tjir_v1n4gus01 - The Copenhagen Summit A New Era or Another...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 93 The Copenhagen Summit: A New Era or Another “Déjà Vu” for Turkey? Selçuk Gültasli* The historic Copenhagen Summit marked another milestone in the long history of relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU). Falling short of meeting Turkey’s expectations, the Copenhagen Conclusions will be decisive in devising new perspectives between Ankara and Brussels for at least a decade. The process leading to the Summit has been one of the most exciting stories for a Turkish journalist with its ups and downs, victories, treasons, exchange of words, collapse of the DSP (Democratic Left Party)-MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and ANAP (Motherland Party) coalition government and the new elections and finally the “real Europeans” call to Europe to return to its fundamentals pointing at the looming danger of Turkey as a potential member. Journalists of hard-working nature were more than happy to cover the story from its headquarters or epicenter, namely Brussels. Covering Turkey while approaching Copenhagen was not only a challenging task for Turkish reporters but a constant source of thriller for foreign journalists as well. Turkey, without question, have been one of the most attractive piece of reporting for everyone in Brussels whether she or he be from print media or news channels or from diplomatic corps.
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 94 After all visits, promises, the U.S. lobbying on behalf of Turkey and the most important of all Ankara’s strong will to revamp her system radically which was reflected to the reform packages, the Copenhagen Summit concluded: “The Union encourages Turkey to pursue energetically its reform process. If the European Council in December 2004, on the basis of a report and a recommendation from the Commission, decides that Turkey fulfills the Copenhagen political criteria, the European Union will open accession negotiations with Turkey without delay.” 1 Giving Turkey a conditional date to start accession talks in a bid to make Turkish candidacy meaningful, the EU made it clear that it did not bind itself or made no commitments at all concerning Turkey’s EU bid by the Copenhagen conclusions. This article aims to shed light on the developments that led to the above-referred Copenhagen Conclusions on Turkey from a perspective of a journalist who covered the story from inside, Brussels. Starting to cover the road to Copenhagen from the August 3 rd reforms, the article will comment on the German elections, the Progress Report, the Turkish elections, the leader of AK Parti (Justice and Development Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “tour de capitals”, the Chairman of European Convention Valery Giscard D’Estaing’s interview to 4 big European news papers contending that a possible Turkish membership would mark the end of the Union and finally the Franco-German deal on the eve of the summit. These events were all cardinal developments on the road to Copenhagen, each either
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tjir_v1n4gus01 - The Copenhagen Summit A New Era or Another...

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