Gul underlines Turkey's insistence on koining the EU
In an interview with the Egyptian al-Watan daily, President Abdullah Gul gave clear messages. In response to a question about Turkey's EU membership bid, Gul said that Turkey started to take steps on the road to reforms and development, and thus aspired to join the EU. Underlining that Turkey's insistence on joining the EU derived from the developed level of its successful members, Gul said that he wanted Turkey to be in the same situation with them in the international ranking. "We want to join in order to progress not only economically and socially, but also in such fields as politics, democracy and human rights. Once we reach the EU standards in these fields and our membership is approved, we will conduct a referendum to see if people want to join the EU. For us, the EU membership is a means to an end, not an end in itself," Gul noted. Answering a question if Turkey's 'zero problem' policy has changed or not, Gul said that Turkey has already declared that it would not interfere in another country's internal affairs. "We have improved our relations with each country, but conditions in the region have changed in an unexpected way. The state in Syria has pointed a gun to its opposition. The same thing occurred in Libya, Tunis and Egypt. We are not looking for roles, but the roles are looking for us. Furthermore, we aren't trying to play the role of a hero or a leader. However, there are certain geographical and historical realities which could not be ignored or neglected," Gul added.