America intervenes to warn of rejection 'disaster'America intervenes to warn of rejection 'disaster'
THE Bush Administration has intervened in the debate about Turkey’s entry into the EU, warning Brussels of disastrous consequences if Ankara’s membership bid is turned down. Eric Edelman, the Pentagon’s new number three and until recently the US Ambassador to Ankara, said that refusing Turkey’s entry would not just destabilise a strategic region on Europe’s border but also set back efforts to encourage democratic reform across the Muslim world. “In light of everything else that is going on in the wake of 9/11, in Afghanistan, in Iraq and following the bombings in Madrid and London, to say ‘no’ to a secular, democratic open society — what message does that give to all those other countries and societies to whom we have been giving the message that we want you to start down this road of accommodation and modernity, of separation of mosque and state?” Mr Edelman said. Although Washington is not directly involved in the negotiations, it does play an important role behind the scenes, trying to persuade its transatlantic allies in Europe to allow its strategic partner Turkey into the EU club.
TURKEY: CAMPAIGN TO STOP SHOOTING FOR JOY
The Turkish government, police and media have come together to try and prevent the practice of celebratory gunfire which has recently injured, maimed and killed many citizens. Shooting in the air, usually in wedding ceremonies and after football matches is a celebratory gesture in rural areas of Turkey, as well as in Middle East and in Balkan countries. Public awareness of the issue increased after deaths of nearly a dozen people, mainly youngsters, in separate incidents. The most recent victims whose cases were covered extensively in the local media were a university student who was scheduled to go to France for further studies and a 6-year-old girl who was accidentally killed by a bullet from her grandfather’s gun at a wedding. Every year, nearly 700 people die from stray bullets in Turkey according to a report.