ANKARA: Turkey’s PM Talks To German Media Ahead Of Merkel Visit

March 25 2010

Erdogan denied accusations that the reform process in Turkey slowed

Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the "privileged partnership"
proposed to Turkey by German chancellor Angela Merkel and French
President Nicholas Sarkozy in stead of full EU membership, had no
place in EU treaties.

In an exclusive interview with German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit",
published on the eve of Merkel,’s upcoming visit to Turkey, Erdogan
said he would not allow Merkel to bring up the "privileged partnership"
issue once again, adding that she already knew well Turkey’s position.

Erdogan said Turkey carried out negotiations with the EU for full
membership, adding that they would not accept any other option.

"You can not, all off a sudden, change the penalty rules during a
soccer game. We are playing the game according to EU’s rules and we
are making progress on our path," said Erdogan.

Erdogan denied accusations that the reform process in Turkey slowed
down, adding that they established a special ministry for EU works,
and a special EU office in all the ministries.

Erdogan said a new constitutional reform bill would be submitted to the
parliament next week which would change the structure of the Supreme
Court, and pave the way for trial of military officers in civil courts.

Commenting on the Armenian resolutions adopted in the U.S. and Sweden
on the incidents of 1915, Erdogan said parliaments of third countries
took an interest in an issue that did not concern them in anyway.

"Third countries should not adopt such resolutions. This is nothing
but the propaganda of the Armenian diaspora, and the parliaments are
allowing these subjective views to be expressed," said Erdogan.

In response to a question as to why Turkey did not open its border with
Armenia, Erdogan said the border was closed as a reaction to Armenian
invasion of Upper Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, noting that Turkey
was ready to open the border once Armenia withdrew from this region.
From: Baghdasarian

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