Erdoğan says Turkey will not beg for accession to EU
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 24, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 24, 2015 12:00 am
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been welcomed in an official ceremony in Djibouti by its president Ismail Omar Guelleh. Speaking at a joint press conference, Erdoğan has said Turkey is not a country that could beg for accession to European Union, alluding to the lasting resistance of Europe to approve Turkey's accession to the bloc.
Guelleh and Erdoğan announced they had signed eight agreements following one-on-one talks the duo had had, during a joint press conference they held. Erdoğan, touching on the Turkey's ongoing talks to join the European Union, has said: "Will Europe allow accession of Turkey with its Muslim population? You have to accept [Turkey's membership] unless you are against Islamophobia. If you deem Turkey as a country which will beg at your door, it is not a country that begs. Either it is accepted [in the EU] or it draws its own roadmap."
"It does not really matter whether they accept Turkey's accession in the EU. We are indeed testing Europe," Erdoğan was quoted as saying.
Erdoğan also touched upon the so called apathy of Europe towards thousands of Syrians who have been displaced due to the ongoing civil war and the rising self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) threat in the region. Underscoring how the open door policy of Turkey has provided the Syrians fleeing the violence in their homeland with shelter, Erdoğan said Turkey has so far spent 5.5 billion dollars for 1,700,000 refugees taking shelter in Turkish territory.
Comparing Turkey to European countries, Erdoğan said 130,000 Syrians are taking refuge in Europe. He noted that Lebanon and Jordan have also opened their doors to indigent Syrian refugees to provide them with shelter and that the world is 'keeping silent over all these developments'.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in Djibouti on Saturday and is scheduled to go to Somalia on Sunday despite a deadly car bombing near a hotel in the Somalian capital Mogadishu on Friday where a Turkish delegation was staying. Following his Ethiopia trip on Thursday, Erdoğan was first going to visit Somalia, but his trip was delayed after the president decided to join the funeral ceremony for Saudi Arabian King Abdullah.
"A terrorist is a murderer regardless of religion. If a terrorist is Muslim, he/she is still a murderer." Erdoğan also said, in response to a journalist's question over the recent attack in Mogadishu. Erdoğan also added that he did not want to think that the attack was against Turkey.