Turkey's EU representative: Relations with EU gained new momentum

Published 13.06.2017 01:11

Turkey's EU representative Faruk Kaymakçı said that relations with the EU have gained new momentum, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Brussels on May 25. Kaymakçı stated that the improvement of the relations depends on both sides but Turkey has the ability to direct this momentum the way it desires.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, he stated that the May meeting that took place in Brussels with the participation of President Erdoğan, European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker, EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, has become a new turning point for the future of the relations.

"A new momentum in the relations has reached with the May 25 meetings. The improvement of this momentum depends on both sides but Turkey can use and improve it the way it desires," Kaymakçı said.

He added that before the meeting there was a serious mutual misunderstanding and trust problem between the EU and Turkey.

"Unfortunately, the EU leaders did not show the support that we expected from them following the July 15 coup attempt, which created serious trust issues on our perspective," he said, highlighting that the coup attempt carried out by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) could not be understood by the EU properly.

Kaymakçı also said that there have been some prevention and bans in several EU countries against Turkey during the Turkish referendum campaign period, which led Turkey to react "justifiably."

"Yet, in the May 25 meetings," he said, "Turkey has expressed itself clearly and by this way the trust problem has been overcome to a large extent."

Adding that a route map and a calendar came into the agenda following the meeting, Kaymakçı said that this timetable is a mutual one regarding the process of Turkey's EU membership, consisting on the steps that will be taken in one year, which had to be postponed before due to the coup attempt, the Turkish referendum and elections in some of the EU countries.

Regarding the visa liberalization, Kaymakçı expressed its importance while he indicated that Turkey had accomplished 65 of the 72 criteria before the coup attempt which slowed down the process.

He also expressed Turkey's expectation from the EU which is to have an attitude that is determinant and consistent against the terrorism, referring to Turkey's fights against the terrorist organizations such as FETÖ, the PKK and Daesh.

Led by Fetullah Gülen who currently resides in Pennsylvania, U.S., FETÖ, through its operatives within the judiciary, police, military, other state agencies and media, persecuted anyone they deemed as opponents over the years.

The PKK, on the other hand, founded in 1978 and has waged a decades-long bloody campaign against Turkey. The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, broke the cease-fire unilaterally and resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, after a brief reconciliation period.

"Turkey suffers from terrorism for years now. It lost thousands of its people, and it fights with more than one terrorist organization at once. Thus, following the recent terror attacks in Europe, we see that Europe understands us better now," Kaymakçı said.

In addition to stating that Turkey has done more than its fair share regarding refugees, he said that EU really appreciates what Turkey does in this respect.

He also reminded the political dialogue meeting that will be held on July 13 between the EU and Turkey. He said that this meeting will involve many works that will be done in the next year jointly by the EU and Turkey.

"Our main goal is the EU membership process and we are determined. Thıs, we want to revive the accession negotiations," Kaymakçı said. He added that the blockade of the negotiations, politically, in the direction of the national interests of some states, is no good for both sides.

"Turkey's EU membership will not only benefit Turkey and the EU, but it will also benefit the world," he said, emphasizing that it will start the harmonization between the west and east, and the north and south.

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