Turkey's economic progress could put it among BRİC countries, predicts Gul
While making it clear Turkey remains committed to joining the European Union, President Abdullah Gul said he hoped Turkey's economic progress would take it into the ranks of emerging BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. Gul, speaking to Britain's Financial Times on Monday, said the international order is shifting towards the East. "It wouldn't be surprising if we start talking about BRIC plus T," he said. The BRIC countries are considered to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development, and their growing influence in the global scene is seen as an indication of the shift in economic power from the developed West towards the developing world. Gul, in Britain to receive the prestigious Chatham House Prize, told the paper that Turkey still sees membership in the EU as a "strategic vision" and wants to be part of the principles that Europe defends, pledging that Ankara will make sure it meets all standards required for membership. But Gul, speaking a day before the European Commission criticized Turkey for restrictions on freedom of expression and over Cyprus in an annual progress report, also complained of political obstacles raised by some EU member countries. Gul said some EU member states are creating "artificial problems" in Turkey's EU membership negotiations but that Turkey won't be dissuaded.