Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said that the resistance circles within the country who wish Turkey to be governed by gangs and the external ones who understand that Turkey, after Accession, will gain a status which is more important than theirs would do their best to make them throw in the towel"
Egemen Bagis attended the certificate ceremony of the Training Program on the Applications for EU Projects organised by Kayseri Chamber of Industry, Secretariat General for EU Affairs, The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey.
Bagis, in his speech he made at the ceremony said that so many things had changed in Turkey since the first application for EU membership was made by Adnan Menderes, the Prime minister of the time, in 1959.
Reminding that prime ministers were being hanged after military coups 50 years ago in Turkey, Bagis said "During the same period in Spain, certain people in military attire attacked the parliament and took the elected representatives hostage. How much the Spanish economy has advanced in the last 50 years and how much we have advanced. If we compare the two, we see that countries who go into the EU process wholeheartedly gain a lot in the end."
Stating that there has been a conscious government who works hard and ponders on the subject for the last 7 years in Turkey, Bagis emphasized that they didn't regard the EU project to be solely a project of the government.
Declaring that the EU project is a common project for everyone including both the government and the opposition, men and women, the Easterner and the Westerner, Kurdish, Turkish, Circassian, Laz and Bosniak people, Bagis said:
"Today we see the contributions of EU grants in project which will raise our country's standards, benefit us from infrastructure investments to education of our youth, from projects aiming to integrate women more into free market economy to projects which will provide disabled citizens to contribute more to the society. This proves that the EU project is no longer a project that is discussed in five-star hotels and considered only by Turkey's elite like it used to be.
Underlining that 11 out of 33 chapters have been opened since 2005 and that the government is determined and ambitious on the subject, Bagis added:
"The resistance circles within the country who wish Turkey to be governed by gangs like it used to be and the external ones who understand that when Turkey, a country with a young and active population of 70 million, after Accession, will gain a status which is more important than theirs would do their best to make them throw in the towel. But no one should doubt that we are determined not to throw in the towel. Just as we show determination to solve our problems through focusing on what we share rather than our differences within the framework of this modernization and democratization project, we are determined in the same way about our progress for EU accession."
Unlike some people, we don't believe that the road to the EU passes through only one city. Road to the EU passes through the TGNA General Assembly. Hand in hand with the government and the opposition we strongly believe that we will overcome the obstacles and reach the end of this road by enforcing the reforms, by ensuring that our constitution meets the standards of modern countries, by ensuring the rule of law, by changing the laws to ensure that law is not an obstacle but an assurance to privatization and investments in the belief that we will go further on the road to the EU, by raising Turkey's standards, by giving importance to education, development and justice as we have for the last 7 years, by providing roads, schools and hospitals in world standards."
Indicating that in the last 6 months there have been no slowing down about EU accession and that on the contrary the process presently led is highly stable, Bagis stated:
"On the first day of the new year Turkey published a national program with the approval of our President. This is a 400-page national program defining what Turkey will be doing for EU accession during the next 4 years. On January 8 Turkey appointed a minister to focus only only on EU affairs. On January 16 President of the Turkish Republic went to Brussels after 4 years and affirmed Turkey's objective to become Member State one more time with the EU Commission officials. In February the head of the main opposition party went to Brussels for the first time and spoke to officials of the commission. In March for the first time in the history of our republic a meeting was held with EU officials in presidential level. Meanwhile TRT-6 began broadcasting and while it didn't cause any sort of discrimination, on the contrary it made possible that our citizens could make peace with their state in their own language. At the same time we have overcome an issue we have been discussing for years and for the first time we celebrated May 1st differently."
After his speech, Bagis gave certificates to the participants of the training program.