Tag Archives: Turkey

Renewed EU-Turkey relations in our common interest: the Italian envoy | Instant News

Serkan Demirtas – ANKARA

Renewed relationship between Turkey and the EU will be in the mutual interest of both parties in line with the positive agenda adopted recently I Board meeting, ItalyThe ambassador to Ankara said, underlining that the soon-to-be announced reforms in the area of ​​rule of law would be welcomed by the EU.

Massimo Gaiani, Italy’s ambassador to Ankara, has outlined the scope of the Turkish-Italian bilateral relationship, the current state of the game between Turkey and the EU as well as discussions about last year’s tensions in the eastern Mediterranean in an exclusive interview with Hürriyet. Daily News.

Italy has a new government, and it is remarkable to observe that Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi praised relations with Turkey as both a partner in the Mediterranean basin and as a NATO ally. How would you describe the importance of collaboration with Turkey for Italy?

Turkey is certainly a priority for Italy’s foreign policy and has been one of the few countries Prime Minister Draghi named in presenting, a few weeks ago, a government program to the Italian Parliament. The cornerstones of our international projections are the European Union, NATO and the Mediterranean basin, where we will continue to promote renewed dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution.

For Italy, Turkey is a close partner and important actor in the Mediterranean Region, an important ally in NATO and also of great importance to the EU. Rome and Ankara continue to act together to strengthen NATO’s Southern wing. We believe that a renewed relationship between the EU and Turkey is in our best interest, because Ankara is important for our economy, for our security and for regional stability. Therefore, we hope that all parties can work constructively in the coming months to create a new spirit of cooperation.

Italy believes in Turkey. In the past year, our company was the main investor here, and Italy is Turkey’s second trading partner in Europe and permanently among the top five in the world. Our economic and industrial partnership will be essential for both countries to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

One of the key concepts that PM Draghi mentioned was mutual Mediterranean sensitivity between littoral states. In an effort not to revisit tensions facing the region in the past year, a conference to bring together coastal states with the participation of countries whose energy companies operate is being discussed. Does Italy support this idea? What should be the main goal of such an initiative?

Italy supports the mandate given by the European Union to high representatives to carry out the preparations for this conference, and as a directly involved Mediterranean country, is ready to contribute. It is imperative to carefully agree on the scope and schedule, with particular attention to definitions of all stakeholders to be included. The developing polarization in the area affects the geopolitical balance of the Mediterranean, and I believe that the eastern Mediterranean problem can only be resolved through dialogue and cooperation. Our aim is to ease tensions among coastal countries by promoting an inclusive approach. If this new spirit of cooperation prevails, it will be easier for the parties involved to find pragmatic and realistic solutions.

‘A lose-lose scenario must be avoided in the eastern Mediterranean’

Hydrocarbon activity in the eastern Mediterranean has been in the spotlight for a long time. How well can all the countries concerned work together to turn this wealth into an asset for regional prosperity and peace?

The key words in this case are cooperation and compromise. Recent tensions over hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern Mediterranean are living proof that unilateralism can only lead to loss-making scenarios, where everyone blocks everyone, and economic potential cannot develop. I believe it is possible to define a scheme whereby all parties involved can gain a fair advantage, but, on the other hand, all Governments concerned need to demonstrate a real willingness to compromise on their national position in order to achieve a fair and sustainable international. a framework capable of increasing regional wealth and security.

Turkey and the EU have recently adopted a positive agenda that includes renewing the 2016 migration agreement, increasing customs unions, and liberalizing visas. Can you explain Italy’s position on all aspects of this positive agenda?

Our countries, within the EU, are among those who most strongly support the need to enhance dialogue on a positive agenda with Turkey, and must cover the three areas that you have pointed out. Turkey is the country that hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, around 4 million. Italy, as well as the EU, are aware of the great efforts being made by Turkey, and we really admire what has been done here in terms of assistance and integration of these refugees. Therefore, we believe that Turkey’s efforts must continue to be supported.

We also believe that it will be in the best interests of the EU and Turkey to continue discussions on the modernization of customs unions. In this regard, we also need to concentrate on better implementation of existing agreements.

The liberalization of the visa regime mentioned in the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016 can certainly be fertile ground for increased levels of cooperation, given the fact that concerted efforts must be made to find a synthesis of each other’s positions.

Renewed EU-Turkey relations in our common interest: the Italian envoy

‘EU will welcome Turkey’s judicial reform’

Relations with Turkey will be one of the main items in the upcoming EU Council meeting at the end of March. How do you think Turkey and the EU can properly maintain the momentum for the future?

We have a positive agenda, but above all, we have a common interest in working together; Stronger bonds, more trades and bigger exchanges on all fronts are the only way to restart after the pandemic.

