Legendary Polish labor leader Walesa backs Turkey's EU bid
Former Polish President and legendary labor leader Lech Walesa said yesterday he has no doubts that Turkey will one day join the European Union. "My personal view is that there cannot be a Europe without Turkey, and I will go on working for Turkey's membership," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said, adding that Turkey's EU membership is a necessity for the development of European civilization. Speaking to journalists in Istanbul at the end of a weeklong vacation in Turkey, Walesa said the real question is how and when this membership will happen, adding that the process should be completed using all available means. He called Turkey a country of great untapped potential, adding that its people are important for Europe's diversity. He urged both the EU and Turkey to work on how to achieve Turkey's integration, saying he believes Turkey-skeptics will change their mind once they visit the country. Walesa led Poland's Solidarity trade union during the 1980s against the country's then-communist rulers. Widely credited with helping to end authoritarian rule in the country, Walesa later became Poland's president.