Geopolitical Research Institute(GRI)/Εταιρεία Γεωπολιτικών Ερευνών(ΕΓΕ)

Τρίτη, 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Ankara fails to open competition chapter in Belgium's EU presidency

Ankara has failed to meet requirements to open the competition chapter in its negotiations with the EU. The European Commission had requested clear deadlines to finalize the state aid portion, which Ankara prefers to keep in general terms due to its economic plans
Turkey and the European Union have failed to open the competition chapter in Ankara’s accession negotiations during Belgium’s EU term presidency, which will conclude at the end of this year.

The European Commission was not satisfied with the preparatory work for benchmarks that would enable the opening of the chapter, Turkish diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday. According to experts who wished to remain anonymous, Turkey was unwilling to assume strict obligations on the issue of state aid due to its economic program, especially in the period leading up to next year’s general elections.

In October, Ankara ratified the EU-required law on “Monitoring and Supervising State Aid,” which sets out general conditions and rules for authorization, implementation, monitoring and recovery of state aid in accordance to bilateral agreements between Turkey and the European Union. The Turkish government, however, failed to fulfill other requirements to open the competition chapter.

Among the other benchmarks, the commission had asked Ankara to present an action plan with a timetable for aligning all remaining aid schemes or equivalent measures. The commission was not satisfied with the plan Ankara provided and requested clarification.

“We had to provide an inventory of state aid that had been given so far, including details such as where it had been spent,” one anonymous source told the Daily News. “However the European Commission was not satisfied, saying that the information was not clear enough.”

In free-market conditions, state aid should be restricted in order to protect competition, but developing counties such as Turkey can use the aid for public benefit. “Turkey is in a pre-election period, and also in a period of accelerating economic growth,” one expert said. “Turkey has engaged in the short- and medium-term with the European Commission on general deadlines on state aid, but the commission requested specific dates.”

Economic officials in Ankara prefer to not assume obligations over state aid, the Daily News has learned.

Ankara also needed to establish a “State Aid Monitoring and Supervision Board,” which is planned under the auspices of the Undersecretary of the Treasury. However, no one has yet been appointed to the board, sources said.

The earliest the competition chapter could now be opened would be in January 2011, during Hungary’s EU term presidency. The Belgian presidency will be the second, after Finland, to conclude without Turkey opening a single new negotiating chapter. Belgium wants to include a note in the declaration of the upcoming EU Summit that says the preparations for the competition chapter with Turkey were almost ready.

According to diplomatic sources, two chapters – on public procurement and competition policy – could potentially be opened in the near future. Other chapters are blocked for political reasons due to the Cyprus dispute.

Source : Hurriyet Daily News

Diplomats remember Holbrooke as Turkey's advocate

Senior U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who died Monday, was a political figure who understood and respected the importance of Turkey, many of his Turkish colleagues have said following his death.

Holbrooke foresaw years ago that Turkey would play an active and assertive role in world politics, Özdem Sanberk, a former Turkish diplomat, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

“He was a person who joined politics with the moral high ground,” Sanberk said, pointing to Holbrooke’s stance on the Bosnian War in the early 1990s as testimony to his character. The Turkish diplomat, who was the Foreign Ministry undersecretary at the time, recalled an encounter with Holbrooke in Ankara. “After the official talks, he pulled me aside and told me that Turkey should help the Bosnian Muslims,” Sanberk said. “‘If you want to send arms to them, we will help you,’ he told me.”

This solidarity with the Bosnian Muslims left an impression on Sanberk, who said the diplomat influenced his views on the United States by showing him that, despite criticism of the U.S. stance on issues involving Muslims, the country could not be taken as a homogeneous bloc.

Sanberk also recalled a visit in the early 1990s to Turkish Ambassador Onur Öymen in Bonn, then the German capital. The two Turkish diplomats had lunch with Holbrooke, who was the U.S. envoy to Germany at the time. “He told us, ‘There are two important embassies in Germany: the Turkish one and the U.S. one,’” Sanberk said. “‘You have 11 consulates under the embassy, all responsible for thousands of Turks. You have the capacity to move Germany.’”

