Turkish FM warned over penal code bill in New York
Wednesday, September 22 2004 @ 10:51 PM MSD
The Turkish Foreign Minister met with his European and Arab counterparts during the United Nations General Assembly, taking the opportunity to discuss the isolation of Turkish Cypriot state.
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has been warned that Turkey’s bid to obtain a firm date to open accession talks with the European Union could be jeopardised if the parliament does not pass legislation overhauling the country’s 78 year old penal code.
Gul, in New York for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, also had to field criticism from his European counterparts over the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) plan to make adultery a criminal offence.
In his meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Bernar Bot, Gul was given the message that the EU is waiting for Turkey to pass the reforms of the penal code ahead of the release of the Turkey progress report, due on October 6. Bot said that if these reforms were enacted that there would not be any problems in the progress report.
Gul attempted to deflect the criticisms from Bot and from his Italian and Portugal counterparts by saying they were only looking at one article of the bill. Stressing that there are 348 articles that were being amended Gul said, “These are still being discussed and the parliament have not decided on them yet.”