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EU Membership Delay Disappoints Turks

December 15 2002 at 8:05 PM
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Selcan  (no login)

 
EU Membership Delay Disappoints Turks
Sat Dec 14, 7:55 PM ET

By SELCAN HACAOGLU, Associated Press Writer

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey pledged Saturday to press ahead with human rights and economic reforms after the European Union moved a small step closer to giving the nation a desperately sought-after spot in the EU.



Turkish daily newspapers, carrying headlines regarding the EU decision regarding Turkey, are displayed outside of a book store in Istanbul, Friday Dec. 13, 2002. Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul accused European Union leaders of bias at their year-end summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, for not fixing a date to begin negotiations to bring his Muslim nation of 66 million into their club. EU officials circulated a draft statement urging Turkey to improve its human rights and economic records by late 2004. The newspaper headlines read:' The middle way 2004', above, and ' The Cyprus game ' bottom. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)



The EU leaders on Friday firmed up an offer to make Turkey the first Muslim nation to open membership talks, saying Ankara could enter the negotiations "without delay" after December 2004, if it meets criteria by that date.

Although the EU offer was short of what Turkey wanted — an early and definite date for membership talks — Turkish leaders say the decision will spur them on to take the painful reforms that are needed to transform the country and meet EU standards.

The wording of the EU's offer appeased Turkish anger, which erupted after the summit stopped short of Turkey's request for entry talks in 2003.

"Turkey has taken a very definite step in the road to the EU," Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said Saturday. "We will maintain economic and democratic reforms with great determination. As we make progress, I hope the negotiation date will come forward."

The United States strongly backs Turkey's membership bid.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was satisfied to see for the first time a firm timetable ahead of Turkey to become a full member.

"The roadmap has emerged in favor of Turkey," Erdogan said Saturday. "The EU-Turkey relations have become clearer and gotten on the right track. The decision has carried Turkey-EU relations into a totally new dimension."

Turkish newspapers hailed the decision as an historical milestone that opened Turkey's road for full membership.

"We're Europeans in 2010," said a front-page headline in the daily Sabah.

"The EU road has opened," announced Yeni Safak newspaper.

Several other newspapers, including the daily Hurriyet and Vakit, called on the government to maintain EU reforms without deviating from the target.

The administration, which controls the first majority government in 15 years, is in a better position than its predecessors to implement tough reforms to join the bloc.

Parliament has taken huge steps this year, abolishing the death penalty and granting the right to teach and broadcast in Kurdish to its 12 million Kurds.

The EU says Turkey must still grant greater rights to the Kurds and Turkey still has significant progress to make in fighting torture, which is reportedly common in Turkish prisons, stop abuse of power by police force and extrajudicial killings.

The government earlier this week failed to pass anti-torture legislation — an EU demand — ahead of the summit. Some legislators said the administration was waiting for Europe to act first.

Turkey is also required to expand freedom of expression and freedom to press, while improving its battered economy and cutting back chronic inflation to single digit for economic stability. Promoting birth control, expanding health care and education are other priorities.

The country is also pressed hard to agree to a United Nations plan to reunify the divided island of Cyprus, which has been split into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north since Turkey invaded in 1974 after an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece.

There's also the messy issue of the military, which wields political influence over civilian leaders through a military dominated advisory body.

The Turkish military, regarding itself as the guarantor of secular regime, has led three coups and it forced a pro-Islamic government out of power in 1997. Now the EU says the government, founded by a party with Islamic roots, must impose greater civilian control over the generals.

The United States, which had asked EU leaders to set a negotiation date for its close ally, expressed satisfaction.

"Turkey's continued evolution toward Europe and its eventual membership in the European Union demonstrates for the continent and the entire world that Islam and democracy are fully compatible," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said in a written statement on Friday.

 
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TallyP
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Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 8:07 PM 

Still a long way to go for Turkey to prove worthy of entry.

Off to good start we see with the muslim whining.

Wise to wait and see if the new islamist ruling party shows it's true colours. They will. The party sees entry into the EU as the next wave to establishing the desired global khalifate.

Next step - thousands of muslim immigrants who can't live with anyone but muslims. And then the killing starts.

Giving 'em a year or two to prove their stability and true intentions would be very wise. Otherwise, Europe will follow the African model, step by step. First the "minority" demands, then the "separate state" demands and finally, the 'elected' islamists. It's how Turkey ended up with the current gov't.

Let them in now - when the tactics of terror used by fundamentalist muslims to achieve their ends is startlingly clear - seems ludicrous. Let the new gov't prove themselves in action - not talk. Muslim talk does not have a good track record at the moment.

