World Bulletin/News Desk
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged the European Union to revive its founding fathers' courageous path and express determination for Turkey's inclusion in the bloc.
Erdoğan said Turkey maintains its determination to speed up the EU accession process in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office to mark Europe Day. Stressing that Turkey is a natural part of the European family due to its history and geographic location, Erdoğan said the country is doing what it takes to join the 27-nation bloc.
The Turkish prime minister accused some European countries of stalling Turkey's EU membership bid over “political concerns” and said tackling the deadlock will be to the benefit of both Turkey and the EU. Erdoğan said an EU with Turkey would be much stronger in facing regional and global challenges.
No chapter has been opened for Turkey in the accession process in two-and-a-half years, exemplifying the listlessness of Turkey-EU relations. Currently, France and Greek Cyprus are blocking the opening of new chapters in the acquis, while the completion of certain other chapters has also been blocked by the European Council due to disputes over Cyprus. France recently made clear its intention to unblock at least two chapters in a bid to revive stalled membership talks with Turkey.
Erdoğan hailed what he called Turkey's “significant political and economic reforms” in the past 10 years and important progress it has made in its goal to achieve the highest standards of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
President Abdullah Gül also marked Europe Day on Wednesday, saying Turkey's full accession to the bloc was a matter of the EU fulfilling its promises.
Gül said the “Europe project” faces great tests given the economic and social problems within the EU as well as the historic transformation countries in North Africa are going through. The president added that Europe must display a strategic vision in order to shape global developments rather than “withdrawing into its shell.”
The president also put forward that Turkey's full membership in the bloc will grant the EU a more prominent place in the international community as well as an opportunity to spread its values to a wider geography.
The Europe Day message of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's also emphasized Turkey's determination for full membership.
“Turkey is not the same country that signed an association agreement with the EU in 1963. Turkey, just like the EU, has developed and improved over time. Turkey has made significant reforms in political and economic fields in the last 10 years in parallel with global and regional development,” said the statement. Davutoğlu added that Turkey will continue to introduce reforms to bolster democracy and human rights.Last Mod: 10 Mayıs 2013, 10:07