American Hellenic Institute

AHI Calendar



Facebook Image
AHI Assesses Findings of European Commission’s “Turkey 2011 Progress Report”
November 7, 2011—No. 75 (202) 785-8430

AHI Assesses Findings of European Commission’s “Turkey 2011 Progress Report”

Institute Agrees with Report’s Findings although Notes Omissions

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released its assessment of the European Commission’s 2011 report on progress made by Turkey in preparing for European Union membership. The 2011 report covers a period ranging from early October 2010 to September 2011.

“Overall, the American Hellenic Institute agrees with the findings in the 2011 Progress Report on Turkey,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “However, the report contained omissions where we felt analysis was needed.”

The European Commission’s Progress Report presents Turkey’s progress in several issue areas, including: human rights and the protection of minorities, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and regional issues and international obligations of which Cyprus and peaceful settlement border disputes with Greece are included.

AHI Foundation Chair of Fellows Dr. Van Coufoudakis wrote AHI’s assessment of the progress report that largely welcomed the EC’s findings but did note a few instances where it lacked analysis or commentary.

One AHI critique of the progress report was that it failed to provide commentary on the July 20, 2011 outburst of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who stated that Turkey’s relations with the European Union “will be completely frozen” if Cyprus assumes the presidency of the EU before a solution to the division of Cyprus is reached. The prime minister made the remarks on a visit to the illegally-occupied area of northern Cyprus.

“Prime Minister Erdogan’s threats are counterproductive toward efforts to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue,” said Larigakis. “Although the report notes in broad language that senior Turkish government representatives stated relations with the EU Presidency will be frozen, AHI is disappointed the report lacked commentary about the detrimental implications of these remarks, and we are further dismayed that the report failed to note that this statement came from the highest level of government—from the prime minister. This is unacceptable.”

Moreover, AHI noted the progress report should have specifically cited Turkey’s violations of Cyprus’ territorial waters and airspace were due to Cyprus’ exercising its sovereign right to explore for oil and gas in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and that Turkey also refuses to ratify any of the three treaties of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that are fundamental law of the EU.

To view AHI’s assessment of the EC’s “Turkey 2011 Progress Report” by Dr. Coufoudakis, please click here.

To view the EC’s “Turkey 2011 Progress Report,” please click here.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.


For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at