Indicating that they tried to eliminate concerns about Turkey's full membership to the EU in Austria, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said, "We requested the business community in Austria to turn their implicit support for our country's accession process into an explicit support."
Upon his arrival in Istanbul from Vienna, Bagis held a press conference at Ataturk Airport and evaluated his visit to Alpbach Forum and Austria.
Noting that in the framework of his visit he also met with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, Bagis said that the meeting they held was very fruitful and impressive. Stating that in the bilateral talks he gave information about reforms introduced in Turkey, Turkey's determination to become full member to the EU and developments regarding Nabucco natural gas pipeline project, Bagis indicated that they worked to eliminate concerns about Turkey's full membership to the EU.
Bagis said, "We received their comments on our impressive determination and speed, by which Europe is almost dazzled. It was quite a fruitful meeting."
State Minister and Chief Negotiator Bagis stating that Turkey's accession to the EU had been discussed during the talks and the panel discussion Vienna said "we argued the thesis that Turkey is a part of the solution for the EU, not the problem. We see that Europeans are also gradually understanding this. Intellectual circles have started to perceive that. But, I observed once again that we need a communication project to explain it to the public and the men in the street."
Egemen Bagis reminded that Turkish Consulate in Vienna ws opened during his visit and said it was very important and they had a chance to listen to the problems of Turkish citizens.
Answering a question on Cyprus, Bagis stated that they were ready for a solution for Cyprus and said "We are ready for a solution. We can take a step regarding every issue including opening our ports, but they should keep their promises, too. They should end the unethical and cruel isolation and embargos against TRNC. The resolution made yesterday will show the EU the determination of the Greek section to prevent a solution. I hope that will have an awakening effect."
Answering a question on how the democratic initiative process affect the EU Turkey Progress Report to be published on October 14, Minister Bagis said "We do not take those steps to satisfy the expectations of any institution of the EU. We take each step to satisfy the expectations of our nation, to raise the living standards of our citizens, to enlarge the scope of democracy, to strengthen the freedom of expression and individual rights and to enrich our country. In this framework, I consider the discussions on the democratic initiative in our country as something healthy. This is significant in terms of the stage achieved by Turkish democracy. In this framework, the EU appreciates us in this respect: Turkey has come to a point where she can face her problems on her own will, she is solving her problems one by one. And it is our duty to carry on the democratic initiatives to eliminate the doubts of various social groups of this country. We are trying to perform out duty."
In response to another question on the EU Turkey Progress Report to be published on October 14, and the Clergy School, Bagis stated that the process was going on, and the matter would be brought before the Council of Ministers when the studies are finished, and he said: "While we do that, it is very reasonable and fair for us to expect our neighbor Greece to review the rights of Turkish minority. I do not claim that this is a matter of reciprocity. It is not, because the Orthodoxs living n Turkey are the citizens of Turkey, not of another country. Just like it is our obligation to solve their problem, it is the obligation of the Greek government to solve the problem of the Turks living in Greece. Although it is not a question of reciprocity, I believe that taking some steps of good will simultaneously will be relaxing for both countries. I hope the Greek Foreign Minister makes more positive and constructive offers during his visit to Turkey, that would further the process."