Turkish Embassy in Belgrade

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Statements Concerning The Accession Process Of Turkey To The Eu In The Context Of The Elections Of The European Parliament , 05.06.2009

We regret the negative statements and declarations made in some EU countries concerning the accession process of Turkey to the EU in the context of the elections of the European Parliament. It is unfortunate that in these countries the subject of Turkey has been given priority over the many critical problems that Europe is currently facing.

It is by no means the intention of Turkey to intervene in the discussions and the campaign for the EP elections. However, it is impossible to remain indifferent to the statements and declarations that are aimed at deviating Turkey’s accession process to the EU from its rightful foundations. In this context, it would be useful to bring the following to the attention of the European public opinion:

- The Turkish Government has to date spared no effort in trying to prevent the negative statements of some politicians, made especially before the elections, from harming the friendly relations that are based on strong historical, political, economic, social and cultural ties. Convinced that our country will be much better understood by the European public opinion in the medium and longer term, we are fully committed to pursuing these efforts.

- Various political parties and figures have made null and void proposals such as a “Common European Economic and Security Area” or a “privileged partnership” as alternatives to full membership. Furthermore, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has once again been mentioned in recent days as an alternative to membership. It should be recalled that the EU countries confirmed at the highest level during the Paris Summit of July 13, 2008 that the UfM did not constitute an alternative to EU membership.

- Turkey rejects these statements which cannot be considered to have been made in good faith.

- It is inconceivable for Turkey to accept that the accession negotiations should be conducted to achieve any special status. We have from the very beginning consistently declared our position on this issue to our counterparts at all levels in the EU. In spite of this fact, recycling such statements for election campaign purposes creates a distorted and particularly a xenophobia-inducing environment for the European electorate. Wearing out this process with artificial obstacles will benefit neither EU nor Turkey.

- The final decision on our membership will be taken by Turkey and by the EU Member States only once the negotiation process has been completed. With this understanding and at the present stage, we invite all concerned parties to act responsibly and to avoid statements which could harm the relations between our peoples. While adhering to their commitments, we expect Member States to distance domestic political considerations from Turkey’s accession process.