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Divisive Erdogan to become Turkish president

11.08.14 @ 09:28

Outgoing Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will become the country’s first directly elected president after securing a decisive victory in Sunday’s (10 August) poll. With 99 percent of ballot boxes counted, ...

OpinionErdogan’s new Turkey full of 'spies' and 'traitors'

13.06.14 @ 07:56

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who holds a historic record of being Turkey’s uninterrupted leader for the last 11 years, keeps arguing that he has built a new Turkey based on solid rule of law which is envied by ...

Turkey at 'crossroads' to authoritarian rule, Amnesty says

11.06.14 @ 09:38

British-based rights group Amnesty International has painted a disturbing picture of EU-aspirant Turkey as a country on the way to authoritarian rule. Its report, published on Tuesday (10 June) - one year after mass ...

Turkey ranks lowest in Europe's press freedom index

02.05.14 @ 09:29

Europe maintains the overall highest press freedoms worldwide despite rollbacks in Greece, Montenegro, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Among the 42 countries ranked in Europe in a report out on Thursday (1 May) by the US ...

Turkish PM offers 'condolences' to Armenia over WWI killings

24.04.14 @ 09:12

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday (23 April) offered condolences to the grandchildren of Armenians killed by Ottoman leaders one hundred years ago during World War 1. "It is with this hope and ...

Turkey moves to block YouTube

28.03.14 @ 09:26

After having denied Turkey's 12 million Twitter users access to the micro-blogging site, Turkish authorities on Thursday (27 March) moved to block YouTube. The YouTube block, according to Turkey’s national ...

OpinionErdogan's 'Independence War' and Turkey's future

26.03.14 @ 11:15

Since 17 December when a corruption scandal erupted in Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has labeled his struggle against graft charges as a new ‘Independence War’. He says the war is being waged against ...

Turkey's Twitter ban prompts instant EU criticism

21.03.14 @ 09:20

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attracted fresh criticism in EU circles after banning Twitter. The EU commissioner on digital affairs, Neelie Kroes, tweeted on Thursday (20 March) that the move “is ...

Boy's death spurs anti-Erdogan feeling in EU parliament

12.03.14 @ 09:28

EU support for going further in Turkey accession talks is ebbing away over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly brutal ways of keeping down dissent. MEPs and EU officials at a debate in Strasbourg on ...

MEPs push Turkey to reform

04.03.14 @ 18:14

After nearly eight months of talks, MEPs in the foreign affairs committee on Monday (3 March) voted on a resolution on Turkey’s progress towards EU accession. The carefully scripted document, drafted by Dutch centre- ...

EU urges Turkey to change internet law

07.02.14 @ 09:30

Turkey's crackdown on the internet raises "serious concerns" and "needs to be revised in line with European standards," the European Commission has said. The commission's spokesman on enlargement, Peter Stano, on ...

Hollande declines to open new EU chapter in Turkey

28.01.14 @ 09:29

French President Francois Hollande opted not to unblock any more chapters in EU accession talks on a “historic” trip to Turkey. EU officials late last year expected him to do it in order maintain a positive momentum ...

Erdogan uses EU stage to justify crackdown

21.01.14 @ 22:07

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Tuesday (21 January) justified his crackdown on Turkish judges and said anonymous “groups” are trying to give him a bad name. He spoke to media on his first ...

OpinionAnkara turmoil shows need for new EU initiative

21.01.14 @ 09:37

With Greece holding the EU Presidency for the next six months, the prospects for EU Turkey relations look poor. Speaking of EU enlargement as he introduced his Presidency's programme to MEPs, Greece's PM Antonis Samaras ...

Germany criticises Turkish PM ahead of EU visit

21.01.14 @ 09:27

Germany has said that Turkey’s crackdown on the police and judiciary is putting EU accession talks at risk. Its foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said he discussed the situation with his EU peers at a meeting ...

Turkish purge risks spoiling Erdogan's EU visit

08.01.14 @ 19:54

Turkey's police purge risks harming the new momentum in EU relations on the eve of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Brussels. The European Commission, in a press communique issued on Wednesday (8 January), ...

OpinionThe ‘grand theory’ and the corruption scandal in Turkey

07.01.14 @ 11:16

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has survived numerous coup attempts and narrowly escaped a court verdict that would ban his governing party in 2008, is now facing the most serious crisis his single ...

