"The EU should appreciate Turkey's value," TurkishForeign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said on Saturday.
In an interview with the German Frankfurter AllgemeineSonntagszeitung newspaper, Gul said, "we observe that Germany hasbeen more active in its rotating EU presidency than the previous EUpresidencies. Negotiations have been opened on another chapter on Thursday. Ihope that three more chapter headings will be opened during Germany's EUpresidency. Germanyhas made significant contributions to our EU process."
"Our efforts are under way to adjust our laws to the EU. Thanksto the membership negotiations, Turkeyhas been living through a transformation process. I do not know how long thisprocess will take. It will be not us, but the European Commission who willdecide when it concludes," he said.
Referring to Turkey-Germany bilateral relations, Gul said, "there arenearly 3 million Turkish people living in Germany. Some of them received dualcitizenship. On the other hand, there are 70 thousand German people living in Turkey. Morethan 4 million German tourists came to Turkey last year for vacation.About 2 thousand German companies have invested in Turkey," he said.
Gul said that he would pay an official visit to Germany between April 3rd and 4thto introduce "e-consulate" service of the Turkish Ministry of ForeignAffairs.
"This new service connects all Turkish consulates to each other throughinternet. It will provide our citizens living abroad with significantfacilities," he said.
Upon a question on the conference on Iraqto be held in Istanbul,Gul said, "the conference will take place in the first half of April.During the previous meetings, we have developed a joint policy. Besidesofficials from the neighboring countries, representatives of the United NationsSecurity Council's permanent members or of the G-8 countries will also be invitedto the conference."
"We are extremely concerned about recent developments in Iraq. The bestthing is that the whole world has begun realizing the jeopardy to stem from Iraq'sdivision. Such a division will lead to endless wars. Iraqi people have alsounderstood it," he said.
Replying to a question about the terrorist organization PKK, Gul said,"all parties have acknowledged that the PKK is a terrorist organization.The United Statesshould and must fight against the PKK."
Upon a question about recent crisis between Iranand Britain,Gul said, "we have tried to do everything in our power to ease thetension, and will continue to do so. British Secretary of State for Foreign andCommonwealth Affairs Margaret Beckett paid a visit to Turkey onTuesday. Together with her, we called the Iranian foreign minister. Werequested Iranto release the female sailor. I believe that a solution will be foundsoon."
When asked whether Turkeyneeded a missile defense system, Gul said, "as one of the most importantand active allies of NATO, Turkeydoes not consider itself under threat. However, we do not want to see nuclearweapons in our region. Any attempt of nuclear armament will not bebeneficial."
Replying to another question on Turkey'srole in the Middle East, Gul said, "in the last four years, Turkey hasbecome a 'soft power' in the region as a result of its political reforms,structural reforms, democratization and with its powerful army.
Today, Turkey is the 6thbiggest economic power of Europe. All countriesin the Islam world support Turkey'smembership negotiations with the EU."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16