World Bulletin / News Desk
“Now, again there are efforts to turn a new page in Turkish-EU relations,” Volkan Bozkir told Anadolu Agency, adding that he wants to leave behind unwelcome developments to usher in a better year.
In a recent poll, when Turks were asked if they want Turkey to join the EU, 78.8 percent said Yes, while when asked would the EU make Turkey a member, only 30 percent said Yes, according to Bozkir, adding that these answers reflect both hope and disappointment.
He stated that the most important ingredient for good international relations is common interests, which can make ties good or bad.
“If Turkish-EU relations aren’t completely cut today, if these relations can continue despite the problems we face, this happens through the common interests.”
One of these common interests is the large trade volume, $150 billion, between the union and Turkey, due to the Turkey-EU Customs Union, he added.
- Turkey would add value to the union
Bozkir said that if it joins the EU ranks, Turkey would add value to the EU with its religion, culture, and history, as the union appears very single faith at the moment.
On EU efforts through the Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO) to form an 60,000-strong army, Bozkir instead suggested the union “make Turkey a member and we will form an army of 60,000 people in one or two months”.
He also touched on the benefits of the EU negotiation process, highlighting democratic and political reforms, smoke-free environments, safer workplaces, and other beneficial changes in Turkey promoted by the EU.