ISTANBUL (Marmara)–Turkish authorities have begun to place pressure on European Union members to set a concrete date for membership discussions–despite the fact that the Europeans insist that Ankara should take productive steps to carry out reforms that have been agreed upon in order to gain their trust.
"Turkey fulfilled its obligation by voting in favor of the August 3 reform package–and now it is the European Union’s turn. Do not disappoint us," stated Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in a letter directed to the leadership of the European Union. In his letters addressed to the presidents of EU member states and organization president Romano Prodi–Ecevit "demanded" that a date for the future meeting be decided upon during the European Union convention in Copenhagen–set to be held some time in December.
Similar letters were also released by Foreign Minister Shukriv Sina Goureli and by parliamentary head Eomer Izgi. Both officials stressed that Turkey has fulfilled all that was expected by their European counterparts. The Foreign Minister’s four page letter outlines the reforms that have gone into effect in Turkey since the last Copenhagen conference.