Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis made a speech on "EU and the Negotiation Process" at the "Politics Academy" held by the AK Party Diyarbakır Provincial Chairmanship.
Indicating that EU is a union with 6 founders and 27 members, Bagis said EU member countries covered %20 of world trade, and he went on:
"The EU Parliament election is being held now. Currently in terms of population the country which has the highest number of members is Germany. Turkey which will join the EU will have more members than Germany after 20-30 years in accordance with the population growth. The first application to EU was made by the late Adnan Menderes in 1956. The application process of some countries takes 3-5 years time. Ours has lasted for 50 years. Useless things have been done in the first 45 years as some people didn't think over on what should be done for the negotiations while they deviated from the target (saying that the way for EU passed Diyarbakır) and made no investment in Diyarbakır. We, as AK Party, have accomplished in 2 years what couldn't be done in 45 years."
Emphasizing that as Turkey they have carried out the necessary reforms and have obliged EU to start the negotiations and that they have prepared the required base for the negotiations, Bagis continued as follows:
"Turkey is no more a country where prime ministers are hanged after the military coups, where the metropolitan municipality mayors are punished for reading poems as 10 years before, and where the books of Dostoyevsky are banned. State Security Courts (DGM) were abolished. Laws on Higher Education Institution (YOK) and Turkish Radio and Television Association (TRT) were amended. Extensive reforms have been carried out between 2002 and 2004. Turkey has become more democratic. The Prime Minister has slammed his fist on the table and solved the problems about the conditions that were insisted on the Cyprus Issue in the Brussels summit. Turkey was given a negotiation starting date. Three most important parts of the negotiations are political criteria, economic criteria and civil society and dialogue. Some people say that the EU process has slowed down in Turkey; however we have got off to a good start in 2009, our 400-paged National Program was published.
We have restored the citizenship of Nazım Hikmet. Social-democrat parties have ruled this country, a poet prime minister was in power but none of them restored Nazım Hikmet's citizenship. The required work has been carried out for the women-men equality and a commission has been established. We approved the Environment Agreement. TRT 6 has started broadcasting. Does the country separate as our citizens watch programs in the language they understand? On the contrary, it becomes stronger. For the first time in the Republic history expansion on Alewi issue has taken place. Approximately 500 million Euros fund has been allocated to Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP) region. Our Prime Minister will again visit Brussels at the end of June to show that he is determined."
Bagis stated that the Constitutional amendment is the most important work Turkey has to carry out.
Indicating that they aimed to make Constitutional amendments in the near future, Bagis said:
"Minimum democracy can be gained with the Constitution which was prepared after a military coup. It would be a dream to join the EU with this Constitution. In this scope, I would like to address to the opponent leader Deniz Baykal from Diyarbakır. Let's together carry out this Constitutional amendment. We have met Deniz Baykal, Devlet Bahceli, Ahmet Turk and other political party representatives and talked about their support for EU. If they are serious on the EU issue, we should collobarately prepare a constitution that would respond to everyone's needs. It doesn't suit anyone to run away on hearing the Constitutional amendment.
Judicial reform has to be carried out for the courts to take quick decisions as well as Constitutional amendment. We are working on this issue currently. Everyone is annoyed with the law on political parties. Let's amend the law on political parties. Let's establish the public auditing institution. We have prepared it but it was turned down by the Constitutional Court. It has been declared that the Constitution has to be amended first. We also continue to work on the law on struggle against corruption.
Emphasizing that the EU also has problems, Bagis said "Doesn't the EU have any problems? It of course has problems such as terror, discrimination, violence, energy, drugs and aging."
Pointing out that most of those problems wouldn't be easily solved without Turkey, Bagis said:
"Most of the problems Turkey encounters could be solved with the EU process. We see that as the integration between Turkey and EU is provided, the problems of both parts could be removed. The prior condition of the EU is to protect our democracy, we will fulfill this condition. But Turkey first has to realize her own power. Turkey is the world's 17th and Europe's 7th greatest economy and has the youngest population of Europe."
Many things have started to change in the EU process and many more things will also change. The gangs won't claim to rule the country anymore and there will be no people desiring for coups during the process. No one will have the opportunity to make discrimination on the basis of ethnic roots and beliefs and the cities where people are born. Perhaps it's AK Party who has supported EU the most in the history of the Republic. AK Party banns every kind of discrimination, racisms and separatism. It is a party which treats all people equally."
Bagis visited Diyarbakır Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu at his office the same day and obtained information about the problems of the city.