Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that the European continent faced two scenarios one of which was a good one and the other a bad one.
Davutoglu said that Turkey had assumed the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and that they placed the relevant activities to be pursued in an action plan.
Davutoglu said that one of the most important aspects of the plan was co-existence and shaping the Europe of the 21st century.
We decided to establish a Group of Eminent Persons in order to put forward basic approaches, Davutoglu said.
The group was formed by taking into consideration the critical stage Europe was going through in relations between cultures, religions and relations. It was important to appoint Joschka Fischer as the Chairman of this group which brought together Europe's most distinguished intellectuals and politicians, Davutoglu said.
The group held its third meeting in Turkey on Thursday and Friday, Davutoglu said.
Racism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism
The European continent is facing two scenarios, one of which is good and the other bad. The bad scenario involves polarization between ethnic and religious groups and weakening of relations between cultures. Unfortunately, there are serious signs of a bad scenario. The rising racism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism. The good scenario involves Europe, which we want to create, and in which all peoples, religions, ethnic groups and societies live side by side by understanding and respecting each other. We need the views of European intellectuals to move away from the risks of the bad scenario and to jointly build Europe with a good scenario, Davutoglu said.
The Group of Eminent Persons will prepare a report on Europe's future and this report will guide us as a reference material for decades to come. I believe that the report will be shaped at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to take place in Istanbul in May, Davutoglu also said.
Joschka Fischer, in his part, said that the Council of Europe worked in the fight against racism, xenophobia, radical nationalism and radicals in general.
The Council receives its strength from common values, Fischer said.
The Council of Europe encompasses a large geography, including Turkey and Russia. We need to establish a base in which we can live in peace together, Fischer said.
At a time when peoples across the globe have become more dependent on each other, the Council of Europe must make more advisory decisions on differences, co-existence and tolerance, Fischer also said.