Turkey’s Foreign Minister: ‘Turkey is Europe’

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu underlined the country’s strategic role for EU security, while speaking at the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara.

According to the diplomat, Turkey is key partner promoting peace, stability and prosperity across both European Union and the rest of the continent.

“If we have done and are doing with the European Union what we have achieved in foreign policy alone, the European Union would be applauded as a global actor all over the world.

“Turkey is Europe.

“Today, the engagement sought by formulas such as the European Political or Geopolitical Community has already been established for us through the partnership status, the Customs Union relationship and the EU membership negotiation process. We are not open to suggestions that will cast a shadow over our membership process. We look favourably on integration steps that will accelerate our membership and empower us in relevant policy areas,” Çavuşoğlu declared.

The statements come to strengthen the country’s goals of obtaining EU membership, as Turkey “will pursue constructive policies to improve cooperation and dialogue in all fields”, the FM added.

Despite the country’s relationship with EU has been difficult in the last years, if considering the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the situation in Syria and the migrant crisis, officials in Ankara have reiterated their target consists in full EU membership. To attain this goal, Turkey currently works on behalf of improving EU collaboration by encouraging as well as improving high-level discussions, visa liberalization processes and counterterrorism procedures.

Turkey has been granted the candidate country status back in 1999, yet negotiations started in 2005 only, with no final conclusion so far.

Speaking at the conference, the FM highlighted “the worth of Turkey” in relation to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, as well as the country’s entrepreneurial and humanitarian efforts.

Moreover, Çavuşoğlu added that his nation’s diplomatic advances and upgraded cross-border operations are of “great importance” for the security of both Syria and Iraq.

“Turkey hopes its sensitivities in the fight against terrorism are well understood by the world,” Çavuşoğlu declared, while at the same time criticising the United States for not taking “satisfactory steps” against the terrorist groups.

The Foreign Minister did not hesitate to also criticise Greece, related to current difficulties in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean. As Turkey aims to solve the situation “holistically and comprehensively in accordance with international law”, Greece “does not have the will to resolve (these) issues,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Moreover, the FM expressed solidarity with Azerbaijan and condemned the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Source: dailysabah.com