Istanbul facilitating EU integration: Bağış
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsIstanbul is a city “with a special mission in facilitating” Turkey’s European Union integration, EU Minister and Chief Negotiator for accession talks Egemen Bağış said in article that appeared in the Dec. 22 edition of the English daily The Guardian.
“Istanbul is a testimony to the harmony of east and west and, for this reason, it has a special mission in facilitating Turkey’s EU path. The city represents Turkey’s harmony and diversity as a cultural capital that reflects centuries-old interaction between cultures and religions,” Bağış said. The idea that Turks are tired of the idea of EU membership or that Europeans are losing interest in Turkey is uninformed and wrong, he said.
“Quite the opposite is the case,” Bağış said, adding that remarkable advances in Turkey’s integration with Europe were taking place every day in Istanbul and at a grassroots level across the length and breadth of the country, far away from the “stuffy negotiating rooms” of Brussels and Ankara.
“To increase the relevance of the EU to the lives of ordinary Turks, we have developed a national program that aims to raise awareness on the EU reform process and build shared platforms at the provincial and local level,” he said.