Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis on Wednesday likened the inauguration of Anadolu Agency's Brussels office to opening a second Turkish embassy here.
"Today we are binding AA to the EU," Bagis told the launching ceremony of the office.
He said that AA's Brussels office would strengthen Turkey in its quest for making reforms and raising the country's life standards.
Praising the performance of AA correspondents all over the world, Bagis said that "AA's hardworking and selfless correspondents made Syrians' and Egyptians' suffering heard around the world."
"As AA opens an office at the heartland of Europe, Turkey shouts out that it is an indispensable partner for the EU, as well as being a locomotive country in the future."
- "AA transfers its experience to Brussels"
In the ceremony, AA Board Chairman and Director General Kemal Ozturk announced that the office would be Anadolu Agency's coordination center in Europe.
Ozturk said the Brussels office would broadcast in Turkish, English and Arabic, adding that the news published by the office would be translated into three other languages.
"AA will transmit stories about Brussels concerning not only Turkey-Brussels relations, but also stories about the whole world as an alternative news agency."
Ozturk also mentioned that AA's Brussels office wanted to support Turkey's EU membership and its resolute stance toward that end.
"AA has carried its 93 years of experience to Brussels," said Ozturk, reminding that until the end of 2013, AA would complete its structuring in Europe.
"Currently we have correspondents in every European country. In the world, we have correspondents in 50 countries from 15 nationalities. We have 1,200 employees. On a daily basis we publish 1,000 photographs and news. We managed to rank among the top 10 agencies of the world. We aim to be one of the best five agencies by 2020, on the centennial of our founding."
"I hope one day AA will be the first to announce Turkey's accession to Europe," added Ozturk.
- "AA office is important for Turkey and Brussels"
Friends of Turkey in the European Parliament Chairman Alojz Peterle also participated in the ceremony.
Peterle said, "the AA office is very important for Turkey and Brussels. It means more information and understanding. It also means more Turkey in Brussels and more EU in Turkey."
Anadolu Agency has decided to enlarge its international organization to 5 regions: Europe, the Americas, Middle East-North Africa, Asia-Caucasus and the Pacific.
Aiming to broadcast in 11 languages by 2020, AA currently broadcasts in Turkish, English, Arabic, Russian, Bosniak and Kurdish.