Italian prime minister Renzi says Europe must include Turkey

Italian PM Renzi: Turkey must be included in EU, on condition there is respect for European principles.

Italian prime minister Renzi says Europe must include Turkey
World Bulletin/News Desk
 Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Tuesday that the European Union will need to admit Turkey as a member if Turkey demonstrates its commitment to the values for which the EU stands.

Renzy made his remarks to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, before the European Council meeting to be held Thursday.

The enlargement of Europe, he said, "will have to include also Turkey, naturally on condition that there is respect for the European principles of freedom and democracy, which are incompatible with the arrest of the free press or of the opposition," referring to the latest wave of arrests in Turkey.

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Hadi Salihoglu ordered the detention of 31 suspects on charges of forgery, fabricating evidence and forming a crime syndicate to take over the sovereignty of the state. Twenty-nine suspects were initially detained in the operation against local media figures and police officials in 13 provinces across the country, but some of them have since been released. 

In December 2013, an anti-graft probe targeted several high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading Turkish businessmen.

The government denounced the probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by the "parallel state," an alleged group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.

Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained on charges of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials, disclosing highly sensitive information, forming and belonging to an organization to commit crime, violating privacy, illegally seizing personal information and forgery of official documents.

 Last week Renzi made a one-day visit to Ankara and reiterated staunch Italian support for Turkish membership of the EU.

 Renzi also indicated that the Italian government is considering linking the project by Italian engineering giant Ansaldo for a bridge over the Bosphorus to the application to hold the Olympic Games in Rome in 2024, suggesting that the project could be an example of "Made in Italy" excellence overseas that could be tied to the bid for the Olympics.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2014, 10:10