Demirel: "Turkey and the Balkans could bring the EU to new heights"
Stressing Turkey's growing economic and political role, former President Suleyman Demirel yesterday said a Europe without Turkey and the Balkans would be like a bird trying to fly with just wing. Speaking at the 14th Eurasian Economic Summit organized by the Marmara Foundation, Demirel said, "If Europe wants to fly properly, it should take the Balkans and Turkey into the European Union." On ties between Europe and Asia, Demirel evoked the historic Silk Road, for centuries the main channel for trade between the two continents. "China has grown rapidly from having only an 11 percent share of the global economy in 2000 to 30 percent now," he said. Demirel said China's and India's economic growth has led the way to "an axis change" in the global economy.