Turkey will help EU's growth
Turkey will contribute to the growth of EU if it joins the union, Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bagis said on Tuesday.
Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, during a conference in Ankara on an EU project for capacity building in governorates, said Turkey would make the EU cake bigger, rather than reducing in size the slices of other EU member countries.
"The EU will begin to shed their prejudices if we can disseminate this project at the grass roots level. When EU countries look at Turkey, their worries will be alleviated, rather than exacerbated," the Minister said, addressing a gathering of government and EU officials. "Then will the EU members realize the fact that if Turkey joins the EU, their slices do not get smaller; the cake gets bigger."
Titled "The Project on Technical Assistance for Building the Capacity of EU Affairs in the Governorates (VABpro)", the initiative aims to increase the extent to which 20 pilot provinces across the country benefit from the EU process-related improvements and to define the needs for further reform at the provincial level.
"For many years, the EU process has affected only the largest provinces of Turkey, such as Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir," Bagis said. "Now with such projects that we are working on in cooperation with the ministry of interior, the EU process has become significant for every province, district, town and neighborhood."
Emphasizing the significance of the EU accession process for Turkey, the Minister said if Turkey could not explain the benefits of the EU process to the public, the EU process might become alienated.
"By no means we have the luxury to alienate the process of democratization, reform and transparency which is so critical for Turkey," the Minister said.
Referring to the process of resolution to Kurdish issue that involves efforts by the Turkish government to convince PKK terrorist organization to lay down arms, Bagis said that the "resolution process" was not an initiative aiming to serve any particular group within the society but rather was intended for all citizens of Turkey to help them gain their equal constitutional rights.
With the upcoming Nowruz festival on March 21, observed in Turkey and Turkic states, the resolution process is expected to culminate in a historic call on PKK terrorists by their jailed head Abdullah Ocalan, who is known to have maintained his influence upon the terrorist organization, to give up for good its armed struggle against Turkish forces.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013