The Turkish nation cannot hide the fact that it holds a horrific human rights record. Yet there are many other states that have abused such rights, were able to put an end to violent acts against humankind, and now stand amongst the greatest and most respected powers in the world. The United States practiced slavery; Germany, under the Nazis, was responsible for the greatest genocide in history. However, they were able to reform their policies and once again establish nations whose goals are to protect the rights of their people. We do not ask you to forgive us for our past actions, but to recognize the fact we have chosen to take the road of reforming our policies. Turkey has already taken great strides to achieve its goals. We also ask of you to help, support and give us advice on how to preserve human rights within our country. We promise that we will achieve this goal.
II. Human Rights and the European Union
Turkey became a candidate for E.U. membership in 1999. However, it must meet "the Copenhagen criteria" before membership negotiations can begin. The criteria require that all applicant states demonstrate "stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law. Human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities. Due to the fact that full membership in the European Union is the primary objective of Turkish foreign policy, the country is taking all measures and putting great effort into meeting these criteria. Turkey is attempting to transform virtually its entire social structure to bring its policies and laws more into line with European norms. One of its objectives is also to resolve disputes through peaceful means and to contribute to regional peace, stability, security and prosperity.
Turkey has demonstrated its resolve in ensuring the stability of democratic institutions and upgrading human rights standards. The new Turkish Civil C