Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said that the Islamic countries are not in search for a leader but Turkey can be a source of inspiration for the Islamic countries.
In a TV program of FOX Channel, Bagis commented on the recent remarks of Dr. George Friedman, an expert on the EU process of Turkey and the international relations and also a geo-strategist, who stated Turkey as an important power in the region.
Bagis acknowledged Friedman to be right on his remarks regarding the Turkey's importance. Bagis also recalled the speech of former U.S. president Bill Clinton in TGNA in 1999 stating that Turkey's preferences would determine the upcoming century.
Bagis said that Turkey is a strong country and it is commonly described as a bridge between the East and the West. However, he added that the legs of this bridge do not receive equal attention.
Bagis said: "We always attached importance to the Western leg of this bridge but somewhat neglected the Eastern leg in the past. During the rule of the AK Party, based on the fact that this bridge can be strong only if the both legs are strong, we began EU negotiations and also assumed the position of the secretariat general in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Meanwhile, we became the co-chair of the project of Alliance of Civilizations."
Reminding that Turkey has been elected to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, Bagis stated that Turkey became a country whose eminence is confirmed and acclaimed by the global community.
Bagis said that what makes Turkey different is its ability to bring diverse cultures and civilizations together. Bagis also pointed that the ancestral tolerance in Turkey is what the European Union needs most at the present time.
Bagis said that Turkey can be a real source of inspiration as a country which continued to keep democracy and Islamic culture alive and together for more than two hundred years; and which has good relations with both the West and the East, facilitating an atmosphere in which Muslims, Christians and Jews can live in the way they want.
Stating that today, Turkey is the shining star of Eurasia Bagis added:
"As Turkey gets closer to the EU in the next 15 years, it would become a more prominent country in the Islamic world. As Turkey gets closer to the Islamic world, it would become a more important country for Europe. As we get closer to one side, our relations with the other side do not get weaker. On the contrary, relations in one side make relations in the other side stronger. Such relations are complementary of each other. Turkey would really be a bridge. Just as 1.5 billion Muslims watch closely Turkey's EU process, 500 million Europeans will begin observing Turkey's relations with the Islamic world."
Bagis said that Turkey has gone a long way in its EU process since 2004 and after giving some examples regarding the current status he added:
"When the citizenship of Nazım Hikmet was restored, nobody in Turkey rejected. Perhaps social democrats wanted to thank but they could not reconcile themselves to this fact. They did not expect that this government would realize this. This means that Turkey is developing. TRT 6 started broadcasting. Our citizens in the South East now have a channel entertaining and informing them correctly in the language they understand, and thus establishing peace between the state and the folk, rather than promoting violence and terrorism. These have not weakened Turkey."
Bagis stated that as a country which started negotiations Turkey is developing each day. After the local elections Turkey has two and a half years ahead without any elections and at this period they want to cooperate with the opposition to amend the Constitution in order to render it a Constitution coveted in the Eurasia.
In terms of the economic crisis, Bagis stated that EU is one of the most crucial peace projects of the world history and thus, such an important unity will not collapse due to an economic crisis.