Evaluating the European Court of Justice's decision that no visa is required for Turks travelling Europe for business purposes, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis stated that "This decision is also an important step for eliminating concerns regarding European Union authorities' preconceived and biased behaviour towards Turks and establishment of mutual partnership".
In his evaluation, pointing out that the European Court of Justice's decision was a decision in favour of plaintiff citizens, Bagis said that "This decision especially means that 'stand still' provision (requiring Member States not to introduce any new restrictions on the rights of Turkish nationals) in the Additional Protocol dated 1970 has been interpreted in positive terms and consequently a right which was acquired in 1970 has been approved by the highest court in Europe."
Expressing that the decision was encouraging in the sense that it could resolve the problems Turkish citizens encountered in their visa demands for EU countries, Bagis stated that:
"On the other hand, since the reason of the decision is important for the application, there is a need for a detailed legal evaluation. Our colleagues are working on this issue.
This decision is also an important step for eliminating concerns regarding European Union authorities' preconceived and biased behaviour towards Turks and establishment of mutual partnership. We do not request privilege from the European Union, but we do not accept any discriminatory treatment, either.
We request that the acquired rights of Turkey and Turkish citizens are guarded. On the basis of objective criteria, we want to proceed with and conclude the negotiations as a candidate country having an equal status with the previous candidate countries.
We will continue our work and efforts in order for Turkish passport to gain the prestige it deserves in all countries of the world."
"There are signs that the decision has passed with the effort and self dedication of a group of determined citizens. It is proud to know that the EU awareness has taken action at an individual level. We should support such efforts much more. Our Prime Minister and our Government have always stood by the Turkish citizens living abroad. But it is also proud to know that there are Turkish citizens who take the initiative themselves instead of expecting everything from the government and the state."
Pointing out that the EU was not only the project of the government but also the project of everybody. Bagis stated that some steps should be taken by the conscious and devoted citizens and not by the official channels.
Pointing out that the participation of citizens and individuals were more effective and meaningful than official efforts within EU, Bagis added the following:
"We will proceed together. I would like to thank and congratulate them as well. I am addressing all our citizens living in EU; be a good citizen of the EU, comply with the rules and seek your rights, defend your law. We stand by you each individually. Refuse to be a second class citizen; you are not a second class citizen. The EU law does not consist of separate rules for people who have different hair colour and different complexion, and it shouldn't be so. They also declare, there is nothing like that. Then, let us examine the situation thoroughly and seek our rights. Seek your rights."