Latest EU progress report 'more well-intentioned': PM Erdoğan
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta (R) watch the spectacular firework display on the Bosphorus that marked Republic Day following the official opening ceremony of the Marmaray tunnel on Oct 29. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has softened his stance on the European Union's latest progress report on Turkey, saying that it contents showed that it was "more well-intentioned" compared to previous years.
"It is not that there aren't [criticisms] that we disagree with. But our latest democratization package and the administrative steps that we undertook afterward have caused serious positive repercussions in the European Union," Erdoğan said today during a joint press conference in Istanbul with visiting Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta, a few hours after the opening ceremony of the Marmaray Tunnel.
This year's report, controversially released during the Feast of Sacrifice, praised the Kurdish peace bid and the latest democratization package, while criticizing the government's stance during the Gezi protests. In his initial comments after the release, Erdoğan reacted sharply against the report, saying the EU should engage in self-criticism over its "unwilling" attitude in the accession process.
However, he said today that he believed both France and Germany's stances would be more positive following this report, anticipating an official visit to Berlin shortly.
"We are waiting for the formation of the Cabinet in [Germany]. [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel made an invitation, and we will discuss these issues during this visit," Erdoğan said.
Following the press conference, Erdoğan watched the spectacular firework display on the Bosphorus that marked Republic Day, alongside Ponta and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.