Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Turkish Cypriots’

European Liberal Democrats Back Turkey’s EU Accession

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 20th November, 2009

European Liberal Democrats, meeting at the annual congress of the ELDR in Barcelona, this morning passed a resolution (which I proposed) stating clearly our support for Turkish accession to the European Union, providing Ankara fulfils all of the so-called Copenhagen criteria for membership. This is in sharp contrast to the negative comments about Turkey´s EU vocation made recently by conservative leaders such as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, as well as the newly appointed President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.

The resolution noted the progress that Turkey has been making with regard to the Copenhagen criteria — as acknowledged in last month’s report from the European Commission — while pointing out that more needs to be achieved in areas such as freedom of expression and the media. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s initiatives towards resolving Turkey’s longstanding Kurdish question were welcomed.

The resolution — which was finalised in consultation with the German Liberal FDP (now in charge of the Federal Republic’s Foreign Ministry) — also called on the European Union to do more to facilitate a settlement of the Cyprus dispute and to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.


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Cloning Is the Only Solution

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 26th June, 2009

AvrupagazeteIt was frustrating to have to leave the Gladstone Club’s summer Pimms and canapé party on the terrace of the National Liberal Club just as the guest speaker, Michael Crick, was about to perorate. It would have been interesting to hear his take on recent events at Westminster, without the editorial control of BBC2’s Newsnight. But I had agreed at short notice to meet and talk with a group of opposition MPs from Turkey over a dinner in Wapping, organised by the London-based weekly newspaper for the Turkish community in Europe,  Avrupa. There are said to be up to 300,000 Turkish nationals in London — half of them registered with the Turkish consulate — living, working or studying here, not to mention all the additional Turkish Cypriots. So there is a big community in London with whom Turkish politicians can engage, as well as promoting — or not — their country’s accession to the European Union. Moreover, whatever the politicians’ political colour, they are keen for Britain and Europe as a whole to have a fuller and more accurate picture of realities in Turkey.

The rich cultural diversity of London is one the capital’s greatest assets. But it also means that there is so much going on that is impossible to keep tabs on every community, or even to attend all the functions and conferences one gets invited to as a journalist and/or a politician. I often feel torn in different directions, so I think cloning may be the only answer.

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