Öymen confirmed this account and called Holbrooke a very good friend and an invaluable diplomat.

“He was a very talented diplomat,” former Foreign Minister Hikmet Çetin told the Daily News. “He used to monitor Turkey very closely and had very positive views on Turkey. He was after practical solutions. He always tried to finish any mission he took on.”

According to Öymen, Holbrooke played a key role in resolving a military crisis that erupted between Greek and Turkey over the two small, uninhabited Aegean islets known as Kardak. The Turkish diplomat, the Foreign Ministry undersecretary at the time, said Holbrooke mediated between him and then-Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos in many late-night telephone conversations until the crisis was resolved.

Holbrooke’s quest for quick, pragmatic solutions did not always gain him popularity, particularly on the longstanding issue of the divided island of Cyprus. Appointed U.S. special representative for Cyprus, he had a tense relationship with Rauf Denktaş, who led Turkish Cyprus for decades, according to Sanberk.

“He was not too involved with the details. He wanted to move [ahead] with pragmatism. He would not deal with technicalities,” said a Turkish diplomat familiar with the negotiations on the Cyprus issue.

The first time Denktaş met Holbrooke for Cyprus talks, the Turkish Cypriot leader named all of the U.S. diplomat’s predecessors, one after the other, in a clear reference to the number of people who had tried, but failed, to resolve the issue. “I got the message,” Holbrooke replied, according a Foreign Ministry official who told the story to the Daily News on condition of anonymity.

Öymen shared a similar experience with Holbrooke on the Cyprus issue, recalling how he told the U.S. diplomat that the problem could be solved within six months if the United States was able to not favor one side over the other. According to Öymen, Holbrooke said that would be impossible due to the Greek Cypriots’ influential lobby in Washington. Öymen then asked that the United States just keep away from the issue, telling Holbrooke he would not be able to solve the problem and the effort would only damage his reputation.

The Cyprus issue remains unresolved.

Source : Hurriyet Daily News

Η αλαζονεία της ατιμωρησίας

Με τον Σάββα Ιακωβίδη
Η υπεροψία της δύναμης και η αλαζονεία της ατιμωρησίας. Έτσι μπορεί να ερμηνευτεί, μεταξύ άλλων, η συνέντευξη του Τούρκου υπουργού Επικρατείας, αρμόδιου για τις ενταξιακές διαπραγματεύσεις Τουρκίας-ΕΕ, Εγκεμέν Μπαγίς στην κυριακάτικη «Σ».

Οι λόγοι της τουρκικής υπεροψίας μπορεί να αναζητηθούν:

Πρώτον, στη σημαντική γεωπολιτική και στρατηγική θέση της Τουρκίας.

Δεύτερον, είναι κέντρο διέλευσης του 70% της ενέργειας από την Ασία προς ευρωπαϊκές χώρες, τις ΗΠΑ, την Ινδία, την Ιαπωνία.

Τρίτον, είναι χρήσιμη για πολλές δυνάμεις, επειδή η γεωγραφική θέση της την αναδεικνύει ως σημαντικό εταίρο και σύμμαχο, σε μιαν από τις πιο ασταθείς περιοχές του κόσμου.

Τέταρτον, η Τουρκία εμφανίζεται ως κοσμική μουσουλμανική χώρα, που, τάχα, ενστερνίζεται ευρωπαϊκές αρχές και αξίες.

Πέμπτον, συγκρούστηκε με το Ισραήλ, σε μια καταφανή προσπάθεια να ηγηθεί του αραβικού και μουσουλμανικού κόσμου και να υπερασπίσει, δήθεν, τα δίκαια του παλαιστινιακού λαού.

