Egemen Bagis views Sarkozy and Merkel as opponents of Turkey's EU bid

Egemen Bagis views Sarkozy and Merkel as opponents of Turkey's EU bid

Turkey fails to understand that if times have changed, there has changed the country too, longing to become a regional leader. But it is in this position that the EU does not want to see Turkey.

Turkish Minister for EU affairs, head of the Turkish delegation Egemen Bagis has recently intensified his “attacks” on the EU, wittingly or unwittingly pushing to the distant future the issue of his country’s joining the Union. In the statements of Bagis one can easily trace neo-Ottoman rhetoric. It was such statements that were “in vogue” at the time of the Ottoman Empire, from which so unwisely and violently dissociates itself modern Turkey, when it comes to history.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Egemen Bagis views Sarkozy and Merkel as opponents of Turkey's EU bid

In the words of the Turkish minister, “All obstacles the EU put to hamper Turkey's membership will be eliminated one day. France and Germany supported Turkey's accession to EU when Schroeder and Chirac were in office. The situation in EU may change today as well.” Most likely, Bagis hopes that Nicolas Sarkozy will not be re-elected, and he who has the most chances – Socialist Francois Hollande – will be more loyal to Ankara. However, Turkey fails to understand that if times have changed, there has changed the country too, longing to become a regional leader. But it is in this position that the EU does not want to see Turkey. Anyway, it wouldn’t sound that indecent, but for a truly scandalous declaration of Bagis about annexation of the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to Turkey. This time Turkey would not content itself with only the northern part, but would wish for the whole island, which is a EU member. It is unlikely that Paris and Berlin watch this in silence. With such a move, if it ever happens, Turkey would set the EU against her, and then, indeed, she could bid farewell to her EU membership. Here is what Bagis said: “Though the world does not recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), there are two states on the island with separate governments, parliaments, and relevant institutions. Over the past years, efforts are made to unite these states. Though TRNC agreed with the plan of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Greek Cypriots declined this plan at the referendum. Based on this, citizens of the Greek part of Cyprus were permitted entry into TRNC. Citizens of EU member-states were banned from trade with TRNC and even entry into this state; neither was lifted the EU isolation of TRNC. All options are on the table for a solution to the Cyprus issue. The solution [that Turkey would consider] would include reunification under a deal that the two leaders could reach, creation of two independent states after an agreement between the two leaders if they are unable to reach a deal for reunification, or annexation of the [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] to Turkey.” As one can see, Bagis, for some reason, did not mention the fact that Turkey has closed its ports and airports to Cyprus. It is also appropriate to mention the establishment of Israeli-Cypriot relations and the joint engineering of a gas field found off the coast of Cyprus. Ankara is very sensitive about all initiatives of Israel to establish relations with the countries of the region, especially with Cyprus, but so far no sharp measures have been taken.

Neither did the Turkish minister fail to speak of the bill criminalizing denial of Armenian Genocide and even reached the point of uttering the absurd idea that “President of France Nicolas Sarkozy supported the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial in an attempt to get votes of those who oppose Islam.” In the Turkish version, “Sarkozy knows pretty well that he won't get votes of citizens of African origin. Therefore, he supported the Armenian bill to secure votes of the far-right wing.” French citizens of African descent undoubtedly outnumber Armenians, and most of them would not care whether the bill would pass or not. Alas, Ankara is reluctant to understand this, although it would have been much easier for her to recognize the genocide of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire and try to become a full member of the European family.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
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