK members for
academic research or personal use only and may not be reproduced in or through
mass media outlets.