 
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Ozbek_m
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 8:09 PM 


I said screw EU. If I was prime minister of Turkey. I would ask them to accept Turkey end of this year or else. Turkey doesn't deserve to be treat like this. EU is a christian comunity and they are way over there head. I think Turkey need to focus in Asian and ald Turkic countries. Then EU will see who is in power in Asia then they going to love to kiss Turkey's ass.

 
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eatmyscata
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Test

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December 15 2002, 8:10 PM 


Seeing all muslims as a terrorist is very popular in western world nowadays. Prejudgements against muslims has increased. Radicals in western world are attacking Islam and muslims. They are making some generalisations about muslims. Radical christians and jews are dangerous as much as radical muslims! Turkey has a tradition of democracy since 1920's. Of course we are not mentioning about perfect democracy!

It has been more than 40 years that Turkey applied to the EU to become the member of that Union. EU has accepted old socialist eastern european nations before Turkey. EU created new regulations all the time for Turks. Today Turkey with a 70 million young population is very dynamic country. ALthough we faced some economic chrisis we are the seventeenth largest economy in world.

EU has always been unfair against Turks. Cophenagen summit is a kind of test for EU. I think this summit will be confession for Europeans that they are faith discriminators! I am against EU and Globalisation and time will show us if I am right or wrong...

 
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PRV
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 8:13 PM 


China is power in Asia. Turkey is nothing, just a power wannabe... Everybody in their immediate neighborhood hates Turks - Arabs, Iranians, Russians, Armenians, people of Balkans. Turks have no loyalty, no identity, no spine. All they are trying to do is to grab other people's (EU) money and run with it.

 
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kenstanbul
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 9:44 PM 

"Global khalifate" the apparent aim of the Turks. WAKE UP! The middle ages are over.

As far as government being "Islamist", the Bush administration is far more likely to water down the principles of secularism than the current Turkish government....and can you imagine the death penalty banned in US, as it has been in Turkey (not that there has been an execution since 1974 in any case)

I resent having to defend Islam due to these message board bigot... I'm not even Muslim and thinks it is as silly to "defend" Islam as Catholicism or Buddhism or atheism or any other belief system.

There are a billion Muslims...some are bound to be terrorists... most live in the world's poorer countries... if you look at just the last 75 years - objectively - you'll seen that you can not easily blame Islam for all of the world's violence, war, etc. Unfortunately, all this ignorance means a rational discussion of the shortcomings of Islamic leaders to curtail the radicals will never take place - not while 1 billion muslims are painted with the same brush

 
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jkandem
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 9:47 PM 

I do not believe you understand the post you are replying to. Turkish power comes from close links to Turkic countries in Asia where Turkish culture and language is very similar. Even today, there are more Turkish firms winning/executing projects in countries like Azerbeyjan, Kirgizistan, Gurcistan, Turkistan, etc, etc.

Turks are more loyal than any other European country. Look at the wars of the US and where Turkey has been in the past 100 years. Turkey was the front line defended during the Cold War. Have always sided with the US and West even though at times it was not in Turkey's best interest. Compare this to France, Germany and Russia.

Turks have more identity than people like yourself will ever have. In terms of being hated by its neighbours, this is not true. US is hated all around the world. Any country that has power and desirable lands will have enemies.

Any how, I do not believe your message is intended to make a point. The sole purpose of your message is to put Turkey down because you are what I would call a "****fly". Flying around message boards to find news about Turkey so that you can post anti-Turkish messages. You are a lost soul and waste of skin for the human kind

 
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RFman007
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Re: Wise to wait - Devecis!

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December 15 2002, 9:48 PM 

T<<urkey has been in the past 100 years. Turkey was the front line defended during the Cold War. Have always sided with the US and West even though at times it was not in Turkey's best interest. Compare this to France, Germany and Russia.>>

I heard that Abdulhamit, last "real" Ottoman Sultan, had sent 40 camels worth of goods to Lincoln in support of the North in the Civil War.

Many of the Turks who transported these "goods" have eventually settled in one of the Northeren states which has now numerous "Deveci" entries in its phone books.

Turks and America go back further than most think. Lol.

 
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Mick
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 9:52 PM 

>Turkish power comes from close links to Turkic countries
>in Asia where Turkish culture and language is very similar.
>Even today, there are more Turkish firms winning/executing
>projects in countries like Azerbeyjan, Kirgizistan,
>Gurcistan, Turkistan, etc.


1) You said it yourself. That's where Turkey belongs. In your own words, there are "Turkic countries in Asia where Turkish culture and language is very similar". Historically, culturally, and linguistically, that's the basin, the craddle of Turkish identity: the continental Asia region encompassing Azerbeyjan,
Kirgizistan, Gurcistan, Turkistan, and so on. Not Europe.

