Turkey's PM sees discrimination in more focus on Iran, not Israel

Erdogan said that re-election of Angela Merkel as German Chancellor would not create a change in Turkish-German relations.

Turkey's PM sees discrimination in more focus on Iran, not Israel

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that re-election of Angela Merkel as German Chancellor would not create a change in Turkish-German relations.

In an exclusive interview with international news broadcaster CNBC, Erdogan said the process would continue as before, as countries and leaders knew each other.

"I do not think there will be a difference," Erdogan said.

Asked about France's and Germany's negative stance towards Turkey's EU bid, Erdogan said, "there were some issues before and there is still ongoing as possible to have similar situations in the future. But I think that something will change."

"Maybe in France, when the French election is over, they may have a different point of view in the future. So, I am hopeful in that regard," he said.

"With respect to Germany, you know we have close to 3 million citizens there, about 700,000 are German citizens and they vote in Germany. There are five Turks in the federal parliament in Germany. They will be more important in creating even more relations between Turkey and Germany" Erdogan said.

Erdogan said Turkey's accession to EU was delayed and delayed over the past 50 years.

"Now Turkey has begun accession talks," he said. "We have no intention of letting go of this process."

Erdogan said if EU leaders said they did not want to see Turkey as a member and stopped accession talks, then Turkey would reconsider its position.

"But until then we will continue on this path," he stated.

Asked about what kind of messages would he take to Iran in his upcoming visit in the next couple of days, Erdogan said Turkey and Iran shared centuries old friendship and had a lot in common.

"With respect to discussions about Iran's nuclear arms, weapons of mass destruction, I view in the following way. We do not want to see any nuclear arms in our region, whether in Iran, nor in Israel, or in any country," he said.

"We should not be focusing solely on Iran. In my most recent visit to the United States, I said why do we not talk about Israel as well. They have nuclear weapons, and they recently used phosphorus gas in Gaza. 1,500 people died in Gaza. 5,000 people were wounded. If it is the Gazans who died, should we turn a blind eye to that. And if it is someone else should we make a big case of it," he said.

"I think that just as Israel is important to us, just as the interests of Israel are important to us, the lives of Palestinians are exactly equally important to us."

Israel has not denied having nuclear weapons, but has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and open its facilities for IAEA perusal.

Israel often threatens Iran an attack over its nuclear sites.



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Last Mod: 09 Ekim 2009, 16:08
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