France sticks to 'privileged partnership' in Turkey 2009 ties

Few but positive developments occurred regarding EU membership has been an important handicap in improvement of Turkey-France relations.

France sticks to 'privileged partnership' in Turkey 2009 ties

"Season of Turkey" activities that started in France in July have made an important mark on bilateral relations in 2009.

Turkey has been promoted by over 400 artistic and cultural activities in more than 70 cities in France.

The "Season of Turkey" activities, which will continue till March 2010, aim to contribute to promotion of Turkey's dynamics, creative differences, culture and heritage to the French society.

With the activities, Turkish literature, music, movie, performing arts as well as visual arts have been introduced to French people.

Also conferences and panel discussions have been organized in economy aiming to boost trade volume.

The Eiffel Tower, which has become a global icon of France, was lit up with colors of Turkish flag (red and white) from October 6 to October 11 under the ongoing "Season of Turkey" activities in France.

"Season of Turkey" activities began with a performance of the Turkish dance group "Anatolian Fire" and a concert by Mercan Dede in front of the Eiffel tower in July.

Concerts by Turkish singers and particularly cultural and artistic activities at "Turkish Coffee House" were among the most popular organizations of the "Season of Turkey".

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurated "The Ottoman Caftans" exhibition at the Louvre Museum and "Istanbul for Centuries" exhibition at the Grand Palais.

Also, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe presented the key of Paris to Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and photographer Ara Guler.

"EU curb"

Few but positive developments occurred regarding EU membership has been an important handicap in improvement of Turkey-France relations.

Following formal visit of President Gul to Paris in October, French executives gave up reiterating their statements that Turkey should be granted "privileged partnership".

Although the French executives said there was no change in their stance pertaining to Turkey's EU membership, they were careful in not using "privileged partnership" expression which caused an uneasiness in Turkish public.

Despite their opposition to Ankara's full membership, French executives, during the visits of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis, gave assurances that full membership negotiations would continue.

Although France did not hinder the negotiations, it did not extend support to opening of new chapter headings with Turkey and did not remove the veto it had imposed on opening of five chapter headings.

No progress could be recorded on chapter headings; "monetary provisions", "regional policies", "agriculture", "budgetary provisions", and "institutions".

Political observers said initiatives of Turkey for mediation in the Caucasus and the Middle East once again revealed Turkey's regional power.


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Last Mod: 01 Ocak 2010, 15:10
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