Turkish EU Minister slams envoy's chapter remarks
Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bagis criticized today the remarks of the European Union’s envoy to Ankara in which the latter insisted that Turkey’s best course of action would be to open a new chapter in each presidency. "We appreciate Mr. [Jean-Maurice] Ripert’s steps, but he couldn’t put an end to his inexperience in terms of following the messages we share with him [nor could he] adapt to our country. It is a serious gaffe to say Turkey is seeking to only open one chapter in each presidency. He should at first correct himself," Bagis said in a written statement to the Hurriyet Daily News. "If this is ‘wishful thinking’ for the EU, then they should put this into words." Ripert’s remarks on the pace in Turkey’s EU accession bid came in an interview with the Daily News published in today’s edition. "At any rate, the best way is to have one chapter open in each presidency. This is the objective of Egemen Bagis," the EU envoy said in the interview. "It is a naïve to think that we would accept the opening of just one chapter in each presidency. Our patience has been tested in the past and now. If we wait for it, then we will still be talking about chapters in 2023. I don’t think we have that much patience. Our people won’t allow this, first of all," the EU minister said. Bagis insisted that instead of elaborating on how many chapters should be opened during each presidency, one should focus on removing the political barricades hampering Turkey. "There is an injustice toward Turkey. To remove this injustice, all political barricades should be removed." Turkey’s peace process, which could produce an agreement over a new charter, will tremendously help Turkey’s accession process to the European Union, Ripert also said in the interview. "This will allow the government to go faster to cover the last leg of the democratization process of the country which is needed to fully comply with the EU criteria," he said.