In his message published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of EU-Turkey relations Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said that Turkey could no longer tolerate any waste of time or delays and that there were many internal and external factors causing the process to slow down so much.
Bagis stated that they commemorated this day which marks the 50th anniversary of EU-Turkey relations yet did not celebrate it, for it was questionable that despite being one of the pioneering countries of history and of its own geography, Turkey still could not accomplish EU integration after 50 years.
Bagis declared that what should be done today was to learn from previous mistakes and achieve full membership as soon as possible while keeping in mind our responsibilities and emphasized that as Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, he was working for the efficient and swift conduct of negotiations.
Minister Bagis stated the following:
"It should be reminded that along with the honorable and rational foreign policy conducted by our government under the leadership of our Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, consecutive reforms also laid at the core of the opening of full membership negotiations after a period of 45 years."
"Therefore our keyword is reform and transformation. Socio-economic and mental transformation is not easy. But we should not give up on it. Our objective is full membership, thus we keep realizing reforms towards full membership target with determined steps."
Bagis said that it was possible to name quite a few individuals, events and reasons that have caused this 50-year delay and added: "But today I would especially like to commemorate the most prominent leaders of this relay race who have stood up against all opposition and criticism and toiled to realize the most important modernization project after the foundation of our Republic."
In his message, Egemen Bagis also conveyed: "May God have mercy on Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatih Rustu Zorlu who applied to the European Economic Community with great vision in 1959, Ismet Inonu who signed the Ankara Treaty in 1963, laying the legal foundations which constitutes the most significant pillar of the relations, Turgut Ozal who applied for full membership in 1987 and Bulent Ecevit who enabled Turkey to assume full membership status in 1999.
Bagis said: "Today we will not give up on our determination to reunite Turkey with its honorable spot among European nations and to realize the transformation that our country needs under the leadership of our Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has carried the baton the farthest."