EU membership still priority for Turkey: TÜSİAD’s head

EU membership still priority for Turkey: TÜSİAD’s head

EU membership still priority for Turkey: TÜSİAD’s head

‘It is unrealistic to remain outside the European Union,’ Ümit Boyner tells a conference in Istanbul. AA photo

European Union membership remains a priority for the Turkish business community, the head of the Turkish Industry and Business Association Ümit Boyner has said.

The EU is crucial to many aspects of life, from trade to manufacturing to the daily lives of ordinary people, Boyner said, while speaking at an event organized by Boğaziçi University’s foreign policy forum.

“It is unrealistic to remain outside the EU since EU policies and regulations have been adopted by Turkey,” she said. Turkey’s acceptance into the EU has two prerequisites, according to Boyner, the first is the fulfillment of the EU’s democratic criteria and the second is for the EU to adopt a rational global vision of Turkey’s membership.

Criticism from Özdemir

Emerging from the recent economic crisis will come from further integration and enlargement, said Boyner, adding that an introverted Europe would lead to the erosion of its soft power, rendering it irrelevant in global politics.

Meanwhile, Cem Özdemir, the head of the German Greens, criticized Burhan Kuzu, a member of Parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), for throwing out the European Commission’s progress report on Turkey. “How you speak about the accession talks is important for their success. It is one thing to talk about accession talks with the hope that they end successfully, and another to speak in the hope that it does not end successfully,” Özdemir said, also indirectly referring to current German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who is known to oppose Turkish entry to the EU.

“But if you put the progress report in the trash can, don’t expect Europeans to give you nice gestures back,” he said. One man does not represent Turkey and the same thing is valid in Europe, Özdemir added.