Erdogan: "The election results won't derail Turkey's EU bid"
Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting yesterday in the wake of Sunday's European Parliament elections, in which rightist parties drubbed social democrats, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that European leaders who oppose Turkey 's EU bid must nevertheless keep the Union's promises to Ankara . Erdogan said the new EP wouldn't result in changes to the EU's fundamental policies and goals. Pointing to the record low election turnout of 43 percent, Erdogan said a number of parties and politicians centered their campaigns around their opposition to Turkey 's EU bid, and added, "The post-election picture has been painted as negative for Turkey 's accession bid, but these results can't sway the EU from its fundamental principles and policies." Stressing that Turkey is continuing its accession not with words, but with actions, Erdogan said, "The membership criteria are there. Keeping promises and abiding by already established principles and rules is the basis of the spirit of unity. Those who act in violation of this spirit, loyalty and pact would, before anything else, take an approach contrary to the EU's founding principles." He also said Turkey 's membership cannot be overlooked in debates over the EU's borders, adding that those who oppose Turkey 's bid are hindering the EU's global vision. "Those who are concerned with saving themselves today will have to answer before history tomorrow," Erdogan said.