Bagis: "Turkey is a key country for the EU's future"
Turkey is a key country for the future of the European Union, said State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis on Sunday. Bagis made the remarks to reporters before the Economy and Foreign Policy Research Center's (EDAM) Sixth Bodrum Roundtable Meeting in the coastal town. International participants at the meeting discussed Turkey's EU process as well as the future of the Union itself. "Turkey is a key country for the future of the EU," said Bagis. "One of Europe's most important problems has to do with energy. Seventy percent of all energy needed by Europe sits at Turkey's borders. Another important problem is the economic crisis. Turkey broke world records with its 11 percent growth in the first half of 2010." He added, "Europe is trying to reach new markets. European companies can reach a market of 1.5 billion people with a three-hour flight from Turkey. Europe has a security problem. Europe's largest army is in Turkey. We have the second-biggest armed forces in NATO. Europe has a problem associated with integration. Our civilization is the one that has united Islamic culture with democratic culture. When you consider Turkey from these perspectives, Turkey is indeed a key country for the EU."