Turkish FM says Brexit reflects EU's unsuccessful policies

Published 24.06.2016 20:03
Updated 24.06.2016 20:06

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says the European Union is in need of serious introspection after Britain's decision to withdraw from the bloc.

Speaking to reporters Friday, he said all EU "policies have been unsuccessful," pointing to integration, expansion, security and economic-related policies as examples.

The EU, the minister added, has failed to address the rise of several negative trends such as extremism, Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia.

He said that Britain's withdrawal hinders the EU's capacity to be a powerful global actor and that Ankara would have preferred it stayed in the bloc.

Çavuşoğlu said this development underscores Turkey's importance for EU stability and security.

Turkish EU Minister Ömer Çelik also commented on Britain's decision to leave the union, saying it could create a domino effect, triggering racial segregation and civil wars across Europe.

"This referendum could not only trigger the same exit reflex in several other countries, but it could also lead to extremely dangerous processes such as racial segregation and civil war just like we have seen long before World War II," Çelik told a news conference in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday.

The minister said that the U.K. vote to leave the bloc was related to mainstream politicians caving to a far right movement.

"Cameron in particular failed to resist the provocative and manipulative anti-Turkey campaign of the far right, and ended up joining this campaign.

"If mainstream politicians fail to respond sensibly to far right movements, this means the involvement of the latter into mainstream politics, and the end of the European project," he said, adding that Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-foreignism, anti-Turkey and anti-refugee movements all played a role.

"Leave" campaigners repeatedly used Turkey's EU accession process to instill fear among voters that such a move would supposedly invite millions of migrants into the bloc, especially to the U.K.

Çelik added the referendum result could lead to a second Scottish independence vote. In a September 2014 referendum, Scotland had voted to stay in the U.K. However, a majority of Scots voted Thursday in favor of the U.K. staying in the EU.

"The U.K. leaving the EU is neither good for the continent or the world. But we respect the will of the British people. This is after all their responsibility. We will be monitoring the developments," he said.

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