Ankara fully committed to EU membership

Binali Yildirim says thaw in relations with Russia is not alternative to Europe

Ankara fully committed to EU membership

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish prime minister said Wednesday that Ankara is still committed to membership in the EU, adding that a thaw in relations with Russia is not an alternative to Europe.

Binali Yildirim's remarks came at the Nueva Economia Forum held in Madrid, Spain, where he arrived Tuesday on an official visit.

He said Turkey had been waiting for membership in the EU for more than 60 years.

"We are NATO members. We are from a country that has been waiting for EU membership for more than 60 years. Everyone who applied after us gained membership. There is an ideological approach to Turkey," he said.

Stating that the Turkey-Russia relation is essential for the security of Europe, Yildirim said EU cannot exclude Russia. "Eurasia region should be the center of peace," he said.

Yildirim said Spain and Turkey understood each other the best in Europe. "Why? Because both Turkey and Spain have suffered terrorism for years. We know what terror does to a country."

Criticizing some EU states for their support to PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Yildirim said: "To upset a great ally like Turkey is not a wise move in terms of the future of the EU.

"It should be noted that opening up too much space for radical movements is the biggest future threat to Europe."

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Nisan 2018, 12:34