Turkish Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis on Thursday stated that the global economic crisis has awaken many intellectuals in Europe to understand the potential contribution of Turkey.
Bagis met with Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn in Luxembourg.
Bagis said, "The global economic crisis has awaken many intellectuals in Europe to understand the potential contribution of Turkey.
"Bagis stated that while the global economic crisis added 4 million to the ranks of the unemployed in Europe, at the same period 5 million new jobs were created in Turkey and added, "Turkey's economic growth rate was 6 times of EU in the last five years. While the average age in Turkey is 29, it is 45 in Europe. We have the dynamism."
Bagis stated that Turkey would become one of the top ten economies in the world and the second major economy in Europe by 2050.
"Turkey is the only country that is a candidate and requires its citizens to get visa prior to travelling to Luxembourg. We deserve better treatment if we have Customs Union since 1996, conduct 40 percent of our trade with European countries and one of the greatest contributors to the security of Europe in NATO," Bagis added in regards to visa exemption and Turkey's EU bid.
Bagis added that the opening of the regional policies chapter in June would accelerate Turkey's efforts of fair treatment towards all citizens, without discrimination.
Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn began his speech by expressing his pleasure over the beginning of Turkish Airlines' direct flights from Istanbul to Luxembourg at the end of June.
In regards to Turkey's EU accession process, Asselborn said, "Turkey's membership to the EU is a win-win situation for both parties. If the EU rejects Turkey's membership, it will make a tremendous mistake for the future of our children. Because we need states like Turkey in the 21st century and I think Turkey needs the EU, too."
Asselborn also stated Turkish people proved that Islamic values didn't contradict European values and Turkey played a significant role in acting as a bridge between the West and the Muslim world.
Turkish EU Minister Bagis earlier in the day visited "Istanbul, the city of lights and shadows" exhibition at Palace Guillaume square in Luxembourg.
Bagis said, "European Union without Istanbul would be left so plain, poor and alone," following his visit to the exhibition.