Abant platform meeting ends with final declaration
The three-day-long Abant Platform meeting which was attended by a wide range of intellectuals, scholars and journalists, ended yesterday with a final declaration, emphasizing the need to finish drafting a new constitution, the importance of a state that is equidistant to all beliefs and underlining the significance of reviving Turkey's membership talks with the European Union. The declaration also emphasized the need to adopt a new constitution, which it said should reflect general expectations of the citizens as well as the international agreements signed by Turkey like democratization, human rights, equal citizenship, rule of law, accountability of the state, civilian control of the military and decentralization. In terms of the EU process, the declaration said prejudices toward Turks, rising Islamophobia in Europe and the hostile attitudes of some European leaders have caused much frustration in Turkey. The document also stressed that the bloc maintains its importance for Turkey's future and that while it is normal for Turkey to look for various international organizations of cooperation, notwithstanding some problems in the process, the EU remains indispensible for Turkey.