Simsek: "Further reforms will accelerate Yurkey's EU membership process"
Turkey will be warmly welcomed by the European Union so long as it implements the necessary reforms for accession and "tidies up its own home," said Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek yesterday. Speaking to reporters following a meeting with his visiting Luxembourg counterpart Luc Frieden in Gaziantep, Simsek said, "Turkey has a lot to learn from Luxembourg, and both countries may benefit from closer cooperation." A visit to Turkey next year from a Luxembourg commercial delegation will hopefully spur bilateral trade and investment, he said. Simsek also expressed appreciation for Luxembourg supporting Turkey's European Union membership. "We thank them for this," he said. "Turkey's EU membership adventure has been a very significant change and transformation process for us, and our people have benefited greatly from this." For his part, Frieden said his visit had helped him understand the transformation Turkey has been going through. "I saw with my own eyes how resilient the Turkish economy is and how fast it's growing," he added. "I also witnessed Turkey becoming a significant player in the G-20. Additionally, I saw major reforms implemented to strengthen democracy in Turkey." Frieden pressed the need to speed up Turkey's EU process by immediately starting talks on several chapters and reiterated Luxembourg's support for Turkey's bid, saying that if it joins the bloc the EU will benefit both economically and politically. Luxembourg is one of the six founders of the EU and has a significant economy, despite its small land area and population. It is second only to the US in terms of hosting investment funds.