A new campaign signed by journalists, academics and artists, as well as other intellectuals, has called on the government not to neglect the EU membership process.
"An end to democratic scandals"
“Political reforms must quickly be implemented, hurdles in the freedom of expression must be lifted, and there must be an end to democratic scandals like Article 301 which have turned into symbols.”
Around 100 people signed the declaration addressing the government:
“Now you have no excuse not to fully embrace the EU project which you have neglected for the last three years. If 2008 is the Year of the EU, we expect concrete steps, not words, from you.”
The declaration emphasised that EU membership represented a guarantee for Turkey’s laicist democracy and stability and that it could not be considered a “foreign policy issue.”
“The EU is a process of restructuring social life in all areas. It is definitely a domestic policy issue. Membership must be a priority not only in 2008, but every year.”
"Rights and freedoms for all"
Referring to the recent debate on allowing the wearing of headscarves at university, the declaration further said:
“We expect actions from you which prove that your understanding of freedom is not limited to the headscarf, that you protect all rights and freedoms necessary in a pluralist democracy, that you do this not as a means to an end but sincerely, that you are not compromising laicisim, and that you are not aiming to distance Turkey from the West and the world.”
The common statement ends thus:
“We the undersigned are calling on the government to do its duty. For a government which came to power with widespread public support and which has a majority in parliament, there can be no excuse for not keeping its promises.”
“If you are really aiming for EU membership, this is the time to prove it. Keep your promise and make 2008, and the following years, Years of the EU.”
Dr. Selma Acuner, Prof. Dr. Asaf Savaş Akat, Prof. Dr. Ayhan Aktar, Dr. Cengiz Aktar, Nebahat Akkoç, Prof. Dr. Filiz Ali, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altan, Çiğdem Anad, Çağatay Anadol, Sibel Asna, Akın Atalay, Oya Baydar, Can Baydarol, Saadet Becerikli, Gila Benmayor, Yavuz Bingöl, Mehmet Ali Birand, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Buğra, Can Buharalı, Nazar Büyüm, İpek Çalışlar, Oral Çalışlar, Prof. Dr. Ali Çarkoğlu, Ergin Cinmen, Güneri Cıvaoğlu, Cengiz Çandar, Yasemin Çongar, Mete Çubukçu, Prof. Dr. Beril Dedeoğlu, Latif Demirci, Yetkin Dikinciler, Rakel Dink, Ragıp Duran, Neşe Düzel, Aydın Engin, Prof. Dr. Atilla Eralp, Yalım Eralp, Tarhan Erdem, Prof. Dr. Ruşen Ergeç, Halil Ergün, Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, Zeynep Göğüş, Ayşe Gökkan, Emre Gönen, Prof. Dr. İştar Gözaydın, Prof. Dr. Seyfettin Gürsel, Cihat Hazardağlı, Semih İdiz, Fikret İlkiz, Temel İskit, Erdal Kabatepe, Associate Prof. Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Dr. Bahadır Kaleağası, Prof. Dr. Eser Karakaş, Dr. Şebnem Karauçak, Prof. Dr. Rıdvan Karluk, Osman Kavala, Yıldırım Keskin, Prof. Dr. Fuat Keyman, Prof. Dr. Kemal Kirişçi, Vasıf Kortun, Sönmez Köksal, Ayşe Kulin, Pınar Kür, Zeynel Lüle, Beral Madra, Cem Mansur, Lale Mansur, Orhan Miroğlu, Ziya Müezzinoğlu, Meral Okay, Gülseren Onanç, Prof. Dr. Baskın Oran, Ayşe Önal, Ali Özgentürk, Özdem Sanberk, Semih Sökmen, Murat Sungar, Meral Tamer, Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay, Zeynep Tanbay, Associate Prof. Hülya Tanrıöver, Mebuse Tekay, Fikret Toksöz, Dr. Özgür Tonus, Prof. Dr. Binnaz Toprak, Prof. Dr. İlter Turan, Associate Prof. Füsun Türkmen, İlter Türkmen, Vecdi Sayar, Ömer Uluç, Hadi Uluengin, Sinan Ülgen, Cüneyt Ülsever, Emine Uşaklıgil, Buket Uzuner, Volkan Vural, Sibel Yalın, Leyla Yeltin, Dr. Hakan Yılmaz, Serra Yılmaz, Ali Yurttagül.