Of course, we must also avoid incidents and reciprocal provocation as soon as the March deadline passes. This does not mean that a person has to give up in order to defend what he considers to be his rights and interests. This means avoiding initiatives that in practice have no positive impact but which could provoke a violent backlash on the other hand.

In more general terms, the best way to maintain momentum is to share value. The EU and its member states are certainly not freed from blame, but we try to uphold a common framework of rules and values ​​that will improve the lives of all our citizens. We don’t want to impose our standards, but our public opinion considers these values ​​very important. We have been encouraged by the announcement by Turkey regarding the rule of law and judicial reform. I think positive steps on this issue will be welcome in Europe, and they are essential for the accession process, in which Italy remains supportive.

Italy continues to play an important global role in 2021 as president of the G20 term and vice president of the United Nations Conference of Parties to Climate Change (COP26). Pushing global efforts to combat climate change appears to be one of the main goals of Italian diplomacy. Turkey is the only member of the G20 that has not ratified the Paris Convention. What actions will Italy take to secure Turkey’s full participation and implementation of the agreement?

The transition to a greener economy is a fundamental step towards ensuring better living conditions for future generations, especially after the pandemic. As you know, no country can act alone on this topic, and each country must do its part within its capacity, in a process that is inherently multilateral in nature. I believe that Turkey can contribute in many ways to fighting climate change and building momentum for the country to restart the ratification process can be very important. Italy – also as part of the EU – will adopt an inclusive stance in any negotiation process ahead of the G20 and COP26 summits, thus enabling a sustainable and productive dialogue on this issue.

The SAMP / T system will provide security to Turkey

Turkey and the Italian / French consortium Eurosam have conducted what they call a definition study of the SAMP / T air defense system. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey was still considering the SAMP / T system as a potential air defense system. Can you update the latest situation?

First of all, let me underline that Italy attaches great importance to Turkish security and has deployed SAMP / T air defense systems and military personnel in Kahramanmaraş for more than three years in response to requests for support by Turkish authorities. We have firmly offered our support as a NATO ally and given Turkey’s strategic importance to the security of the alliance.

In the same spirit, the Eurosam consortium is open to working with Turkey to jointly develop a SAMP / T-based air defense system. The consortium is completing a feasibility study at a technical level, and both the companies involved and the authorities are now considering the next steps. I remain confident that the SAMP / T air defense system will provide a valuable solution to Turkey’s security requirements and will strengthen our alliance as well.

Serve Demirtas,


image source

The Turks-Germans developed an automatic touch screen disinfector | Instant News


Three Germans of Turkish descent and their Croatian friend have developed a device that automatically disinfects public touch screens such as ATMs.

The device, which cleans public touch screens through UV-C radiation itself, has been designed by mechanical engineer Ahmet Toklu, 33, industrial hygiene engineer Cihan Atsiz, 34, biology teacher Fatih Akpinar, 34, and industrial hygiene engineer Danijel Imani, 36, who are Germany from Croatia.

While they have already made a prototype for now, Atsiz says they are preparing for a launch soon.

Atsiz said the idea for such a device emerged during the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through inhalation but surface transmission is still a risk, and hence, clears up solutions to stop its spread.

“We are thinking about automatic disinfection of ATM screens, self-service check-in kiosks at airports and touch screens in restaurants,” he told Anadolu Agency. “We looked for gadgets on the internet but couldn’t find them.”

That’s when they decided to develop their own. After days of hard work and brainstorming, they created a device they named, “Dn ‘A Disinfection,” and filed for a patent in Germany in April 2020.

“We are very excited, and the excitement increases when we finally find the prototype, which has been sent to the laboratory for further examination,” he said.

Regarding how the device works, Atsiz said that after use, the disinfection device moves horizontally on the touch screen from top to bottom, and removes any pathogens present within seconds with UV-C light. “We have shown this through laboratory studies,” he added.

* Written by Seda Sevancan in Ankara

The Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news offered to subscribers on the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and is in summary form. Please contact us for subscription options.


image source

Post-Brexit Turkish-British relations are showing signs of a new strategic partnership | Instant News

As Britain’s long and sometimes fierce divorce from the European Union is fully completed on the first day of 2021 with an economic split, bilateral relations between Turkey and Britain have entered a new period defined by opportunity and uncertainty. While some experts have underlined the prospects for a new strategic partnership between the two countries in the next period, other analyzes are not so eager to draw such early optimistic conclusions.

Speaking to Daily Sabah, Tarık Oğuzlu, an academic from Antalya Bilim University, said that the relationship between Turkey, which has long been isolated by the EU, and Britain, now officially a third country from a bloc like Turkey’s perspective, it will escalate as a strategic partnership.

