Qa-60, 28 August 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy In Response To A Question Regarding French President Macron’s Statements On Our Country And Our Eu Accession Process

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 28.08.2018

We deeply regret the statements made yesterday (27 August 2018) by French President Emmanuel Macron regarding our country and our EU accession process during the Ambassadors’ Conference being held in Paris.

Our country went through a very difficult period as a result of the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016. However, the state of emergency was lifted last month. The situation in Turkey has now normalized and has entered a period of progress after the transition to the Presidential system, especially in terms of EU reforms. Macron’s statements regarding our country has shown that he is far from understanding Turkey’s realities despite our repeated explanations in various platforms.

Our country is an inseparable part of Europe from a political, geographic and historic perspective and has always done more than its part for European security. Asserting that our country is “anti-European” certainly does not reflect reality.

As a NATO ally and an EU candidate country, Turkey is already EU’s strategic and privileged partner and has cooperation mechanisms with the EU in many areas from migration to counter-terrorism. However, it is evident that these mechanisms cannot form an alternative to our accession process, which lies at the contractual basis of our relations.

With the Presidential system, a more powerful, democratic and secular Turkey is determined to move forward in the direction of EU accession. In full defiance of the populism and discrimination that has become our world’s disease, our objective is a more powerful EU with Turkey as a member, based on shared values.

In this framework, we have observed that Macron has used words “Islamic” and “Islamist terrorism” in his speech. We would once again like to express that terrorism does not have a religion, nationality or race, and that we find it wrong to associate this calamity with any religion.

In his speech, Macron recalls that the Cold War is over. In turn, we would like to remind him that in this new era, when the world is facing much more complicated, unpredictable and dangerous challenges, having Turkey as a member of the EU has become more important than ever.

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