Visit of José Manuel Barroso in Turkey: Istanbul
End production: 12/04/2008 First transmission: 12/04/2008
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, visited Turkey from 10 to 12 April 2008, accompanied by Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement. This was his first visit to Turkey as President of the European Commission. He met with Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister; Ali Babacan, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs; and addressed the Turkish Parliament. He also visited Istanbul and the Bigli University. After his meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, José Manuel Barroso said that Turkey had made significant progress in implementing European standards, while stressing that the country should expand and accelerate reforms. Speaking to Turkish parliamentarians, José Manuel Barroso said that the reforms would be the best way to ensure the progress of negotiations. He also welcomed the recent initiative of the Turkish government, which has submitted to Parliament's amendment very controversial Article 301 of the Penal Code, which states that any criticism of the Turkish identity is prohibited. He said that this was a step in the right direction, considering that this article was incompatible with the values of freedom of expression that exist in Europe. José Manuel Barroso also recalled the concerns of the Union concerning the recent decision by the highest Turkish court to rule on a case concerning the prohibition of the ruling AKP party and its main leaders, including Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gül. He said that the fact that a party chosen by the majority of the Turkish population would be subject to this type of investigation was not normal in a stable democracy. At a joint press conference, José Manuel Barroso and Recep Tayyip Erdogan recalled that only a full-fledged candidacy of Turkey to the EU would be accepted. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped that the European Commission would continue to support the candidacy of the country, as it has done so far.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General views of Istanbul seen from the Bosphorus (3 shots)
||José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, on a boat waving to reporters
||Arrival of José Manuel Barroso
||View of Kumkapi fish market
||José Manuel Barroso visiting Kumkapi fish market (4 shots)
||José Manuel Barroso visiting Topkapi Palace (13 shots)
||General view of the press conference at the airport
||José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) saying that before leaving this great country he would like to reiterate his confidence in their common future; indeed, this visit has been most fruitful both for the European Union and for Turkey; he came to visit at a critical moment when Turkey is debating very decisive issues about the country's future; a great debate is going on in Turkey about political, economic and social reforms and they came to encourage those reforms
||José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) saying that he leaves the country with an even deeper respect for everything that Turkey has achieved and he has every confidence that in the future they will achieve even bigger things together
||José Manuel Barroso leaving