Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis pointed out that European democracy couldn't claim to be pluralist without participation of Turks and Muslims and noted that Europe shouldn't be a club of elites which is open only to certain races or religions.
Bagis attended the reception given at the French Embassy in Ankara to mark the French National Day on behalf of the government and delivered a speech there.
Stating that he most sincerely celebrated 14th July National Day of the French public, Bagis indicated that Turkish-French diplomatic relationship which was established in 1483 was one of the most deep-rooted relationhips of Turkey. Bagis said "Turkish-French relationship began as a relationship between two empires and it is continuing in the form of a friendly relationship between two powerful republics and two allied democracies" and he noted that Turkish-French relationship was an interneighbour relationship.
Bagis then added:
"Global risks of today necessitate both an alliance such as NATO and participatory associations which are far from isolation and which aren't exclusionary and diversity and democratic welfare. The greatest solution to the security risks of today between the East and the West is the Turkish Republic. Turkey is not only an architectural bridge between the East and the West but also a 21st century reality. It is misleading to view Turkey from the 19th century perspective."
Pointing out that Turkey demonstrated that it was ready to relieve Europe of its burden against the most basic problems of Europe such as today's global economic crisis, energy security of Europe, fight against illegal immigration, war on terrorism, intercultural dialogue and adaptation in European countries, Bagis noted that Nabucco signatures which were put the previous day proved Turkey could resolve Europe's problems even without being a member to the Union.
Minister for EU Affairs Bagis continued his speech saying:
"Politicians are transitory. However, the societies have strong memories. To remain etched in the memories of the societies and the history must be a priority for us politicians. This is our objective as the Government of the Republic of Turkey.
The east and west of Europe aren't far away from each other. Europe is not an island. We all know that Europe should not be a club of elites which is open only to certain races or religions. Islamic world of 1.5 billion people, from Asia, Middle East, the shores of Africa and all quarters of Europe has been following the developments relating to Turkey's membership process."
Emphasizing that a modern, democratic and secular Turkey was determined to be a full member to the EU, Bagis stated that starting from now they only focused on when and how the full membership could be accomplished to the benefit of both Turkey and Europe and humanity.Resource: AA