Bagis continues contacts in UK
Turkey's U Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis on Wednesday met with British Deputy FM in charge of the EU David Lidington and sent a message to the EU through BBC. "Turkey's accession to the EU will be realized on the basis of concrete needs in the long run. I consider the EU as the greatest peace project throughout the human history," Bagis said. In response to concerns of some EU countries about migration with the enlargement of the EU in recent years, Bagis said, "I don't think these are realistic concerns. We have been hearing the story about the Polish plumber for ages; however I see any Polish plumber neither in Britain nor in France. There are concerns about a flow of migration from Turkey to Europe; yet German statistics show that there are more German migrants coming to Turkey than Turkish citizens migrating to Germany. After the global economic crisis, it can be more logical to live in such countries as Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey than living in more risky countries." Commenting on the great number of British citizens purchasing property in Turkey, Bagis said, "We have the Mediterranean sun shining for 300 days in a year. British people have a higher life standard with their retirement pension in Turkey than they have in Britain." As part of his contacts, Bagis met with London Mayor Boris Johnson on Wednesday. Bagis expressed his pleasure over visiting London, and said to Johnson, "We see you as our national cousin. We are proud of your successes. We would like to learn how to organize the Olympic Games from you in such a successful way. I hope hosting Olympic Games in Istanbul would be as good as it was in London." For his part, Johnson said they were pleased with the success of Olympic Games which were held in London last year, adding that he extended 100 percent support to Istanbul in its candidacy to host the next Olympic Games. 48-year-old Johnson is the great grandson of Ali Kemal who served as interior minister of Ferit Pasha's government during the Ottoman era. He has been the Mayor of London since 2008.