2) It AMAZES me how arrogant Turks on this board remain in the face of the abysmall state of their society. They have a Thirld-world economy that's constantly on life support from the IMF (largely thanks to the US pressure), their society deep in the depths of Anatolia is largely illiterate, they send people to jail for publishing books and reading poems, they submit their women to "virginity tests", their army has been a perpetual and brutal military dictatorship since the 1920's, and on and on and on, and YET they stick their chests out and puff and huff and try to BULLY the EU into accepting them, as if it's Europe who's the needy party here, as if the Turks will be doing Europe a FAVOR by deigning to join the EU. Jesus Christ, wake up and smell the coffee Ahmeds. There ain't no Ottoman empire any more. Your people are serving coffee to the Germans.

Have some humility.

 
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PRV
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 9:54 PM 


Turkey is a country with split personality that can't understand what it is. One moment it likes Arabic, later it prefers Latin alphabet. Its friendships are for sale to the highest bidder. As EU rejection is in sight, all of a sudden Turks discover their "brothers" to the East.

Cold War is over, BTW. Once Iraq and Cyprus are dealt with, nobody will need Turkey. You can have all your "desirable" lands to yourself.

You say it's not true that neighbours hate Turkey, but it is (you weren't able to refute it, either - the best you could do is point out that U.S. is hated even more, LOL).

 
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serdarso
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 9:58 PM 

just wait and see my friends.

Turks have desire, power and oppurtunity to raise itself, without your humiliating supports. It has been the biggeset mistake of our useless ministers to ask for your co-operation to develop Turkey in the recent years. Now I hope our new elected ones, will see the truth and take away EU issues out of their objectives list.

I was glad that current prime minister already informed, if EU will not predict any realistic schulede for Turkeys admitance in Denmark after next councilling, Turkish state will not keep tracking EU`s demands so deeply anymore. I hope that will happen.

Right now only scandinavian leaders confirm that Turkey is far away than EU, others keeps playing and wasting time with promises and useless wishes. I guees and hope after couple of weeks Turks will realise , only Turkish people can do something for the sake of Turkey.

I`m not a strict Muslim, honestly I have been in mosque only once in my life, but still I`m in favour of new elected turkish parlement even they are labelled as religious. It seems they are idealist, and want to stop peoples sorrow as sonn as possible. We need action not complaining and whinning.

Keep your lovely EU for your white people. I respect your system and fellowship but it does not mean that you are the only ones. There is life also out of EU, and this life can be much better with some effort. Ask norwegians why they dont want to join your union?

 
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rilasciare
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From the EU pov

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December 15 2002, 10:01 PM 

Turkey was known in Europe for it´s problem with the Kurds, for violations of Human Rights, for corruption and for fine people who live there who are very kind.

Okay, the corrupt Turkish army is responsible for the violations of Human Rights and the killing of the Kurds,... and so we really can´t blame the new government.

But in times like these and since we are still unsure of the sincerity of the new Turkish government we have to be careful. And at least it made promises how to improve Turkey and now we have to see action.

But from what I´ve heard of the new Turkish government I as a German have to say that I am sure that the new government will lead Turkey in a better future and I for my part hope that it this Turkey will be part of the EU.

 
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alperrr
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 10:03 PM 

Mick,

What are you talking about? Turkey is among the 20 largest economies in the world despite the fact that 2 very big earth quakes hit their industrial towns in recent years and it has spent more than 120 billion dollar within 10 years for its war against separatist terrorism financed mostly by European countries like, France, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Holland, Sweden.

Despite it recieved no substantial aid from neither EU nor the US (The total amount of the aid which the US gave Turkey within 32 years is just 1.2 billion dollar, and the US imposes quota to Turkish textile products) it has very developed and fully competitive civilian industries. Turkey is the country which clothes and feeds all the countries around itself.

Just go to Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine even Turkmenistan and Iran you will see that they all use Turkish civilian industrial products in their everyday life. Whenever we go to these countries we feel ourselves as if we are in Turkey! Turkish electronic industry has a very respectable place in UK market and Turkish companies can very well compete with English and other EU companies in that market!. Turkish army is one of the 4th-5th strongest army in the world.

Turkish air-force is the second strongest air-force in the world! Turkey is a country which has very developed electronic war industries as well. Unlike the other EU candidates it has already signed customs union agreement with EU and its economy is not affected by that despite it recieved none of the financial aids which should be given to Turkey according to customs union agreement.

Turkish economy is larger than even the sum of the economies of the other 12 candidate countries economies despite all of these countries recieve very big financial aid both from EU and the US!. I am sorry but where did you get this impression that Turkey has a third world economy?

Alper

 
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alperrr
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 10:09 PM 

plymouth,

I don't have even single doubt that the US will remind the EU who the boss is once again and Turkey will become one the most prominent members of the EU just as how it is in NATO now. You shouldn't have even a single doubt about that.

