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Belgian Government Beside Turkey

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PoliticsBRUSSELS - Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour Laurette Onkelinx said on Wednesday that the Belgian government would support Turkey in Copenhagen and exert efforts for a compromise on a better approach than the joint proposal of France and Germany. Onkelinx told A.A correspondent that nobody should be afraid of Turkey's European Union (EU) membership and that Turkey would have an extraordinary contribution to European culture. Turkey had an innumerable cultural trump, Onkelinx said. Onkelinx drew the attention that there was not a consensus in the EU and said that France and Germany proposed to evaluate the situation in 2004 and begin negotiations in 2005.
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CELEBRITIES RAIL AGAINST WAR

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Text of celebrities’ letter to Bush
Keep America Safe; Win Without War’

Dec. 10 — Following is the text of the letter to President Bush sent by Artists United to Win Without War:
War talk in Washington is alarming and unnecessary.
We are patriotic Americans who share the belief that Saddam Hussein cannot be allowed to possess weapons of mass destruction. We support rigorous UN weapons inspections to assure Iraq’s effective disarmament.
However, a preemptive military invasion of Iraq will harm American national interests. Such a war will increase human suffering, arouse animosity toward our country, increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks, damage the economy, and undermine our moral standing in the world. It will make us less, not more, secure.

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Bush Says U.S. Side-By-Side with Turkey on EU

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President Bush, left, gestures as he participates in a meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, the leader of Turkey\'s ruling AK Party, with Secretary of State Colin Powell, left, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 in Washington. The Bush administration is aggressively courting the Turkish leader, aware of the country\'s importance to U.S. plans for possible war against Turkey\'s southern neighbor, Iraq. Turkey, in turn, badly needs Washington. It wants Bush\'s backing forEuropean Union membership as the EU meets this week to discuss expansion. Erdogan was meeting with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
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UN issues revised Cyprus peace plan

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The United Nations has issued a revised version of its peace plan for Cyprus - and is urging almost immediate agreement on it.
The document was delivered to the island\'s Greek and Turkish leaders on Tuesday, nearly a month after the first draft was unveiled.
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Bush Will Meet a Leading Turk on Use of Bases

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 — After he read an Islamic poem at a 1997 rally in southeastern Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was charged with sedition, jailed for four months and barred from taking any government office. Now Mr. Erdogan is the leader of Turkey\'s governing party and is coming to the White House for a meeting on Tuesday with President Bush.
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Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Promotes Country\'s Entry in EU

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Has Audience with John Paul II VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2002 John Paul II today received Mesrob II, the Armenian patriarch of Istanbul, who is touring Europe to win support for Turkey's entry to the European Union. The patriarch has been entrusted with the pastoral care of the Armenian apostolic community of Turkey, which has some 80,000 faithful. In virtue of a tradition dating back to 1461, he is also civil head of his community. Vatican Radio explained that the patriarch is carrying out his mission on behalf of all religious minorities in Turkey. The patriarch recently told Haratch, the Armenian newspaper of Europe published in Paris, that various European embassies consulted the Christian churches and the Jewish community in Turkey to know their position on the country's entry to the European Union.
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First Starbucks Coffe Shop Soon To Be Opened in Istanbul

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When smoking is forbidden...

The residents of Istanbul are very excited nowadays. They are awaiting Starbucks, the well known U.S. coffe shop chain to open its first cafe Istanbul. Since there are a significant number of Istanbulians who at least once visited the United States and know the legend, Starbucks is expected to make an easy entrance into the Turkish market.
Shaya, a Kuwaiti company, which also introduced the clothing companies GAP and M.C.I. to the Turks, will now bring the coffee chain to Istanbul. Starbucks branded packaged coffee was already available in gourmet stores and had already become an elegant detail in rich Turkish kitchens.
Details about location and size of the store are not made public yet.

No doubt Starbucks will be a melting pot for young and old, as well as rich and rich in Istanbul. Only two questions however remain to be answered: Will Starbucks Turkey will serve Turkish Coffee (which it currently does not in any other country) and how will the Turks react to the \"NO SMOKING\" signs...
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Row Plagues Turkish Inclusion In EU

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The Times, London

BERLIN, Dec. 9. — Mr Edmund Stoiber, Germany’s leading conservative politician, on Sunday inflamed the row over Ankara’s future in Europe by warning that Turkish membership would destroy the European Union.
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Turkey attacks EU for \'double-standards\'

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By Jonny Dymond
BBC correspondent in Istanbul
The leader of Turkey\'s governing party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has attacked the European Union for applying double-standards in its judgements about which countries might join the EU and when.

Turkey has been criticised for its human rights record and a recent report from the European Commission that suggested that the country had not implemented reforms necessary to bring the country into line with European standards.
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EU Negotiates Terms With Applicants

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Some candidates seeking to join the European Union failed to accept an EU aid offer of billion Monday, threatening to turn this week\'s summit from a historical opening to 10 new members into a last-ditch haggling session.

\"The financial issues will not be able to be closed here\" at a meeting of EU foreign ministers with their counterparts from the candidate nations, said Samuel Magid, a spokesman for the EU presidency.
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