"Turkish Accession Partnership" Prepared by EU Commission (Unofficial Translation) No:211 - November 8, 2000

An important stage has been reached in the accession process of Turkey to the European Union. The Accession Partnership Document has been made public today by the European Commission. After the approval of the Accession Partnership by the European Council, Turkey will continue to advance in the accession negotiations process.

As is the case for all other candidate states, the Accession Partnership document for Turkey is prepared by the European Union. It is thus a document under the responsibility of the European Union.

At this stage our views concerning the Accession Partnership as follows:


Accession Partnerships, prepared for each candidate state, encompass the priorities and objectives which are expected to be fulfilled in the accession process. These priorities and objectives are defined within the context of the principles, laws and the "Copenhagen Criteria" of the EU. In this connection, the Turkish Accession Partnership is based on the related sections of the 1999 Helsinki conclusions which define the Turkish candidacy.

Turkey will naturally give due consideration also to the views and evaluations of the EU while preparing its National Program. However, as has been underlined by our side during the consultations on the preparation of the Accession Partnership, the main framework of Turkey's endeavours for harmonisation with the Copenhagen political criteria is contained in the points listed herebelow:

a) Harmonisation will take place on the basis of the Turkish Constitution's section on individual rights and freedoms. It is therefore clear that our approach is defined by the understanding of "individuality of rights and freedoms", the principle of "equality of citizens" in the Republic and the secular and unitary nature of our State, as laid down by the Turkish constitutional system.

b) These efforts will be made in the light of our Government's declaration of 21 September 2000 on "Priorities in the Democratisation Process", as well as the international agreements to which Turkey is a party.

c) In the work to be done so that the accession negotiations can start, we will naturally base ourselves on methods most appropriate for our priorities. Above all, most important for both Turkey and EU, is to share the same goal and to work together towards that goal.

The Accession Partnership is composed of the introductory section on "objectives and principles" based on the related parts of the 1999 Helsinki conclusions defining the Turkish candidacy. In this connection, components of the political dialogue are reaffirmed in accordance with paragraphs 4 and 9 (a) of the Helsinki Summit conclusions. It is obvious that the sections relating to the "short" and "medium" term priorities, as well as the contents of the Regular Report, prepared every year by the European Commission to Turkey, the last one having been published today, are valid only on the basis of the Helsinki Conclusions.

During the Accession Partnership consultations, it has been clearly mentioned to our counterparts that the whole context of the Accession partnership should be evaluated within the following framework:

a) The press conference of our Prime Minister on 10 December 1999

b) The letter dated 10 December 1999, being an integral part of the EU acquis and addressed to our Prime Minister by the Prime Minister of Finland Mr. Lipponen, in his capacity as President of the Helsinki European Council Summit.

c) The statement made at the European Parliament by Mr. Lipponen on 14 December 1999, again in his capacity as the President of the European Council

d) The clarifications made to our Prime Minister by Mr. Solana and Mr. Verheugen on 9 December 1999 in Ankara.

Our Prime Minister, in his written reply to Mr. Lipponen and in his press conference of 10 December 1999, had already pointed out that Turkey adheres to the Helsinki conclusions in the light of Mr. Lipponen's letter and statement, as well as the clarifications of Mr. Solana and Mr. Verheugen made in Ankara.

Turkey has never accepted any linkage between the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue and its candidacy to the EU. The Cyprus issue is a subject between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus on the Island. The observations contained in the Accession Partnership document concerning the Cyprus issue wil be taken into account by Turkey to the extent that they are compatible with this basic attitude. Turkey, in this context, will continue to consider itself to be committed only to the Helsinki European Council Conclusions and the relevant correspondence and discussions between Turkey and the EU concerning the acceptance of these Conclusions.