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(DIP) "TURKEY IS NO LONGER SICK MAN OF EUROPE," TURKEY'S EU NEGOTIATOR.

LONDON, Feb 8, 2010 (TUR) -- Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU Talks Egemen Bagis said on Monday that "Turkey was no longer the sick man of Europe".

Bagis attended a seminar titled "Turkey's Role in Rising Network World" organized by Global Strategy Forum in the British capital of London.

Speaking at the seminar, Bagis said that Turkey implemented remarkable reforms and turned into a more democratic and prosperous country nowadays.

Pointing to the important role Turkey tried to assume in its region, Bagis said, "In a way, Turkey is located at the eastern part of the West and the western part of the East".

Commenting on Europe's integration problem, Bagis said that nearly 5 million Turks currently lived in EU countries and many Muslim countries followed Turkey's EU membership process closely.

Noting that Turkey's membership to the union would be a "win-win" situation, Bagis said, "Turkey has never been this European, prosperous and democratic before. I am not claiming that it is perfect, but it is in a much better position than the past".

Expressing Turkey's commitment to its EU process as well, Bagis said his country's membership would bring a certain dynamism to the union and help it deal with its problems.

Upon a question, Bagis said that Turkey had taboos in certain matters in the past, however, these issues were freely discussed today.

In his reply to a question on whether Turkey's Muslim population would affect EU if the country became a member to the union, Bagis said Turkey would support Europe in establishing peace.

"Turkey is no longer the sick man of Europe. It is now a new and dynamic country that will be the solution to Europe's problems," he said.

"Just like Turkey discusses and tries to overcome its sensitive matters and taboos, it is now time for Europe to leave aside its taboos and discuss such issues," Bagis also said.

(DO-A)

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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Feb 8, 2010
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