President tells European leaders to use 'common sense' and give full membership to Turkey in EU
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged European leaders to use their "common sense" and give full membership to Turkey in the EU that would in turn help the bloc in overcoming its problems.
Erdogan strongly criticized the EU states at an event in capital Ankara to commemorate Alija Izetbegovic -- the founding president of modern Bosnia who died 14 years ago.
"Europe died in Bosnia and was now buried in Syria.
"You should know that innocent children whose bodies washed ashore are the gravestones of the Western civilization. Unfortunately, in the last seven years, European values have been discredited and destroyed one-by-one by the very owners of those values," the president said.
He recalled the Western states' position on Bosnia during the 1995 war.
"Human rights, democracy, national will and freedom were considered too much for Bosnians.
“Today, these are seen as luxury for Syrians, Palestinians, Libyans. Though the oppressed and tyrants have changed, those watching the oppression from sidelines have not."
About the harassment of Turkish passengers in Austria's Schwechat Airport on Oct. 13, he said: "They search my citizens coming from the west to Turkey with dogs. How can such a disgrace happen?"
He urged European leaders to use their "common sense" when dealing with Turkey.
"Escalating xenophobia will not benefit anyone. Dreaming of power through Islamophobia will not bring anyone anywhere.
“A Europe without Turkey will only reach isolation, desperation and civil strife. Turkey does not need Europe. Europe is the one that is in need [of Turkey].
“Though they do not want to see it, Turkey and its full membership is the cure for their chronic problems.”
Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.
To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.