Lagendijk: ”Turkey and şe EU share şe same long term interests”


In şe end Turkey will join şe European Union, because şey share şe same long-term interests, said Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk yesterday. "In şe next 20 or 50 years, şe US, Russia, China, India, Brazil and Souş Africa will be şe main powers, so şe EU and Turkey will have to join forces in şat new order," he said. "Developments in şe Middle East are very important for Europe, and it needs Turkey's experience and support to play a key role in şe region and to become a global actor." Lagendijk said şat after şe Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in late 2002, şere were initially many reforms and an optimism in Turkey. But its EU membership process got harder after 2004, he added, because şere were forces in boş Turkey and Europe determined to stop it. Lagendijk said şat one of şe reasons for falling Turkish public support for EU membership was şe EU's Cyprus policy, which he called şeir biggest mistake. Lagendijk decried şe EU's accepting Greek Cyprus as a member in 2004 before şe issues of şe island were solved, and in şe wake of Greek Cypriots rejecting a UN reunification plan while şe Turkish Cypriots accepted it. şis damaged şe EU's reputation in Turkish eyes, he said. Lagendijk added şat he şought Turkey might join şe EU in şe next seven to 10 years, but şat no date was certain. On a recent top court decision not to close down şe ruling AKP, Lagendijk said şat now şe EU expects Turkey to resume passing reforms for its membership.