“Actually, before Britain left the European Union, especially in the period after the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, bilateral relations between the two countries began to be dragged into the strategic sphere. Britain has started to act like a European country supporting Turkey and understands its unique sensitivity and care, “he said.

Stating that this is also a concept that fits perfectly with Turkey’s recent multidimensional autonomous foreign policy and the UK’s post-Brexit foreign policy strategy, Oğuzlu added: “The UK has also supported, or at least not opposed, Turkey’s role in many international arenas. like Syria, Libya and Karabakh, unlike other great Western powers. “

Ayhan Zeytinoğlu, chairman of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), stressed that it was very possible for Ankara and London to develop a special relationship in the post-Brexit period, saying that a free trade agreement (FTA) was signed between the two countries. and the more comprehensive trade and economic relations built on this agreement will form the backbone.

During the last days of 2020, Turkey and Britain signed a free trade agreement to maintain the flow of existing goods. “This is a historic day for Turkish-British relations,” said Turkish Trade Minister Rushar Pekcan before he signed the agreement with his British counterpart in a televised video conference call. The landmark deal has been described as Turkey’s most important trade agreement since the 1995 customs union with the EU which allows goods to travel between two entities without customs restrictions.

“There is also strong cooperation in the defense industry. The inclusion of the automotive, white goods and textile sectors within the scope of the FTA will deepen economic cooperation. In addition, we see that Britain has adopted a balanced and moderate approach to Turkey in the political sphere. There are sensitive issues that concern both sides, such as the military base on the island of Cyprus. NATO membership is another unifying factor, “Zeytinoğlu explained.

“However, there are also limits to the key role that Britain can play in Turkey’s relations with the West. If there is a point where relations with Turkey can undermine British foreign policy priorities and relations with the US, Britain can draw a line,” he added.

Ali Faik Demir, an academic from Galatasaray University, also said that the economic dimension of their bilateral relationship is increasingly important in the post-Brexit era.

“Britain is strategically a very important country for Turkey in terms of economy. If we need to explain this situation with statistics, 2019 was actually a bad year as the trade volume between the two countries fell 12%. Despite this decline, Britain is ranked second among Turkey’s most-exporting countries and ninth among the countries that imports Turkey the most. Apart from being Turkey’s sixth largest trading partner, the UK is also an important financial actor with nearly $ 11 billion (TL 76.60 billion) in investment in the country. “

Demir also noted that London signed the fifth largest trade agreement with Turkey during this period, underlining that concerns about post-Brexit uncertainty turned to new opportunities and improvements following the signing of the deal.

“Given Britain’s experience in investment and finance as well as Turkey’s experience in agriculture, manufacturing and textiles, the two countries’ economic cooperation could reach new heights, especially if we can work together in a promising region like Africa, Central. Asia, Latin America and South Asia, “he said.

On the other hand, Ipek Tekdemir, a political adviser based in Brussels, is reluctant to offer such a positive view based solely on strategic partnerships and closer cooperation.

“The difference between the UK and Turkey’s Brexit at the moment is that while Turkey still wants more integration with the European Union, for example, the modernization of customs unions and therefore expansion into the service, agriculture and other sectors, the UK is moving in the opposite direction. It has left the single market; it has left the customs union and only the free movement of goods has been agreed upon, “he said.

Tekdemir added that while London wants less integration and Ankara wants more, Turkey with the customs union is now more integrated into the EU than Britain, at least regarding goods.

“Therefore, a strategic partnership related to trade and goods is very unlikely.”

“Militarily, nothing changes because they are both in NATO. The only possibility for Turkey is to withdraw business from Britain, which wants to sell goods in the single EU market. Given the advice of the (International) Trade Department to British companies themselves is to setting up a branch on the continent, Turkey can jump into this void to attract this investment, “he said.

Impact on EU integration

Britain is also one of the biggest supporters of EU expansion, including the addition of Turkey as a member. One major question for Ankara raised by Brexit is how it will affect Turkey’s integration process and accession to the bloc.

Turkey has a long history with trade unions and has been through the longest negotiating process. The country signed an association agreement with the European Union’s predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), in 1963, which is usually considered the first step towards finally becoming a candidate. Applying for formal candidacy in 1987, Turkey had to wait until 1999 to gain candidate state status. However, to start negotiations, Turkey will have to wait another six years, until 2005, a very long process compared to other candidates.

On top of slow negotiations, another challenge threatening Turkey’s rise to the union is the 2016 Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) coup attempt that forced the country to declare a state of emergency. Unhappy with the move, the European Parliament on 24 November 2016, declared that they would temporarily “freeze” the talks, which have brought the process to a halt since then.

Zeytinoğlu noted that although Britain supported Turkish membership, its efforts were not sufficient to change the outcome in practice, while the French and German approaches were more decisive.

