Posted on June 16, 2005

Twenty Thousand Sign Anti-Turkey Petition, Plan Protest

Prague Daily Monitor, June 14

Citizens of several European countries have contributed 20,000 signatures to a petition against Turkish accession to the EU. Four thousand of those signatures came from the Czech Republic, the Voice For Europe civic group announced yesterday.

The petition drive began five weeks ago and a demonstration against Turkish membership in the EU will take place outside the country’s embassy in Prague on 20 June.

The protest will begin what the activists have titled the week of information for Europe, which should spark a society-wide debate about Turkish membership in the EU.

“There will be several places across the country where it will be possible to acquire more information about Turkey and the EU as well as sign the petition,” the organisers told CTK.

The Voice for Europe group is an international initiative aimed at blocking Turkish EU membership. It has launched petitions in eight countries: the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Denmark, Poland, France and Germany.

“We prefer the idea of privileged partnership and call on politicians not to offer Turkey full membership,” said David Gresak, one of the organisers of the petition.

The campaign will last until the beginning of September. The petition will be presented to EU leaders before accession negotiations begin with Turkey on 3 October.