Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis evaluated the last report of the Independent Commission on Turkey chaired by the Nobel Prize winner and former President of Finland Marti Ahtisaari. Bagis indicated that the report confirmed once again the determination of AK Party government in reform process and the increasing strategic importance of Turkey.
Indicating that the report reflected the opinions of the wise men in Europe and the groups which do not approach EU membership of Turkey with prejudice, Bagis said: "There are people with common sense in Europe, too. Politicians who oppose Turkey's accession to the EU with narrow minded intentions are in a dead end. I believe that common sense will overcome fanaticism in Europe. This report is a good response to the ones who try to make it forgotten that the EU has legal obligations towards Turkey.
Pointing out that leading statesmen from many European countries attended the Independent Commission on Turkey, Bagis said the opinions of the Chairman of the Commission were much more significant since he was a Nobel prize winner.
Bagis said: "After the report was covered by the media many of my European friends who had some doubts about Turkey and who were against Turkey's accession to the EU called me and said they were observing with appreciation the progress of Turkey both in international relations and in EU accession process."
Emphasizing that this report proved how Turkey got closer to its aim of reaching the EU standards, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said:
"Those who approach Turkey with emotional motives or concerns related to internal politics today will not be on the political scene tomorrow. No one has the right to prevent Turkey and the EU from building their common future. Independent Commission on Turkey, with its report in 2004, meant more than a promise for the membership of Turkey. This second report of the Independent Commission on Turkey also demonstrates that there is a fair approach towards Turkey. It calls all the states to carry out their commitments which they made several times regarding the accession process which had started with a decision taken by common consent. Besides, it brings a balance to the discussions on Cyprus issue and calls the EU to implement the Decision dated 26 April 2004.
The steps taken towards the solution of Kurdish problem are praised and loose attitude of some EU countries in terms of PKK is criticised. The report points out the steps taken towards the solution of the problems of religious minorities in our country also. It points to the increasing importance of Turkey in the international politics of her region and encourages the Armenia initiative. The report, indicating that Turkey's improving relations with the Oriental Countries should not be considered as an Islamist policy, praises the flexibility and soundness of the economy of our country despite the global economic crisis."
Thanking to circles who adopt a balanced and reasonable attitude towards Turkey's accession to the EU and in particular to the Independent Commission on Turkey, Bagis continued as follows:
"The report warns the EU. It clearly indicates that the attitude towards Turkey conflicts with the main principles of the EU. The real owners of Europe prefer EU to have principles and a legal structure. The report is the reflection of this understanding. Besides, the report indicates once again that Turkey's accession process is being closely watched by the Islamic world with 1.5 billion people and all the rest of the world. People with common sense say that EU is having an exam over Turkey. There is a difference between the approach of these men of common sense and short term approaches of street politicians of the EU. However, the progress, as indicated in this report, will be towards the direction shown by the men of common sense. Our real addressees are those wise men with common sense. Street politicians are temporary but rights, laws and fundamental principles are permanent.
There will be other reports and remarks of the EU institutions. We will carefully analyse them as well. Turkish public and the opponents of EU in Turkey should observe them carefully too. These reports should be evaluated as a whole. Attitude of the EU should not be distorted by only taking particular terms and sentences out of the reports. The opponents of EU in Turkey and the opponents of Turkey in the EU come together on the same platform. We send the same message to both parties. Law, justice and history are on the side of the integration of Turkey and the EU.
Today, unfortunately we have to struggle with opponents of the EU in Turkey as much as the opponents of Turkey in the EU. I believe those friends will share our belief şnt the objective of the modernisation set by Ataturk and support the process. Because, after my negotiation with the members of the Independent Commission on Turkey, my belief in Turkey's EU accession in the end has been strengthened. I advice all the opposition parties to read this report."