Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis in a speech he delivered during the panel discussion at Vienna University titled "The future of Europe and Turkey", which was organized at Austrian Institute for International Relations (OIIP), reminded that some EU countries, mainly Austria, called for a "privileged partnership" status for Turkey and stated that though he examined the EU acquis which comprised thousands of pages, he couldn't come across any such expression in it.
Reminding that Turkey continued with the negotiation process with the EU and noting that they adopted many reform packages to comply with the EU acquis , Bagis said, "Turkey only accepts full membership to the EU. Turkey will be a solution, not a problem for the EU."
Bagis stated that the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis was published, a new chief negotiator was appointed, TRT-6 broadcasted in Kurdish, TRT radios broadcasted in Kurdish and Armenian, the Gender Equality Commission was set up in the Assembly, amendments were made in the scope of justice in judiciary system, judicial reform strategy document was published, work concerning strategy paper on fight against corruption was undertaken, customs law was amended, customs ports were modernized to comply with the EU standards and recounting in detail the developments in Turkey in the last seven months as such, Bagis said that "preconceptions of some EU countries against Turkey are unfair."
Bagis reminded the peace efforts of Turkey in the Middle East and the Caucasus and said "We are currently making intensive efforts to ensure peace between Russia and Georgia, Israel and Syria, and Iran and the USA."
Bagis stated that such peace efforts in the region "will be the common efforts of the EU when Turkey becomes a member state of the EU".
Stating that Turkey assumed an important part in meeting the Energy demand of Europe, Bagis said that "Nabucco and Samsun-Ceyhan natural gas pipelines passing through Turkey will meet the energy requirements of Austria and eventually other member states of the EU to a great extent."
He said the EU Member States had some unfair prejudices against Turkey and Islam and continued as follows:
"Moroccan or Algerian origin young people who make street demonstrations or resort to violence in Paris were actually born in France. Pakistan origined Muslims who organize actions in London were also born in London. It is unfair to accuse the whole Islam community on the basis of the actions of such young people. It is not true to label all Muslims as violently-oriented people while talking, on the other hand, about the alliance of the civilizations and dialogue."
Bagis reminded that the Ottoman military forces came to Vienna twice, in 1529 and 1683, and many Austrian composers starting with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the grandmaster of the classical music were impressed by the musical instruments of the Janissaries and reflected that in their works, and said "Ottomans also brought coffee they obtained from Yemen to Vienna in that era."
The panel discussion was attended by many diplomats including Selim Yenel, Turkish Ambassador in Vienna, Heide Maria Gürer, Austrian Ambassador in Ankara, Albert Rohan, UN deputy special representative for Kosovo, as well as politicians, university students and the representatives of Turkish NGOs abroad.