Turkey's Chief Negotiator for European Union accession talks Egemen Bagis said on Tuesday that an upcoming referendum on a constitutional reform package would be "a historic turning point" in the country's EU membership process.
"A very important goal stands before us in our EU process and hopefully we will together achieve that goal on September 12," Bagis told a press conference after a Turkey-EU political dialogue meeting in Istanbul.
He was referring to the referendum on a government-backed constitutional amendment package scheduled for September 12, the 30th anniversary of a military coup in Turkey which eventually led the way for the current constitution of the country.
"The referendum will be the most important step we would take on the way to EU. We will have a constitution that conforms with the EU standards. No country has ever managed to join the EU with a coup constitution. Greece couldn't make it, neither Spain nor Portugal," he said.
Bagis said Tuesday's meeting reaffirmed Turkey's EU integration process as the country's number-one strategic target.
Bagis said Turkey assumed leading roles in resolving the most difficult problems in the world, adding that the country ranked second after China with the highest economic growth.
"These are all testament to the very fact that the EU cannot become a global actor without Turkey," Bagis said.
The Turkish negotiator rejected political obstacles before Turkey's membership talks, saying that his country could not accept opening only one policy chapter in each rotating EU presidency term.
"The joint goal we all need to share should be completing the negotiations process with success," he said.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 14 Temmuz 2010, 11:45