Turkish government in crisis over corruption scandal

27.12.13 @ 09:28

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reshuffled almost half of the entire cabinet - 10 ministers - in a bid to stave off calls that he should resign over a corruption scandal. One of the ministers who lost ...

EU-Turkey relations heading for new pause

17.12.13 @ 09:16

The EU and Turkey on Monday (16 December) feted a new pact on migrants, but relations are about to go back into low gear. EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu ...

Turkey starts visa-free talks with EU

04.12.13 @ 18:53

Turkey is starting visa liberalisation talks with the EU, a first step in a process that could last years. "This is a historic day for the Turkish people and the EU," Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a ...

Turkey and EU restart membership talks

06.11.13 @ 09:26

Turkey and the EU have restarted accession talks three and a half years after their last meeting and five months after Turkey's crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Istanbul. The talks resumed in Brussels on Tuesday ( ...

EU to relaunch membership talks with Turkey

23.10.13 @ 09:21

The stalled EU membership talks with Turkey are set for relaunch after member states agreed accession negotiations would recommence on 5 November. “After more than a three-year break, negotiations are regaining momentum ...

Commission backs Albania-EU membership talks

16.10.13 @ 17:41

The European Commission has said Albania should be given the green light to open EU membership talks. Presenting the EU executive's annual enlargement reports on Wednesday (16 October), commissioner Stefan Fuele said ...

OpinionHappy Anniversary? EU-Turkey relations at age 50

18.09.13 @ 19:47

On 12 September 1963 leaders of the European Economic Community and Turkey met in Ankara. They signed an Association Agreement– the Ankara Agreement - with the objective “to promote the continuous and balanced ...

No EU-Turkey talks until October

25.06.13 @ 11:20

The restart of EU-Turkey accession talks has been postponed from Wednesday (26 June) until at least October following a German request. EU foreign ministers agreed the step at a General Affairs Council (GAC) in ...

Germany to delay Turkey talks until October

24.06.13 @ 18:18

Berlin has proposed postponing the restart of Turkey's EU entry talks until after German elections in September. Its foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, floated the idea at a meeting with his EU peers in Luxembourg on ...

EU-Turkey relations on edge after Germany blocks talks

21.06.13 @ 09:28

Turkey has reacted angrily to Germany's hesitation on restarting EU entry talks. The talks were to resume on Wednesday (26 June), with the opening of a chapter on regions, after negotiations broke off in late 2010. But ...

OpinionThe future of European Turkey

18.06.13 @ 09:09

On Saturday night (15 June), central Istanbul descended into apocalyptic scenes of unfettered violence. The police targeted tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets at protestors, and stormed a hotel near the park, ...

Turkish PM defies EU calls to stop police violence

13.06.13 @ 19:04

Members of the European Parliament on Thursday (13 June) urged the Turkish government to stop police brutality against protesters gathering for the second week in Istanbul. The protests in Istanbul were initially ...

Turkish police clash with Taksim protestors

12.06.13 @ 09:28

Turkish riot police pummeled protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons in Istanbul’s Taksim square into the early hours of Wednesday (12 June) as unrest deepens over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’ ...

Police brutality threatens restart of EU-Turkey talks

07.06.13 @ 09:28

French, German and EU officials have criticised Turkey after a week of "shocking" police violence. Markus Loning, the human rights supremo in Germany's foreign ministry, said in a statement on Thursday (6 June): "The ...

'Turkish Spring' tests Erdogan's rule

03.06.13 @ 09:27

Violent clashes between protestors and police in Turkey over the weekend have seen its Prime Minister deny accusations that he is becoming a "dictator." A violent crackdown on a peaceful demonstration on Friday (31 May) ...

Turkey wants to be included in EU-US trade deal

28.05.13 @ 11:20

Turkey wants to be included in an upcoming EU-US free trade deal, amid fears its EU accession process might take too long to complete. "We think Turkey should be part of all free trade agreements being signed, otherwise ...

Van Rompuy endorses restart of EU-Turkey talks

24.05.13 @ 09:27

European Council chief Herman Van Rompuy has repeated his invitation for Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to come to Brussels to mark the restart of EU entry talks. Speaking in Ankara on Thursday (23 May) - almost 50 ...

