Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-09-26-Speech-2-203"

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". Mr President, I certainly agree with Mrs Bozkurt and Mr Wiersma that the resolution at present gets the balance wrong. Parliament’s special role inside the accession process is surely to promote the growth of parliamentary democracy in Turkey. Our criticism should be constructive, designed to encourage Turkey’s path to modernisation and not to block it. We are correct to stress the existing impediments to freedom of expression, but we should not put up spurious blocks to the continuation of the process that we have started. We must pace the reaction, try to be consistent and, above all, be fair, especially on Cyprus and Armenia. Turkey’s candidature is a defining moment for the Union. Should there be a train crash in Cyprus there would be two trains involved. One of them carries the efforts of Turkey to create a viable form of European Islam, where the Prophet meets the Enlightenment. The success of that mission will drag both Islam and Christianity far away from the terrible certainties of the 14th century. The second train carries European efforts to develop a strong common foreign security and defence policy, a task towards which Turkey will make an extraordinary contribution. Perhaps the involvement of Turkey’s troops under French command in Lebanon will prove to be a turning point in the life of CFSP and a welcome sign of things to come. Membership for Turkey will be a two-way process."@en1

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