ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)–A top government minister has called on European Union members to make up their minds about Turkey’s prospective membership in the 27-member bloc and make consistent decisions to that end.
“We have always stressed that Turkey would not be a burden for the EU. The EU may be an economic power without Turkey, but it cannot be a strategic power. Turkey is an opportunity for the EU,” said government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek in a press conference after Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
“They [European leaders] are first saying this and later that. They should keep their promises. We stand by our words and expect them to do the same,” he added.
Cicek also said Turkey is pushing forward with new reforms to fulfill its aspirations for full EU membership.
“We are enacting legislation about the EU. We are working on a plan to fight corruption. The Justice Ministry will have the final say on these plans. There may be points lacking in our plans or objections against them. The union will take the Justice Ministry as an addressee in these plans,” Cicek stressed.
He refused to comment on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks on Saturday, in which he spoke out against the prevailing fear of foreign nationals in Turkey.
“This mindset has seemingly not changed. It has been the same for many years in this country. They have chased members of different ethnicities out of this country. Have we won? This was the result of a fascist mentality,” Erdogan said in a speech in the northwestern city of Duzce on Saturday.