4 June 2005
Talking to the Associated Press, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that the EU has the strength to overcome the negative atmostphere in the wake of the French and Dutch constitutional referenda. He then reaffirmed Turkey's determination to join the EU.
Turkey continues its reform process. The Prime Minister was dissapointed by the rejection of the constitution. But he also expressed hope that current EU members will support Turkey's membership when its reforms are complete. "In 10 or 15 years, the EU will be a place where civilzations meet. It will be a superpower with the inclusion of Turkey."
When asked if Muslim Turkey will be accepted to the Union, he replied "We have overcome question of being accepted ot not. If we are successful in the reforms, all member countries will treat us fairly." The government has support from both inside and outside the Parliament. It also has the necessary will to see through its reforms. Erdogan said that the EU has the strength to overcome the current crisis and stressed that Turkey is not the cause of the constritutional rejections.
Zaman, 4 June 2005