Stating that the EU membership is a process to shape the future of Turkey which is supported by all sections of the society, Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, said "We consider the EU project as a unifier for Turkey."
Delivering a speech at the conference on "Solution Seeking Meetings–EU Tenders and Attendance of Turkish Firms" held by Central Finance and Contacts Unit(CFCU) and Turkish Employers' Association of Construction Industries (INTES), Bagis told that EU membership is a hopeful process for Turkey no matter how long it takes.
Describing the EU membership as a project everyone - employers, employees, easterners, westerners, the young, the old, Alewis, Sunnis, Muslims, Jews, Christians, soldiers, civilians, contractors, subcontractors- would feel a part of, Bagis continued " EU project is not only our project but also a project guarantying our children to live in a more modern country. It is perhaps one of the most important projects we undertake in order to "reach the contemporary civilisation level" our great leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of our Republic, aimed at."
Stating that he paid visits to the opposition party leaders having a group in TGNA and the heads of the constitutional institutions after his being appointed to the new post, Bagis said: "everybody agrees that the EU project is a state policy."
Bagis said "we, both as AK Party and as the Government, consider EU as the most important modernisation project after the declaration of the Republic of Turkey" and he pointed out that up till now, the most intensive and extensive work has been carried out. Bagis also added that the EU project should be carried out in collaboration.
Indicating that they attached great importance to be in a dialogue with the non-governmental organisations throughout their activities, Bagis stressed that for this purpose, in the meeting to be held on March 6 in Ankara, they will meet the representatives of all non-governmental organizations working on EU related issues and who wish to share their opinions, criticism, suggestions, and contributions.
Bagis said "all our associations, foundations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations can participate in the meeting by registering through the web page of the Secretariat General for EU Affairs" and he told that they attach great importance to this meeting.
Stating that Turkey's contribution to the development of relations within its own region contribute to the EU process also, Bagis said "Today we have become one of the peacemaker countries, the leaders of countries that can't get along well with each other call on for."
Indicating that there is a "risk of fire" in the world today, Bagis said "We can't be neutral. Our historical mission, geographical position, and our performance in the last 50 years indicate how really an important country Turkey is for peace."
Indicating that as well as carrying out EU negotiations, Turkey is the General Secretary of OIC, a temporary member of UN Security Council, and the co-chairman of the Alliance of Civilizations, Bagis stressed that all these indicated "the potential of the country."
Bagis said, "Georgia and Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, India and Pakistan, Israel and Syria, Palestine and Israel try to carry out work in the light of Turkey's mediation, for Turkey has clearly put forward its will to be a part of the solution."
Indicating that "a silent revolution has been realized in Turkey in the last 7 years," Bagis reported that serious improvements have been provided in various fields and "constitutional amendment" could be realized in cooperation.
Mentioning that Islamic world consisting of 1.5 billion people follows Turkey's EU membership process closely, Bagis said "We are not joining to be a burden to the EU, but to share the burden of the EU."
Indicating that Turkey has done what it has to during the membership process and will continue to do so, Bagis said "EU should obey the rules of the game and the rules shouldn't be changed while the game is being played."
Mentioning that all countries which had started the negotiations have completed the process and Turkey will not be an exception, Bagis said that further developments could be determined after the negotiations also and there is no need to talk about the issue for the time being.