The International Diplomats Association (DMW) will take the initiative to improve diplomatic relations between Turkey and the European Union, DMW President Ferhat Bozçelik said Monday.
"As the DMW, we will represent Turkey in the United Nations, EU and also other countries," Bozçelik told Anadolu Agency (AA) stressing the importance of building deep rooted relations; forming economic, social and cultural partnerships; and making co-investments.
Turkish citizen Ferhat Bozçelik was unanimously elected as the new president of DMW, and the handover ceremony hosted important figures from politics, business and academic environments. The former DMW president, professor Gunther Meinel, was also among the participants.
Speaking at the event, Meinel said that he insisted that the new president should be from Turkey and added: "Turkey is not the old Turkey. There is a strong Turkey whose economy is strong and which can resist against external pressures. The European Union needs Turkey. Politicians do not want to see this now, but the EU will understand it soon."
Meinel also added that Bozçelik led very important projects for both DMW and Turkey and built bridges between the EU and Turkey. "I am very proud to hand over the presidency to Ferhat Bozçelik," stated Meinel.
Bozçelik also said that he was very proud of being the DMW president. "Becoming the president of such an important and prestigious foundation is Turkey's success rather than mine," said Bozçelik and added that Turkey will be represented in all EU and U.N. meetings thanks to the DMW's accreditation.
Bozçelik also assured that the DMW will support Turkey's public institutions, municipalities, universities and civil society organizations. In terms of Turkey's relations with the EU, funds and projects are the main areas that Turkey can benefit from the DMW's efforts.
Stressing the importance of lobbying, Bozçelik said that they will spend their best efforts to improve Turkey's diplomatic relations with the EU.
Since 1987, Turkey has been trying to obtain full EU membership. Toward that end, many reforms were made in Turkey's domestic policies. Despite this, it has experienced many ups and downs in recent years, as the EU has frequently accused Turkey of drifting away from European values and democracy.
EU membership remains a top strategic goal for Turkey even though the accession talks, formally launched in 2004, have been stalled for years due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France. Many believe that Turkey's membership application has been stalled for years due to its cultural and religious identity.
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