Turkey's PM rejects stance on cultural assimilation in EU talks

The Turkish prime minister said on Monday that Turkey could assume a key role in the Middle East.

Turkey's PM rejects stance on cultural assimilation in EU talks

The Turkish prime minister said on Monday that Turkey could assume a key role in the Middle East.

Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan interviewed with the Spanish El Pais newspaper, and said Turkey could assume a key role in the Middle East.

"Syrian President Bashar al-Asad trusts Turkey's mediation, and Syria is ready for dialogue but what should be done is to set the rules," Erdogan told El Pais' editor-in-chief Javier Moreno.

On allegations that Turkey's foreign policy had shifted, Erdogan said Turkey had no luxury to insult or get away from countries.

"We have never get away from the East to get closer to the West, or the vice-versa," he said.

Erdogan said Turkey had significant and strategic relations with Iran, which was the second country selling the most natural gas to Turkey, and therefore Iran's nuclear program controversy should be solved through diplomatic means.

Premier Erdogan defined the possibility of unilateral Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities as a disaster for the region, the outcome of which was unpredictable.

"I do not want to imagine, and I do not even want to comment on this issue," he said.

Regarding Turkey's European Union (EU) membership bid, Erdogan said, "the EU has not demanded what it has demanded from us, from any other countries."

Erdogan said what France and Germany were doing to Turkey was changing rules in the middle of the game.

"They are laying down several conditions, which are not in the EU regulations," he said.

Erdogan said there would not be any problems when negotiating integration, however if they were talking about assimilation, there would be problems.

"If they force us to a cultural assimilation, our stance will be different," Erdogan also said.

Earlier on Monday, he met his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and was received by King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Premier Erdogan also attended a meeting hosted by the Nuevo Economia Forum.


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Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2010, 11:14
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