Visit of José Manuel Barroso in Turkey: Bigli University

Type: Report   Reference: I-057023   Duration: 11:20:20  Lieu:
End production: 11/04/2008   First transmission: 11/04/2008
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.

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11:19:08 Title 00:00:04
11:19:13 General view of the conference room 00:00:05
11:19:18 José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, listening to the speech of the rector 00:00:04
11:19:22 General view 00:00:04
11:19:26 José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) saying that today Turkey is an integral part of the EU's agenda for enlargement; their commonly shared objective is that Turkey becomes a full Member of the European Union with equal rights and equal duties than any other current Member 00:00:17
11:19:43 Cutaway 00:00:05
11:19:48 José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH) saying that people should not expect uniformity in the messages coming from the European Union; because it is a very complex and diverse system; and people should not expect him to restrict the freedom of expression in the European Union; he would never do that, on the contrary; that is why it is important to engage in the debate 00:00:27
11:20:15 Cutaway 00:00:05
11:20:20 José Manuel Barroso visiting the museum of the University (3 shots) 00:00:18
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