Gul: "A strong Turkey is in the world's best interest"
Turkey's powerful economy, improving democracy, and higher legal standards are making it stronger, and this strong Turkey will benefit its neighbors, Europe, and the entire world, said President Abdullah Gul yesterday. Speaking at the Turkish-German Economy Forum yesterday in Kayseri, alongside his visiting German counterpart Christian Wulff, Gul said Wulff's five-day visit will add momentum to the already good relations between the two nations, stressing the role of Germany's 3 million-plus Turks as a bridge between the two peoples. Citing Germany's past support for Turkey's European Union membership bid, Gul asked the "engine of the EU" to continue this support. Gul also touted the Turkish economy's recent success and the structural reforms that helped protect it from the impact of the global economic crisis and instead reach new heights. "In 2008 trade between Turkey and Germany exceeded $30 billion, but our exports fell as European markets took heavy damage from the economic crisis," he said. If Turkey joins the EU, it will help expand the economic pie while taking a larger slice of it, he added.