“Given the loss of a member who has a global vision and attaches importance to relations with Turkey, Brexit will have an impact on the future of Turkey-EU relations. However, a more indirect impact is also important. Britain opposes deepening in the union while still a member. They tend to see EU as a single market After Brexit, France in particular increased its influence on the formation of a deeper EU. As long as we can coordinate with and convince Germany, we will see a more integrated Europe as happened in the case of post-pandemic rescue funds. This can complicate relations Turkey is with the EU in terms of an agreement with shared values ​​and from a membership perspective, “he said.

Likewise, Demir explained that Britain leaving the European Union could be evaluated as a loss for Turkey, given that the country is in a sensitive and valuable position in the bloc for Ankara.

“However, Britain which is not a member of the EU can be Turkey’s partner in solving regional problems. From the EU’s perspective, the possibility of closer Turkish-British relations in the economic and political sphere has drawn reactions and criticism. The British Mediterranean, African, Caucasus and Middle East policies will become even more important for Turkey after this point, “he said.

Evaluating the question from two different angles, Oğuzlu said that Brexit has no significance to Turkey’s accession process because Turkey’s membership in the EU seems unlikely at the moment.

“Regardless of Turkey’s integration and accession process, Britain’s support as an efficient third-party world power, however, could positively affect Turkey’s relationship with the bloc,” he said, underscoring that in addition to its role as a major trans-Atlantic bridge between the US and Europe, Britain Raya could be the link between the bloc and Ankara.

On the other hand, Tekdemir said that the big difference between other continental European countries and Britain is that the members of the bloc, at least most of them, prioritize EU political unity.

That means you have to agree and you have to come to an agreement on the basic values ​​of the EU and you have to embed them. Therefore, countries like the entry of France at least expanded critically to the Netherlands. Luxembourg views Turkey’s accession as possible as long as the Turkish alliance comes with similar political values. The UK has never been too concerned about political value as it views the EU to be largely a market and trade organization and has little interest in political unity, which ultimately leads to Brexit. “

In the new EU configuration without Britain, the emphasis on political unity will be stronger, and it will be more difficult for Turkey in the current configuration to find integration supporters for full membership, he said.


image source

Led by a Turkish mother, 5 women bring smiles to children | Instant News

With the slogan “happy children, happy world”, five mothers from Turkey, Switzerland, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are reaching out to children in distress around the world.

Annoyed by the current condition of some children around the world, especially in refugee camps, mothers joined in Switzerland in January 2020 to establish the international association For Children Smile to help children living in various parts of the world, especially in refugee camps.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Emine Taş, president of the organization, said their focus is on reaching children who need humanitarian assistance, especially those living in war and conflict zones, occupied areas and affected areas.

“After witnessing many times the pain of thousands of children in countries ravaged by war and poverty, I decided to do something for them. Mothers like me from different cultures came together, and we founded associations,” he said.

The organization aims to ensure that all rights in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are applied without exception to all children, said Tas.

According to the organization, so far it has identified 100,000 children in Syria, 13,000 in Yemen, 5,000 in Palestine, and 1,500 across Asia and Europe who are in need of humanitarian assistance, educational assistance, housing and access to various facilities.

Tülay Gökçimen, a volunteer at the association, said the association aims to reach out to children living in different parts of the world, especially in refugee camps.

“Out of 79.5 million, an estimated 30 million-34 million children under the age of 18 are among forced refugees worldwide,” according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Gökçimen said they were distributing winter aid, including clothes, toys, blankets, hygiene products and food packages, in collaboration with Rahma Austria, an aid agency, in Lebanon last week.

“Having learned about the situation of Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the Lebanese camps, we would like to organize humanitarian assistance in those camps,” he added.

During the COVID-19 crisis, the organization distributed tablets to disadvantaged children in Turkey who faced the challenge of being left behind due to a lack of access to gadgets to pursue online education.

“For at least 463 million children whose schools are closed due to COVID-19, there is no such thing as distance learning,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director, last year.

“After UNICEF warned that millions of Yemeni children were facing the threat of starvation due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have decided to step up our activities in Yemen,” Taş said.

“This year, apart from our ongoing activities, we plan to carry out many humanitarian aid projects in Yemen. These projects are generally planned to provide food, education and hygienic products, ”he said.

According to research jointly conducted by Save the Children and UNICEF, nearly 150 million children live in multidimensional poverty without access to education, health care, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water due to the coronavirus crisis.


image source

Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States – Rocket attack in Erbil (16 February 2021) | Instant News

We, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the United States strongly condemn the February 15 rocket attack on Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. We extend our condolences to the victims, their families and the Iraqi people. Together, our governments will support the Government of Iraq’s investigation into the attacks with a view to holding those responsible to account. We are united in our view that attacks on the US and Coalition personnel and facilities will not be tolerated.


image source