Cyprus should reunite, Rehn says

08.05.13 @ 17:13

Bailed-out Cyprus should reunite in order to boost its struggling economy, EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said on Wednesday (8 May). "It is worth recalling that the reunification of the island would give a ...

Prickly reaction to Turkish plan on Cyprus conflict

31.03.13 @ 23:42

Cyprus and Greece have rebuked Turkey for trying to "take advantage" of the bank crisis to get a favourable deal on the Cypriot-Turkish conflict. The Greek foreign minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, complained about the ...

Germany ready to re-start EU-Turkey talks

25.02.13 @ 09:29

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed France on re-starting EU accession talks with Turkey. Speaking in a regular, weekly podcast on Saturday (23 February), before going on a two-day visit to Turkey on Sunday, she ...

France ready to unblock EU-Turkey talks

13.02.13 @ 09:37

France wants to "give a new impetus" to Turkey's EU membership talks, allowing negotiations to resume this week after a break of almost three years. "We are favourable to the idea of opening talks on what is called ...

InterviewRasmussen: 'Nato cannot act as the world's policeman'

11.02.13 @ 09:29

Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that the alliance would only take action against Syria if Turkey is attacked. Speaking to EUobserver in his office in Brussels last week, the secretary general of what calls ...

Investigation'I have heard about EU austerity, but still I would like to go'

09.01.13 @ 08:46

The sharp pin of hammers striking on metal can be heard through the noise of a speeding scooter. Above, hidden away in back alleys and crumbling buildings in the maze of streets in the Kumkapi district in Istanbul, ...

InvestigationIstanbul: smuggler capital for EU-bound migrants

07.01.13 @ 07:56

Many of the groups which smuggle people into Europe are based in the migrant quarters of Turkey's vast city on the EU border - Istanbul. Kumkapi in Istanbul's Fatih district on the Marmara Sea coast is home to French ...

InvestigationFortress Europe

07.01.13 @ 07:43

EUobserver's Nikolaj Nielsen visited the Greek-Turkish border in November to see what 'Fortress Europe' means in practice for refugees and people smugglers trying to get into the Union.

InvestigationEUobserver investigative reports

07.01.13 @ 07:43

'Fortress Europe' - the fifth in a series of EUobserver investigative reports - looks at refugee and immigration networks operating on the edge of Europe, focusing on the 12.5-km Greek 'wall' completed late last year.

InvestigationTurkish limbo pushing Afghan refugees to EU

03.01.13 @ 11:31

Refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan in Turkey are caught in a legal limbo, pushing some into the arms of smugglers. Turkey does not give refugee status to anybody from Afghanistan or outside Europe. The ...

Turkish PM moots reinstating death penalty

12.11.12 @ 09:24

EU candidate country Turkey may reinstate capital punishment for people convicted of terrorism. A total ban on the practice is a pre-condition to join EU ranks, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday ...

Feature'Everybody thinks Europe is a Christian continent'

06.08.12 @ 10:38

EU institutions do not do God. But for some religious leaders in EU-aspirant countries, member states' Christian origins are still important. The morning call to prayer at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul means different ...

AnalysisCyprus - buoyed by gas hopes

06.07.12 @ 16:58

Seen through a Brussels-based prism, it is easy to forget just how far to the east Cyprus is. Lebanon, Syria and Israel are all within a couple of hundred kilometres. To its north is Turkey, to its south Egypt. To fit ...

OpinionThe EU and Turkey: Stronger together

28.06.12 @ 09:20

At a time when the EU faces economic challenges and continuing instability in the Middle East, our relationship with Turkey matters more than ever. Last week saw the 50th EU/Turkey Association Council, which ...

Turkey calls emergency Nato talks on Syria

25.06.12 @ 09:47

Turkey has invoked the softer article four of the Nato treaty after Syria shot down one of its warplanes on Friday (22 June). Its decision will see the 28 Nato countries' ambassadors hold emergency talks in the North ...

Turks do not want to live in the EU any more

23.06.12 @ 09:03

Turkey says future visa-free travel will work out well because Turks no longer want to live in the EU. Its European affairs minister Egemen Bagis told EUobserver on Friday (22 June) that Turks these days travel to EU ...