Η πληθυσμιακή αναλογία της, η στρατιωτική και οικονομική ισχύς της, η σταδιακή απεξάρτησή της από τις ΗΠΑ και τη Δύση, και η υιοθέτηση μιας ανεξάρτητης εξωτερικής πολιτικής, επιτρέπουν στην Τουρκία να παίζει πολιτικά και διπλωματικά παιγνίδια που, σύμφωνα με ξένους αναλυτές, μάλλον δεν μπορεί να υλοποιήσει. Ο ιθύνων νους της νέας εξωτερικής πολιτικής είναι ο νυν υπουργός Εξωτερικών Νταβούτογλου, που προβάλλει τη θέση περί «μηδενικών προβλημάτων» με τους γείτονες. Αυτή η πολιτική δεν προσπόρισε παρά εντυπωσιοθηρικά κέρδη στην Τουρκία.

Η Ρωσία είναι μεγάλος εμπορικός και ενεργειακός εταίρος της, αλλά δεν εμπιστεύεται τα μεγαλοϊδεατικά και νεο-οθωμανικά σχέδιά της. Με το Ισραήλ τα έσπασε, για να κερδίσει τις αραβικές και μουσουλμανικές μάζες. Με την Αρμενία τα πράγματα είναι σε αδιέξοδο. Η ενταξιακή πορεία της Τουρκίας καρκινοβατεί, εξαιτίας της άρνησης ή και της αδυναμίας της να ανταποκριθεί στις δεσμεύσεις της. Οι σχέσεις με τις ΗΠΑ δεν είναι στην καλύτερη φάση τους. Και το Κουρδικό είναι το αιχμηρότερο αγκάθι στα πλευρά της.

Γιατί, συνεπώς, ο Μπαγίς εμφανίστηκε τόσο αλαζόνας; Διότι η Τουρκία είναι ξεκάθαρη: Αν έχει να επιλέξει μεταξύ ΕΕ και Κύπρου, θα προτιμήσει την Κύπρο, όχι επειδή θέλει, δήθεν, λύση, αλλά γιατί το νησί είναι στρατηγικά, ενεργειακά και γεωπολιτικά πολύτιμο για τους τουρκικούς σχεδιασμούς. Γιατί ο Μπαγίς προκαλεί την ΕΕ; Διότι γνωρίζει ότι η ΕΕ την έχει ανάγκη, ενεργειακά, δημογραφικά και οικονομικά. Και γιατί η Τουρκία δεν εφαρμόζει τις δεσμεύσεις της έναντι της ΕΕ και της Κύπρου; Επειδή κανείς δεν της ζητά λογαριασμό. Ακόμα προχθές, στην «International Herald Tribune», οι υπουργοί Εξωτερικών της Σουηδίας, της Βρετανίας, της Ιταλίας και της Φινλανδίας ζητούσαν περαιτέρω διεύρυνση της ΕΕ, με τάχιστη ένταξη και της Τουρκίας, που θεωρούν πολύτιμη επειδή, τάχα, θα της προσδώσει νέο αναπτυξιακό δυναμισμό.

Πώς αντέδρασαν κυβέρνηση και κόμματα στη συνέντευξη Μπαγίς στη «Σ»; Με ανέξοδες, φλύαρες δηλώσεις. Ο Montaigne είπε: «Τι πιο μεγάλη νίκη περιμένετε, από το να πληροφορήσετε τον εχθρό σας ότι δεν μπορεί να σας νικήσει»; Η Τουρκία θεωρεί ήδη την Ελλάδα ως… φιλικό δορυφόρο. Την Κύπρο δεν την υπολογίζει καν, αφού κατέχει τη μισή και απαιτεί να ελέγξει την υπόλοιπη. Τρεμαλέος και έμφοβος, ο Ελληνισμός δεν μπορεί να διαμηνύσει στον αλαζόνα και υπερόπτη Τούρκο ότι δεν μπορεί να μας νικήσει ούτε και να μας δουλώσει. Απλώς προσπαθεί κωμικά να εξημερώσει το τουρκικό θηρίο, που οσημέραι αποθρασύνεται και αποθηριώνεται. SIGMALIVE.COM