Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator stated: "No one should be doubtful about the determination of our government for the EU accession. The determination of the government for this is very profound and great."
Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Bagis attended the "Bahcesaray Culture and Art Festival" organized in Bahcesaray, a province of Van.
Emphasizing that Turkey had substantially changed, Bagis added:
"Turkey has became a country in which coup d'états don't take place and the word of "coup" is perceived negatively. The books aren't collected and burned; and people are not scared of poems and books anymore."
Bagis said that the periods in which the presidents elected with the vote of people and representing the national will had been hanged were over. He added that the welfare of the country was increasing and the people were getting richer day by day.
Stating that regardless of their origin, language, religion and political party everyone was their own citizen Bagis added: "We are close relatives for years. We have become integrated with each other. There can be nothing to incite us."
Bagis said: "When we closely look the countries with a deep-rooted democracy, we can see that they aren't poor." Bagis continued his speech as follows:
"It means that when you promote the freedom of speech, enroot the democracy, protect your people and attach an importance to your cultural wealth; the welfare in the country increases. By means of this welfare, we can improve our highways and provide better educational services. Throughout the history this nation has not been as rich and prosperous as today. As we have invested in our democracy and attached importance to our people more, the standards in every field in Turkey increased accordingly.
All the citizens in Turkey began to embrace their state and call it as 'my state'. There is a mentality in our culture: 'Exalt the people, so the state can be exalted.' It is the individual who is honorable. Government is a government only when it is under the order of its people."
Stating that he saw some of the affluent historical assets in Van, Bagis expressed his pleasure to see that the festivals were held, infrastructures came into life and the projects were carried out with the EU donations. And he continued:
"Turkey is totally a part of Europe. In some way, Europe has an effect on each part of Turkey. Turkey can also have an effect on Europe. I understood once again that Turkey is such a great country. This enlarged my horizons and provided me a different vision. Consequently, I can say that my first day in Van was very successful and efficient."
Bagis expressed that the city using the EU funds most effectively and benefiting the grant funding mostly in numerical terms was Van. Bagis congratulated everyone who had contributed to that success.