TURKISH EUROPEAN FOUNDATION
The establishment preparations for Turkish European Foundation were announced to the public for the first time by a Press Release of the Initiative Board on November 7, 2000 and in an interview with Chairman of Founding Board of Directors, Ziya Müezzinoğlu, published in Cumhuriyet Newspaper of December 10, 2000. Turkish European Foundation was established upon organization of the deed of Foundation on December 13, 2000 by Istanbul Notary Public 10. The establishment was registered on January 17, 2001 by decision of Beyoglu 4th Civil Court of First Instance no. 2000/719 Principal and 2001/4 Decision.
Turkish European Foundation is not a side organization of any political party, economic power or interest group or any ethnic or sectoral structure. It is a non-governmental organization seeking to embrace all segments of society. Therefore, it has gathered in its body the distinguished personalities and opinion leaders of various segments of our society. Among its members are scientists, politicians, diplomats, fine artists, representatives of employer and labor unions, entrepreneurs of the business world and leading personalities of youth and women’s movements.
Turkish European Foundation recognizes as its fundamental object to protect and develop the common values of humanity and in this framework, the principles of human rights, democracy, freedom and supremacy of law. It shares an aspiration for civilized life in which humanity can develop itself freely. In this context, it deems accommodation of any ideas defending various views which take democracy and human rights as fundamental objectives, its richness and makes it a duty to support initiatives in this direction regardless of their originating from whichever segment of society or political party.
Turkish European Foundation, while recognizing European Union as an important gain derived in the name of humanity on the part to peace, human rights, democracy, supremacy of law and social progress; also shares Republic of Turkey’s second President Ismet Inönü’s evaluation of this phenomenon of European Communities in its early years as “The bravest work created by human intelligence through the history of humanity”. However, it also underscores that gain is not an ultimate target.
Turkish European Foundation believes that Turkey’s membership application to European Union and the developments in this regard are natural consequences and requirements of our society’s journey on the path of democratization, extending from 19th Century to the present and the policy of “Reaching the Contemporary Civilization Level” set by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the State of Republic of Turkey before our people.
Turkish European Foundation finds and adopts Turkey’s integration to European Union as a significant perspective in the name of raising of living standards of our people, the development of the democratic lifestyle in our country and enhancement of rights and freedoms in our country.
Turkish European Foundation deems the need for maintaining the relations of Turkey with European Union within the rules of equality under the framework of rules required by each phase in addition to Ankara treaties with other candidate and member states as required by the basic assumptions of European Union Law and European system of values an indispensible principle. To that end, it states that it is not possible to accept under any circumstances the proposal attempted to be introduced by certain political circles, of establishment of a “privileged partnership” in lieu of Turkey’s European Union full membership.
As clearly stated in the preamble of the official deed of Turkish European Foundation, European Union needs Turkey as much as Turkey needs European Union. European Union will gain a new horizon and progress potential upon membership of Turkey which has a young and dynamic population and incorporating different cultural values. Furthermore, it will only be possible for European Union to take a serious step on the path to integration of Europe when the full membership relationship is consummated with Turkey. On the other hand, it is obvious that European Union will gain a new identity and function in the global sense and dimension with Turkey. European Union will only then get the chance to contribute to the efforts for eradication of the tension between cultures and religions, achieving world peace and rendering human rights and democracy values effective globally and the social progress of the whole humanity.
Turkish European Foundation draws attention to the fact that the process of Turkey’s integration to European Union has a special meaning and significance for Europe and the whole world. Therefore, it maintains its belief that the reality of Turkey’s needing European Union and European Union’s needing Turkey and the need of humanity and our world to the realization of European integration in its broadest and most advanced form will be grasped in time by broader circles.
It is with this awareness that Turkish European Foundation declares that it recognizes as its duty to work in dialogue and collaboration with other non-governmental organizations and to give support to public initiatives for informing wide segments of population for realization of Turkey’s reforms on the path to democratization and for taking permanent steps for full membership to European Union and to give life to different policy options, opening the issues in this context to debate.