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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Turkey's EU minister at Stockholm University (video)

Egemen Bağış (right) and Paul Levin. Photo: Eva Dalin

Heading off to Turkey tomorrow for a week so I don't have time for a longer post. But I thought I should at least post a link to the video of the talk by Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator, Egemen Bağış, at Stockholm University last week.

I introduced Mr. Bağış and moderated the Q&A, which lasted for around 45 minutes. No questions were pre-screened. There were some protests at the very end of the Q&A, which made a bit of a stir in Turkish news, but below is a link to the whole thing, unedited and in its context.

If I have time, I will comment on the content at a later time.


Here is a link to an article on the Stockholm University web site, with a link to the video.

If you want the video directly, click here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Turkey, Sweden, and Brazil form a Trilateral pact?

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden, and Brazil released a statement with the title "Trilateral Solidarity for Building peace" during a meeting in Izmir on January 5.

It is somewhat unclear how much the initiative means in practice, other than serving as a recognition of the already frequent contacts between these governments and their foreign ministers. But at the least, it entails continued meetings between the three ministers, during which they will touch on relevant global topics. According to my source, it may also lead to meetings between civil servants in the foreign ministries.

Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, is a longtime believer in the strategic significance of Turkey and has been working actively to strengthen relations between the two states. But this initiative was originally proposed by the magazine Monocle, which organized a round table with the three foreign ministers in New York. I suspect that the name comes from Davutoğlu, however.

Here is a link to an article in Hurriyet Daily News on the initiative.

Here is the statement on the web page of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Turkey accuses EU of bigotry | EurActiv

Turkey has published its own report on the country's progress in adopting the EU aquis. According to Turkish Minister of EU Affairs, Egemen Bağış, the decision is in response to the fact that
this year's Turkey Progress Report was overshadowed by more subjective, biased, unwarranted and bigoted attitudes.
I must admit to not yet having gotten through the report (one of many unfinished projects over the winter break...) but my back channel sources tell me that the Cypriot delegation has been demanding stronger language in recent years' Progress Reports.

You can find Bağış' statement here.

And here's EurActiv's article on the issue.

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