Former Croatian President Ivo Josipovic said Saturday during the last day of 7th Uludağ Economy Summit in Turkey's northwestern province of Bursa that they look at the enlargement of the European Union (EU) in terms of peace and security, indicating that the bloc remains incomplete without Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia.During his speech at the Future of Europe session, at which integration in Europe, identity, expansion and the current situation and the future of Turkey-EU relations were discussed, Josipovic said that even though the workings of the EU are not always pleasant, very deep reforms are needed and that the need for security in Europe is generally agreed upon.
Moderated by the Allianz Turkey Chairman of Board of Directors Cansen Başaran, the session was attended by the Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Anders Aslund, Siemens Turkey Chairman and CEO Hüseyin Gelis, former President of Croatia Prof. Ivo Josipovic and the U.K.'s Ambassador to Turkey Sir Dominic Chilcott.
Pointing out that Turkey is a great global power, Josipovic suggested that the country be seen as a huge ship. As for Croatia, it can be thought of as a small boat, he said. "Turkey is a major power in many areas such as economy, military, science and health," Josipovic added.
Josipovic said Croatia, as a small country, focuses on its own problems, but that Turkey is a country with global ambitions and that this situation deeply affects the negotiation process. Stressing that the U.K. is a friendly country that has always looked after Turkey's interest in the EU, the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Turkey Chilcott said that the U.K. hereafter would not be in the bloc, but that he believes that the Turkey-EU relations will get back on the track again.The U.K. has always supported Turkey joining the EU for strategic reasons, Chilcott said, adding that they consider Turkey as an indispensable partner in the region.
"We know how great the importance of Turkey is. There are around 3.5 million refugees in Turkey. We are aware of the attacks coming from the terrorist organizations such as the PKK and PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG). Thus, Turkey is in the very heart of the problems. At this point, we need to deepen our business cooperation and increase our commercial ties. We need to work with Turkey on defense in the fight against terrorism. We can revive the tourism industry together. At the same time, three million British tourists are expected to come to Turkey this year," Chilcott said.Referring to the Turkish-German relations during his speech, Siemens Turkey Chairman and CEO Hüseyin Gelis said a strategic relationship between the two countries has developed over the last 200 years, adding that issues that have to be addressed to assure the sustainability of the relationship between the two countries was the most important point.