Turkey and the EU – Why it matters to the Lib Dems

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The LibDems are, in my opinion, without doubt the most pro-active and objective party when it comes to Turkey and the Cyprus issue. The following is taken from a press release issued by them:

“Liberal Democrat Friends of Turkey would like to invite you to our fringe meeting at the Annual Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Bournemouth.

Hosts:
Liberal Democrat Friends of Turkey
Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats Islington Branch

Time: 13:00 – 14:00, Tuesday, 22 Sept 2009
Location: Gladstone Suite, Royal Bath Hotel, Bath Road, BH1 2EW, Bournemouth
Contact: +447799142527

Speakers:
LORD WILLIAM WALLACE
Liberal Democrat spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Defence.
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Peers
NURSUNA MEMECAN
MP for Istanbul of the ruling AK Party in Turkey
Deputy Spokeswomen of AK Party on Foreign Affairs
Member of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
Represents Turkey at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
BRIDGET FOX
PPC for Islington South which has a large Turkish Community.

chaired by:
MERAL ECE OBE
Liberal Democrat Politician from Britain’s Turkish Community.
Chair of Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats

In the next few years the debate on Turkey’s EU membership bid is going to be one of the most heated ones. Are we well informed and aware of the discussions that are taking place?

Both in Turkey and EU there is a growing opposition trying, at any cost, to make sure that this project is never accomplished.

And we also have those who sincerely believe that both Turkey and EU will be better off together. Like two lovers who are denied marriage by their family and community, people on this camp of the argument have being struggling for over forty years to cherish their love and their dreams of forming a family one day. The tragedy reminds the west side story a bit.

Individuals can have multiple identities and be proud of every one of them. Being a EU citizen can be one of them. Accepting Turkey in EU will be the proof of the idealism that stands as the founding pillar of this project. The decision on the future of Turkey’s membership bid will have to be made soon and it will define EU in one way or another forever.

Turkey is already in EU in a sense. The population of the Turkish community that already lives in the EU is more than that of many member states. This is especially important to us in UK and specifically north London. The Turkish community is very established here. LibDems is a natural political home for the Turkish community and all we need is to show them is that they are on our agenda and we are the real champions of the issues that are important to them. We need to make at least an effort equal to the other major parties.

We will try to discuss this matter with all relevant aspects. Join us to find out more and ask any questions that you may have.”

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