Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek on Monday received Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of Europe, or ALDE, as part of his visit to the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Speaking at the meeting, Cicek said Turkey had made many legal and structural reforms in its drive to become an EU member, adding, however, the country had still certain setbacks such as its constitution.
“We will overcome our most fundamental problem by making a new constitution in the new period. We are set to hold our first meeting this week at the constitutional
committee in the parliament,” Cicek said.
Cicek said the Union was “doing injustice” by imposing strict visa procedures for Turkey which is a member of the Customs Union and has been negotiating with the EU for full membership.
“This calls for questioning EU’s scale of justice,” he said, adding Turkey would not accept any other status short of full EU membership like privileged partnership. “Let’s not tire ourselves out by discussing that. Let’s be honest.”
Verhofstadt, on his part, said he welcomed the agreement between Turkish political parties to make a constitution from scratch through dialogue and negotiation, adding that the successful conclusion of the constitutional debate would help in Turkey respond to any kind of criticisms directed at the country.
10 October 2011 Monday