EU official: Turkey, EU have same long-term interests

Lagendijk said that in the next 20 or 50 years, the U.S., Russia, China, India, Brazil and Republic of South Africa would be the main powers, so the EU and Turkey would have to join forces in that new order.

EU official: Turkey, EU have same long-term interests
Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, said on Tuesday that he believed Turkey would join EU in the end because Turkey and EU had the same long-term interests.

Speaking to AA in the northwestern province of Bursa, Lagendijk said that in the two years after Justice & Development (AK) Party came to power, many reforms were fulfilled and there was an optimism in Turkey. However, he added, the EU membership process became harder after 2004, because there were parties both in Turkey and Europe which were determined to stop Turkey's EU membership process.

Lagendijk also said that parties which were against Turkey's EU membership had become more active since 2005, and setting a negotiation date for Turkey was a surprise for those parties.

Lagendijk said that one of the reasons in the decrease in support to EU membership in Turkey was EU's Cyprus policy. He added that the biggest mistake of Europeans was their Cyprus policy.

Lagendijk said that it was a big mistake to accept EU membership of Greek Cypriot administration before the solution of problem in Cyprus. He said that Greek Cypriot side's accession to EU was approved although Greek Cypriots gave 'no' vote while Turkish Cypriots gave 'yes' vote to Annan plan in referendum in 2004. Thus, he said, EU's reliability was deteriorated for Turks.

Lagendijk said that in the next 20 or 50 years, the U.S., Russia, China, India, Brazil and Republic of South Africa would be the main powers, so the EU and Turkey would have to join forces in that new order.

The developments in the Middle East were very important for Europe so Europe needed Turkey's experience and stance to play a main role in the Middle East, Lagendijk said.

Lagendijk said that he did not know a certain date, but he thought Turkey might join the EU in the next 7-10 years.

Regarding the decision of Turkish Constitutional Court not to close the ruling AK Party, Lagendijk said that now the EU was expecting Turkey to resume its agenda of reforms.

AA
Last Mod: 05 Ağustos 2008, 14:35
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