Turkish accession to EU will benefit Muslim world: EU Ministry
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
“Turkey will be a bridge between the West and the Muslim world because Turkey has proved that it is a democracy, it has a constitution based on secularism and on the other hand it is a Muslim majority country,” said Burak Erdenir, the deputy permanent delegate of Turkey’s delegation to the EU.
“Turkey’s membership to the EU will be an antidote to Islamophobia,” Erdenir added.
His remarks came at a three-day conference, hosted by the Center for Islam and Global Affairs at Istanbul’s Sabahattin Zaim University, with the theme “Contextualizing Islamophobia: Its Impact on Culture and Global Politics.”
Erdenir recalled the announcement of the launch of Turkey’s accession talks in 2004. “There were more than 100 journalists from Muslim countries for the coverage of the news because it is a big issue for the Muslim countries.”
Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.
Erdenir noted that migration has become a dominant issue in the western European societies.
“The role of Turkey is important in that sense,” Erdenir said.
“At the end of the day, Turkey would also be a facilitator in understanding the issues of the migrants and it would contribute to European policy-making process in implementing and solving their issue.”
Featuring scholars from Turkey and abroad, the conference focuses on Islamophobia in culture, society, politics, and international relations.