Speaking at the opening of the meeting titled "Meetings on Dialogue with Civil Society II:Women and the EU Process" organized by the Secretariat General for EU affairs in the Council Hall of Ministry of National Education under the auspices of Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator, he reminded the punishment given to Turkey by ECHR on the grounds that Turkey failed in providing satisfactory protection against domestic violence and he said:"We all feel sorry about this punishment. Turkey did not deserve it. Because our standards, as regards domestic violence, are not worse than the European standards. When compared to EU in general, Turkey is not that bad.
Stating that the women rights was one of the most important points in the EU process, Bagis noted that, when the realities of Turkey was examined, one of the most problematic areas was the discrimination against women. Bagis stated that, although many arrangements had been realized in the legal field in the fight against discrimination against women, progress should also be attained in daily life.
Stating "Turkey can not proceed in the EU process without the mothers, without the women", Bagis emphasized that they could not ignore the women who make up the half of the population and he added that that half was the half who raised children and who were the architects of the futures of Turkey.
Indicating that they could achieve success only if there was common enthusiasm for the EU process and that they attached great importance to the contribution of women, Bagis said they could make better progress on condition that they received contribution of the women.
Reminding that the franchise and the right to be elected were given to women in Turkey earlier than EU countries such as France and Switzerland, Bagis emphasized that the period when the rate of women in the Assembly was the highest since the first Assembly established by Ataturk was the current Assembly.
Bagis talked about the arrangements made in the last 7 years with a view to ensuring gender equality and bettering the social, economic and educational life of women and he noted that women's non-governmental organisations started to benefit more from the EU funds in the recent years, that 132 million Euros were allocated to 13 differents projects which were implemented by women's non-governmental organisations during the period 2002-2009 and that public institutions received a 45 million Euro resource for 316 projects.
Bagis said, "We observe that in everyplace touched by the woman, touched by wisdom and elegance, many things do change" and continued to say the following:
"We may have deficiencies, but we are waiting for support from women in the upcoming process. EU process is a common process for all of us. We are aware that we are late, but the thing that makes us happy is that there was no single country which started the negotiation process and couldn't complete it. We have been transformed into a country which has entered into the negotiation process and which is taking steps and progressing rapidly each day from the state of a country which couldn't receive even a negotiation date. This process will be complete sooner or later. We all have to be ready when we go to our appointment with the EU. When we go to this appointment in a ready state, if there are still ones who try to create problems for Turkey and who try not to keep their word, they will be ashamed of it. Turkey hasn't done anything to be ashamed of in this process. Turkey has always fulfilled the duties incumbent on it and it will continue to do so in the future, too. The important thing is that Turkey doesn't feel shame when appointment time comes.
Calling on women to raise their voice in the EU process, Bagis requested that women's non-governmental organisations contact with counterpart organisations in Europe and contribute to the efforts to have the Europeans learn about Turkey closely.
Noting that they wanted women to be more involved in political and working life and in management roles, Bagis said, "Don't be afraid, don't lose heart... Let us bring Turkey to the position it deserves."
Representatives of numerous non-governmental organisations attended the meeting in which Nimet Cubukcu, Minister of National Education, Guldal Aksit, Chairwoman of the Gender Equality Commission in the TGNA, Oguz Demiralp, Secretary General for EU Affairs and Marc Pierini, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey also delivered a speech.