When Turkey wanted to become the member of NATO all the NATO members except the US were against it and we all know very well what happened in the end. Turkey which was the weakest member of NATO then has the second strongest army among NATO armies now and the guarantee of peace, and stabilitysecurity in not only in Europe and Middle East but even throughout the world as well!.

As a matter of fact Europe is the destiny of Turks. At the times when Turks were in Europe during Hun Emperor Atilla times none of the current European nations were existing in Europe and the ancestors of none of the nationswho live in Europe today were speaking the same languages which they speak today! Both East and West Roman empires were paying taxes to the Hun Turks.

Tribes emigration started by the Hun Turks and that is how the demographic structure in current Europe has been shaped up! Turks are the only nation which ruled many nations in Europe more than 450 years at least!.

If we don't count France which ruled Italy for a very short period of times Turks during Ottoman Empire times alone are the only nation which ruled the other nations like Serbia, Bosnia, Montanegro, Greece, Hungary, Poland, half of Austria, Bulgaria, Romania Ukraine etc. in Europe. I mean I just can't understand what the criteria is when saying that Turks don't belong to Europe.

Turkish nation (which is the oldest European nation among the other nations live in Europe in fact) has the highest impact in forming European culture, civilization and demographic structure. Who can ignore Turkish impact on France in the 16th century for example? If Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent had not helped the French King by giving an ultimatom to German King who captured him today German would have been the official language in France!

Alper

 
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shqptr
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Re: Wise to wait

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December 15 2002, 10:11 PM 

most of the new eu countries were commie when turkey first came up for membership...

if eu doesn't does go the right way soon, perhaps turkey will go the wrong way...

 
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rilasciare
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Mostly I agree with you

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December 15 2002, 10:13 PM 

Turkey should be part of the EU. But at first the new government should show it´s honesty.

Ah yes, and a small mistake:

The USA has nearly no influence on the EU.
It is the boss in the NATO but the EU is a totally different matter.

 
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RFman007
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Re: Mostly I agree with you

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December 15 2002, 10:16 PM 

Regardless of when accession discussions begin, and if a date is set or not, it is obvious that Turkey has a lot more ground to cover.

Inflation is one obvious obstacle. Defecits, unemployment, corruption, and large state sector etc.. I think most Turks realize that.

...but to argue about even giving a date for such discussions is truly a slap in the face. It just exposes the hypocracy and gives real cause for the worst thoughts of many Turks.

I think it was a huge mistake for the politicians to give the impression to the Turkish people that EU is the only way to go forward.

It is not, and it was not.

 
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CCC
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I hope you never get in Turkey!!!

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December 15 2002, 10:17 PM 

Your a backward, racist, anti-Christian, 3rd world country. Always was, always were.

Your recent electgion of an Islamist hatemonger proves me right!

I only hope the European politicians who lack a pair of balz will stand up to you, but they probably won't.

They'll wake up when your standing over them in their beds with a scimtar pressed up against their throat.

 
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tannacker
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Turkey has to right its very big wrongs

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December 15 2002, 10:20 PM 

First off, get the f*ck out of Cyprus. You will be kept out of the E.U. as long as Cyprus is kept divided.

Second, you must stop all your human rights abuses. This point goes back to the first, get the F*ck out of Cyprus.

Third you should be forced to pay restitutions to the citizens of Cyprus and get the F*ck out of Cyprus.

Do you see a theme here? Yes its, get the F*ck out of Cyprus! Turkey has no right to be in Cyprus, the Turks are the illegal occupiers of the north and they are not recoginized by any government in the world.

Your actions were condemned by the world and you still believe that you were in the right? Turks have committed so many atrocities against their neighbors, just ask the Armenians, the Greeks, and the Cypriots.

In typical Turk fashion they deny having done any wrong doing to anyone. They always argue that they were provoked into committing mass murders. If the E.U. is wise it will never allow any Muslim countries into its fold.

Remember this Turkey has everything to gain by becoming an E.U. member and the E.U. has everything to lose. Turkey's economy will be a cancer to the rest of the E.U. community. Turkey's money is not worth the value of the paper its printed on.

 
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spiritbreath
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Our involvement may have hurt ...

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December 15 2002, 10:25 PM 

... the Turkish cause.
- - -
>> The United States strongly backs Turkey's membership bid.<<
- - -
In truth, Bush tried to strong-arm the EU and only arse kissing Blair found that O.K., the rest were quite alienated.

What business does the US president have to meddle in EU affairs? Megalomania? I wonder about the outcry here if, say, France suggests that we admit Britain to our United States -- we'd quickly tell France where to shove THAT, right?

In a way, the EU told Bush exactly that: "shove it where Britain's Blair and the Aussie Howard reside, inside your six o' clock, Mr. Bush!"

 
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