Turkey's EU minister compares accord to Hagi’s goals

Turkey's EU minister compares accord to Hagi’s goals

BUCHAREST - Anatolia News Agency
Turkeys EU minister compares accord to Hagi’s goals

EU Minister Egemen Bağış (L) and his Romanian counterpart Leonard Orban sign a memorandum of cooperation on EU matters in Bucharest. AA photo

A memorandum of cooperation in European Union matters signed yesterday between Turkey and Romania resembles a goal by Romanian footballer Gheorghe Hagi, Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış has said.

Bağış and his Romanian counterpart Leonard Orban signed the memorandum yesterday in Bucharest. The agreement is “as good as a goal scored by Hagi” against those who are against Turkey’s accession to the EU, Bağış said, at a joint press conference, referring to the Romanian footballer who played for a long time for Turkish football team Galatasaray. 

Responding a question on the EU countries opposed to Turkey’s membership, Bağış said there were politicians, not states, against Turkey’s membership. “Everyone will one day understand that [Turkey’s membership] is a win-win situation. There is a good saying in Romania for that. The horses do not die when the dogs want to.” 

Bağış also said that EU reforms helped to make both Turkey and Romania more modern. Turkish-Romanian relations are 134 years old, and would continue to develop. Bağış said that Romania was one of the strongest supporters of Turkey within the EU.

Turkey’s need for the EU was decreasing each day, while the EU’s need for Turkey was rising, Bağış said. Despite Turkey’s possible contribution to the EU, Turkish citizens are still waiting in visa lines during the EU negotiations, and although there is freedom of movement for Turkish products as part of the Customs Union, Turkish businessmen can themselves still not move freely in European countries, he added. The Romanian minister, for his part, said Romania would apply a special formula to ease visa restrictions for Turkey, which would allow Turkish businessmen to enter Romania more easily.

On the Cyprus issue, Bağış said that it had not been an obstacle to Greek Cyprus’ EU membership, but that it seemed to be a pre-condition for Turkey’s membership.