Speaking at the conference titled "Turkey in the EU process" held by the Foreign Trade Club of Afyon Kocatepe University minister for EU affairs and chief negotiator Egemen Bagis stated that the accession process of Turkey to EU had its roots in the Truman Doctrine and Bagis recalled that Turkey applied for membership in 1959.
Bagis said that from 1959 up to 2004, a date was not given to Turkey for the negotiations. He added:
"We achieved this in 2 years after an inconclusive history of 45 years. We started the negotiations with the Brussels Summit. The most difficult process is to keep Turkey on the EU rails. This process has not been easy also for the other countries which are members to EU now. However, each country starting negotiations completed the process. Turkey is also different from the date on which it started negotiations. Many things have changed in Turkey with the effect of EU accession process. When we finish the negotiations we will be a completely different country. But EU will also be different. When the negotiations are finished, change and enlargement issues will be handled in EU from a different point of view.
Turkey is changing and as the whole world has changed and developed Turkey will also change and develop. For this, we should progress decisively. Today Turkey is the 6th biggest economy of Europe and 17th of the world. Moreover, we are the 4th biggest labour force in Europe. At the present time EU needs Turkey more than we need them. We always say that Turkey wants to accede EU to be a part of the solution to the problems of Europe."
Bagis said that he went to Brussels with the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January, 16. There, they confirmed the Turkey's decisiveness for the membership to EU. Bagis added: "More importantly, Barrosso, president of the European Commission also confirmed their support for Turkey's membership to EU."
Bagis stated that success had always been achieved with the common enthusiasm felt in Anatolia from past to present. He added: "EU has become a matter of common enthusiasm in Turkey. We know very well that if common enthusiasm is felt for something in Anatolia, it has always been achieved. This used to be like that at the Republican Era, at the time of Seljuk Empire, and before these, also."
Bagis stressed that there was a common enthusiasm for EU in Turkey. He added: "Therefore I believe that we will be successful in this process. But we should not be tricked by the people wanting us to throw in the towel. We should be patient and determined. As our President also said, we should stand without becoming obstinate. We will surely overcome this challenging process.
On the same day, together with the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bagis attended the AK Party Afyonkarahisar Provincial Congress.