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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Slanted reporting on Turkey's stalled EU bid

I will continue on the theme of slanted media reporting of Turkey-EU relations, simply because there's a lot to cover. Don't get me wrong - most of the reporting is good and even the bad usually contains bits and pieces of good information. But a growing number of news stories appear to be converging around a simple explanation for the lack of progress in Turkey's accession negotiations, and I think that this explanation is one-sided. (Fortunately, it is not yet a consensus, and I will quote reports with a different take to emphasize that there is another side to the story.)

But let me give just one recent example, posted yesterday on the South East European Times website (find the article here). (The SET, btw, is sponsored by the US European Command.) The article sums up recent developments concerning Croatia's progress toward accession, and then turns to Turkey. Here is what the piece says about Turkey, in its entirety:

Turkey, which also began its membership talks in October 2005, has been moving at a much slower pace in the negotiation process. It was able to open only one negotiating chapter this year, bringing the total to 13, and has closed only one since the start of its negotiations with Brussels.
The main reasons for the slow pace are Turkey's sluggish reform progress, as well as its refusal to open its airports and ports to traffic from EU member Cyprus. As a result, negotiations on eight of the chapters have been frozen since late 2006.
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