Turkey has succeeded in important reforms in the EU process since January, when Egemen Bagis was appointed as Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator.
A guideline for the reforms to be carried out by Turkey, the National Program has been prepared under a comprehensive work in which all public institutions and nongovernmental organizations have participated and which was published on the 31st of December. Following this, broadcasting in Kurdish, TRT 6 was established on the 1st of January. In April, Kurdish and Armenian TRT radios also started broadcasting.
A ministry responsible for the EU Affairs which Turgut Ozal, the 8th President of Turkish Republic, wanted to establish and which could't have been established till today, have been set up at the beginning of this year. Egemen Bagis, have been appointed as the Minister for EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator. All kinds of work carried out related to the EU procedure and the provision of coordination among the institutions have been defined under the responsibilities of Bagis.
Another historical step taken in January had been the restoration of the citizenship of Nazim Hikmet. Kyoto Protocol have been approved by TGNA in February. On the 25th of February Gender Equality Commission have been set up.
There had been developments in the field of media as well. In February and with the agreement signed between TRT and Euronews, Euronews started its Turkish broadcasts on 27th February. In addition to this, within the framework of Southwest Anatolian Action Plan, a source that is over 500 million Euros have been transferred to the region within this year.
Important and full scaled meetings have also been organized with the non-governmental organizations within this year. On the 6th of March Meeting on Dialogue with the Civil Society in which non-governmental organizations above 600 and on the 18th of June a meeting which women non-governmental organizations participated in were held.
Legal arrangements aimed at the use of low-priced internet in the field of communication have been realized and moreover a by-law has been enacted related to making an amendment in the electronic communication by-law.
EUSG Organization Law aimed at transforming Secretariat General for EU Affairs into an institution that is flexible, dynamic and that responds to new requirements, have been approved in TGNA within this year.
One of the important decisions taken this year has been the declaration of 1 May as an official holiday. It has been decided that the Reform Monitoring Group that is responsible for the follow-up of the works related to the reforms assemble in every two months with the participation of 4 ministers. Revival of the Internal Coordination and Cohesion Committe, customs law have also been accomplished within this year.
Within the framework of the arrangements aimed at increasing the civilian-military men relations to European standards, Law which enables the adjudication of military personnel in the civil courts have been adopted.
In the EU negotiation process, during the first half of the presidency of the Czech Republic, the taxation chapter have been opened to negotiations. The opening of the environment chapter to negotiations is aimed at and also there is a target that aims at the opening of energy and education chapters in the event that the political obstacles are lifted during the presidency of Sweden.
In the period afterwards, there are 30 laws in the agenda of TGNA. In a way that the opposing party would also agree with, Constitutional amendments, law on the political parties, judicial reforms, the ombudsman law, EU related laws in many fields ranging from agriculture to trade aimed at the fulfilment of the opening benchmarks all constitute the new steps that are planned to be taken in the next period.
In the issue of energy, Turkey is getttig ready for a very important step that could be a solution to the energy crises that Europe encounters. Nabucco Agreement which aims at reducing the dependence of EU countries on energy is going to be signed on Monday in Ankara.
On the other hand, Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator made contacts in many countries since he has taken his post. In this period, Bagis made 18 official visits abroad during which he sometimes accompanied to President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Bagis made official visits to Belgium 7 times and 3 times to Czech Republic, which held the EU Presidency in the previous period. He visited Germany, TRNC, France, Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain, Moldova and Croatia. Bagis also paid visits to totally 14 cities in Turkey on various occasions and there he made speeches on EU and Turkey-EU process. He visited Siirt 5 times, Izmir, Diyarbakir and Tekirdag 2 times. Bagis also visited once Kocaeli, Edirne, Kirklareli, Van, Batman, Bursa, Samsun, Bolu, Mersin and Corum.
Amid this intense diplomacy traffic, Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator, is frequently putting forth that he was trying to persuade on one hand the EU public opinion of 450 million and on the other hand Turkish population of 70 million about the necessity of Turkey's EU membership.