5 March 2013
Turkey's EU Minister Bagis is hopeful about opening of chapter 22 - i.e. the chapter on regional policy.
ANKARA -- Turkey is ready for the opening of a new chapter in European Union (EU) accession talks.
The draft of Chapter 22 on "Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments" was sent unofficially to the European Union Commission. "We are now waiting for the member countries to evaluate it," said Egemen Bagis, Turkey's Minister of EU and Chief Negotiator.
Bagis said, "After we get the opinions of the member countries, we will deliver the draft officially to the commission on Friday and the procedure will take start."
Bagis accepted the courtesy visit of Ombudsman Mehmet Nihat Omeroglu and they talked about the new Ombudsman's Office. Bagis expressed his pleasure with meeting the first ombudsman of Republic of Turkey.
The office is important for two reasons, said Bagis. "The first reason is that we would not be a member of EU without establishing this institution. The second one is that this office is a follow-up to the system of 'bas kadilik' (chief public judge) in the Ottoman Empire."
Bagis added the new office is totally neutral and has some rights guaranteed by law.
Ombudsman Omeroglu described the new institution as "management in daylight" focusing the transparency needed in state institutions.
The office will begin receiving complaints from people and other institutions about public administrations on March 29, 2013.