Turkey’s New EU Strategy Cem Kocer
Volkan Bozkir is very passionate about Turkey's European path.

Recently Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkir featured in a seminar called "Reenergizing the Turkey-EU Debate", which was  hosted by Carnegie Europe  and moderated by David Gardner - the Financial Times  international affairs editor

The Republic of Turkey is launching a new communication strategy to support its bid for European Union membership. 

Bozkir said:

''The image of Turkey in the EU in the last three to four years has been damaged, also the image of European Union has been damaged. In order for this image to be restored, the European Union Communication Strategy has been prepared, aiming at informing the public about the benefits of the EU accession ''

Importance of NGO’s and Civil Societies  

Investing in civil society and NGOs is one of the pillars for the communication strategy. He mentioned that there were only around 20 NGOs  in Turkey in the 80's but that number has increased to over 90 thousands today. 180 million Euros will be spent on NGOs.

Judical System  

So far Turkey has implemented six reform packages with respect to the judiciary and emphasized that the credibility of the judicial system has always been one of the priorities of the government. Bozkir stated: ''We give a priority to judicial independence and also to the credibility of the judiciary. If you don't have a credible justice system, nothing will go in the right direction"

Kobane

During the Q/A part he responded a question regarding to Kobane (the Syrian town next to Turkey's border, currently besieged by Islamic State) that they were widely interpreted as attempting to downplay the situation, and therefore were not very helpful. “It’s like dealing with just one mosquito while the swamp produces more mosquitos. What we want is to dry the swamp,” he answered  to one of the questions on Kobane and Syria.  

Erasmus +

Erasmus+ is one of the most successful European projects up to now. 600 million Euro have been invested in it to provide young people with better educational opportunities.

100 thousand projects were proposed out of which 26 thousand were approved. 400 thousand young people benefited from Erasmus+ so far and 300 thousand students became a chance to go to Europe for studies.

Twitter Ban & Press Freedom

"I had said that Twitter ban was a mistake and I am still a minister" said Bozkir.

Therefore he denied claims suggesting that freedom of expression and freedom of press were under government's pressure did not reflect the truth.  

Discover more about the New EU Communication Strategy at

http://www.ab.gov.tr/files/000etkinlikler/2014/10/iletisim_stratejisi_eng_kapak_eklenmis.pdf