Message by Egemen Bağış, Minister For EU Affairs And Chief Negotiator on the Recent Developments

PRESS RELEASE

STATEMENT ON THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS BY

EGEMEN BAĞIŞ

MINISTER FOR EU AFFAIRS AND CHIEF NEGOTIATOR

In recent days, we have been seeing that some European parliamentarians and officials are irresponsibly making very bold and irrational speeches. The broadcasts of the media in Western countries are also in the same vein. However, we consider the positive and constructive statements of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle calling for greater commitment to Turkey’s EU membership and the opening of Chapters 23 and 24. We appreciate our friends in Europe who maintain their reasonable stance.

However, the eagerness of some members of the European Parliament to make absurd statements merely for media attention is obvious. We respect the freedom to make these kinds of statements. We hope that they regain their reason as soon as possible. Above all, the use of the platform of the European Parliament to express the eclipse of reason through disproportionate, unbalanced and illogical statements would damage its credibility. Rather than allowing this, it would be wiser for the EU officials to put an end to it.

Certain members of European Parliament need to understand that making such bold and irresponsible comments on Turkey’s internal affairs would have some costs. They should not become venues for national and international machinations and be deceived by manipulation and slander. They need not concern themselves over the situation as a result of their misjudgements. Turkey is not a banana republic. It is a democratic and secular state governed by the rule of law. Turkey is well aware of how to govern itself within its state tradition. I hope that those who have become carried away by this transient situation have calculated the cost of targeting not only our government, but also the Republic of Turkey.

No one should exceed their limits by accusing the Republic of Turkey of using violence. Such allegations by European politicians and especially by countries whose own records are tarnished in this respect are unacceptable. There is no State violence in Turkey. There is the disallowance of a disregard for law and order by those taking cover behind demonstrators motivated by environmental concerns. We know the national and international players in this plot. We have launched an investigation on the security forces that have used disproportionate force. As the government, we have sought a way to solve even this problem by a mechanism which would strengthen our democracy. We have stated that we could hold a plebiscite on the project of reconstruction of the military barracks which have been the subject of the demonstrations. These are above all the manifestation of our confidence in democracy and will of our people.

Turkey has the most reformist and strongest government in Europe and the most charismatic and strongest leader in the world.  Should anyone have a problem with this, then I am truly sorry.  Only for those who feel overwhelmed, the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan is a problem.

The EU remains silent about those who have transformed the most peaceful of demonstrations in European countries into spirals of violence and yet goes on to misrepresent and misjudge the justified intervention of our security forces against vandalism. Similarly, the EU is unable to speak up while hundreds of people are massacred in Syria. In which EU we are expected to believe then?

The players taking part in this plot should not raise their hopes in vain.  We will not allow either the interest lobby or the international networks to attack the integrity of the Prime Minister. Nobody is that strong. The Turkish people will not allow this.  

In any case, some things pass, others remain. The demonstrations will eventually be over. How will those who have taken part in this deleterious campaign and affronted the integrity of the Turkish people face us then? No matter how hard the wind blows, it is only dust that it will remove from the rock. There is nothing we can do for those who are swept away by the flood or blown away by the wind.

It is nonsense that some European parliamentarians and officials believe that suspending Turkey’s EU accession process would be a threat for Turkey. Suspending Turkey’s EU accession process is in fact a threat not for Turkey, but for the EU.

Despite all, we will continue our commitment to the reform process for EU membership. As a demonstration of our commitment, we are planning to hold the Reform Monitoring Group meeting, to be hosted by the Ministry for European Union Affairs, on 15 June 2013, with the participation of Mr. Sadullah Ergin, Minister of Justice, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Muammer Güler, Minister of Interior.

It is the best option for everyone that Turkey-EU relations progresses on its own course and on the necessary basis. Since we are in favour of this option, we will maintain our commitment to the reform process to the very end.

Within this framework, we warn that to adopt a stance which obstructs some of the positive developments recently planned may lead Turkey-EU relations to an irreversible point.

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Last updated: 2013-06-17 09:55:14