Çağlayan slams Merkel over Turkey remarks

Çağlayan slams Merkel over Turkey remarks

LUXEMBOURG - Anadolu Agency
Çağlayan slams Merkel over Turkey remarks

Turkish Minister Çağlayan has criticized some of Angela Merkel’s comments.

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has criticized some negative developments between Turkey and the European Union during his visit to Luxembourg and Belgium.

“The world should understand the message behind Belgium’s awarding Turkey’s economy minister with a royal medal while [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel is making statements of objection to Turkey,” he said.

Speaking to a group of journalists in Luxembourg, Çağlayan referred to Merkel’s objection to Turkey’s EU membership. “No prime minister should make such statements. She needs to be warned in a polite manner that such statements decrease the already-lowered support of EU membership in Turkey.” He added that there was no crisis between Turkey and the European Union now.

“Turkey’s membership is primarily in European countries’ interest,” he said.

Belgium would award him with a royal medal, Çağlayan said, adding that he expected Europe to get the message as well.

The German Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish ambassador Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu on June 21 in order to complain about EU Minister Egemen Bağış’s remarks, in which he had said Germany’s resistance to opening a new chapter in EU accession talks was linked to Merkel’s election campaign.

Ankara swiftly retaliated against Berlin’s decision and hours later summoned German ambassador Eberhard Pohl to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The disagreements then cooled down.