Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan
Photo: AFP

Erdogan: Robust Turkey has vigor EU badly needs

Turkish prime minster warns EU ties 'approaching turing point' as country becomes stronger, richer. Pushes for accelerated negotiation on EU entry

The European Union needs Turkey's economic vigor and regional clout if it wants to retain its power in the new world order, Turkey's prime minister said, warning Turkey-EU ties were "fast approaching a turning point".


"Europe has no real alternative to Turkey," Tayyip Erdogan wrote in a piece for Newsweek magazine published on Monday.


"Especially in a global order where the balance of power is shifting, the EU needs Turkey to become an ever stronger, richer, more inclusive, and more secure union."


Turkey, which straddles Asia and Europe, entered formal membership talks with the EU in 2005, but a row with Cyprus and reluctance among some EU states to admit the large, relatively poor Muslim country has slowed progress to a near standstill.


In the article, Erdogan accused the EU of blocking "chapters" - or subject areas for negotiation on EU entry - on political grounds and said the EU was making a strategic miscalculation by failing to see that Ankara was a growing international actor with a fast-growing economy.


"It's been more than half a century since Turkey first knocked at Europe's door. In the past, Turkey's EU vocation was purely economic. The Turkey of today is different. We are no more a country that would wait at the EU's door like a docile supplicant," Erdogan wrote.


He said the financial crisis had laid bare Europe's need for greater dynamism and change, and that while European economies were stagnant and their societies were "near geriatric", Turkey was "bursting with the vigor that the EU so badly needs".


Frustration among Turkish leaders is mounting at the slow pace of EU accession talks.


Meanwhile, Turks are increasingly confident in their economy and, under Erdogan's AK Party, the country has deepened political and commercial ties with Middle East neighbors.



פרסום ראשון: 01.17.11, 17:51
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