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Turkey – Visit by Matthias Fekl to Istanbul (October 5 to 6, 2015)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, is in Istanbul from October 5 to 6 for the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting.

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Political relations

Despite our differences on the issue of Turkey’s accession to the EU, France considers Turkey to be an important partner country, with which it wishes to maintain a strong, friendly and lasting relationship.
In recent months, our bilateral dialogue has grown stronger, as shown by certain facts:

- Convergence on major current international issues. Our two countries have been conducting regular discussions on international issues: the financial crisis, the G20, climate issues, the crises in the Near and Middle East (exchanges on Afghanistan, where French and Turkish troops are involved side by side in Kabul under Turkish command of the ISAF), the situation in the South Caucasus (cooperation during the Russia-Georgia crisis in 2008, signing of protocols between Turkey and Armenia in 2009 in the presence of Bernard Kouchner). France recognizes Turkey’s constructive role in the region, including its mediation efforts between Syria and Israel.

- An objective French presidency of the Council of the European Union (second half of 2008): under a French presidency, and without prejudice with regard to France’s position on the purpose of the process, two chapters in the negotiations were opened.

- Close cooperation in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.

- Cooperation in the area of the fight against terrorism: France has conducted several police and legal proceedings against alleged members of the PKK terrorist network that have committed offences on our territory.

- Intensification of cultural exchanges and trade in the framework of the Turkish Season in France (July 2009- March 2010).

- An increase in the number of bilateral visits in 2009 and 2010, at the ministerial and parliamentary levels: visit of Mr. Bagis, Turkey’s chief negotiator, to Paris in September; of Senate President Larcher, received in Ankara by Turkey’s President and Prime Minister in September, of the Secretary of State responsible for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche, to Istanbul in October, of Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, to Paris on 6 November, and of Turkish President Abdullah Gül (first visit by a Turkish President since 1998), who came to France 7-10 October 2009 to inaugurate the Turkish Season alongside the French President, and of the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on 6 and 7 April 2010, for the close of this exceptional event.

- A shared desire to improve our bilateral ties: during their most recent meeting in Paris, the French and Turkish Presidents agreed to continue to increase our bilateral cooperation in many areas.

France’s position on the Turkey-EU negotiations

France favours a rapprochement that is as close as possible between the European Union and Turkey, but without going as far as Turkey’s accession. However, France is fully aware that the negotiation process is a key lever for the modernization and democratization of Turkey. This is why the French government is in favour of continuing negotiations with Turkey, in compliance with our country’s position on the outcome of the process. The fact remains that, for the most part, progress in the negotiations depends on Turkey’s ability to implement the internal reforms required to meet the criteria for opening chapters, and to fulfil its commitments to the European Union with a complete application of the Ankara Protocol and the normalization of relations with all of the Member States, including Cyprus.

Website of the french embassy in Turkey

Updated on 06.04.10



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