A Turkey torn from EU would be seen as a third-world country: Deputy PM Şimşek

A Turkey torn from EU would be seen as a third-world country: Deputy PM Şimşek

Ceyhun Kuburlu - ISTANBUL
A Turkey torn from EU would be seen as a third-world country: Deputy PM Şimşek

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A Turkey which is detached from the European Union will be perceived as a third-world country, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said in a meeting on Nov. 10, sources close to the matter have said. 

“The more Turkey shows progress in terms of European Union membership, the more it will become attractive. If Turkey burns bridges with Europe, this will be a victory for the Gülen movement,” he said at the Anatolian Lions Business Association (ASKON), according to sources. 

The Gülen movement is seen the main suspect in the July 15 coup attempt. 

“If you agree or disagree with me, we will become a more attractive country mainly in the eyes of the Islamic world if we show progress in our negotiations with the EU. In my last visit to Japan, many questioned whether Turkey would become severed from the EU. ‘If so, we will not be in Turkey,’ they noted. Japan now tells Britain that the country will not keep making investments there due to Brexit,” he said, according to sources. 

“Democracy matters a lot. After the jet crisis erupted with Russia, everything suddenly stopped. We have been quarrelling with the EU every day, but things never stopped. We need to continue our EU process for our interests. I always tell Europeans: ‘Rather than talking big about each other, let’s talk and establish a dialogue,’” he added. 

Şimşek also said Turkey now needed to strengthen the climate of confidence, noting that the transition to a presidential system would be the biggest reform.

“Turkey is a strong country. We started a really big reform movement in 2002 and implemented these reforms one by one. Turkey became successful and grew between 2002 and 2007. Now we need to strengthen the climate of confidence. To achieve this, we need to get the transition to a presidential system done as soon as possible. Yes, there are liquidity problems and some bottlenecks in trade volume, but Turkey has overcome a huge trauma. The July 15 coup attempt was not easy to overcome, but we have the capacity to do this. We can do this. The presidential system will be the biggest reform. This will be an insurance that we will not experience what we saw on June 7 again,” he said, according to sources. 

On June 7, 2015, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to capture a majority in parliamentary elections.

Şimşek also noted that the political ground had shifted to extremes around the world, which is not good, according to sources.