Turkish Minister of EU Affairs & Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis on Tuesday said that they would not be happy to see the trial of renowned pianist Fazil Say or any other citizen based on what they said or thought.
I wish that Say had given importance to the holy values of humans and approached the issue with respect so that the trial against him never took place, Bagis stressed.
Bagis received members of the Swedish Foreign Journalists Association at his office in Ortakoy, Istanbul on Tuesday.
Speaking while receiving the Swedish delegation, Egemen Bagis said that "when compared to 1959, the year when Turkey applied to join the EU, Turkey is now more successful, has more self-confidence and is more transparent".
"This does not mean that Turkey is excellent. We do have deficiencies. However, today's Turkey is better than yesterday's, and tomorrow's Turkey would be better than today's," Bagis stated.
Answering a question, Bagis stressed that they expected the chapter on "Regional Policy" to be opened to negotiations in June.
Cyprus happens to be a bigger problem for Europe and Turkey than it appears, Bagis noted.
I am optimistic about the solution of the Cyprus problem, Bagis said.
"Turkey expects a just negotiation process from the EU," Bagis indicated.
Asked when Turkey may be the EU's term president, Bagis replied "2023 would be a meaningful year for Turkey's EU term presidency".
An Istanbul court sentenced pianist Fazil Say 10 month in prison for blasphemy on Monday. The sentence was suspended.
The court handed down the sentence after finding Say guilty of "insulting religious values of a part of the population" in a series of tweets that critics said offended Muslims.
The pianist was not present in court during the sentencing