EU membership will elude Turkey, Michigan Turks say

Capital News Service
LANSING — Turks in Michigan say they’re not hopeful about the success of an initiative by the new government of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to accelerate negotiations to win European Union membership for Turkey. In the second cabinet meeting after Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election as president, “the focus and primary agenda was the European Union,” said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.
Arinc outlined a three-step plan to begin this year as “a new but scheduled course of action” to be carried out within five years. The strategy aims at preparing Turkey for EU membership by 2019. But the new government is “trying to cover up their failed Middle East policy” with the new EU initiative, said Timur Kocaoglu, an international relations professor and the associate director of the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Michigan State University. Kocaoglu said he did not think anybody would take the three-stage plan seriously.

Master Gardeners prepping for '14

Capital News Service
LANSING – Anita Callender’s garden is her refuge. “My garden is a Valium,” she said. “It is a tranquilizer. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
As the coordinator for the Western Wayne County Extension Office’s Master Gardner Volunteer Program, Callender is looking forward to January, which marks the program’s 35th year in Michigan – and another year for her to pass on her love of gardening. The Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a gardening and horticulture education program across the U.S. and Canada, for people of all ages and experience levels.