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TURKISH PM IN FRANCE -Turkish premier addresses Turkish community in Strasbourg.

STRASBOURG, Apr 13, 2011 (TUR) -- Turkey's prime minister addressed the Turkish community living in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in Strasbourg to attend the general assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), met with Turkish citizens at an event held at Rhenus Sports Arena.

Speaking at the gathering, Erdogan said Turks living in Europe were Turkey's representatives in the continent and the country's modern face.

"You are our members in the European Union although some circles do not want it," Erdogan said.

The prime minister said Turks living out of their home country should never feel alone as Turkey, with its strong economy and prestigious global position, always stood by them.

Erdogan noted that Turkey had gained a unique position in the world thanks to its growing economy, active foreign policy, improving standards and democracy.

"Today, Turkey is hopeful and confident about its future," he said.

"We are not making plans for the next 4 years anymore, but we are thinking about the year 2023, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of our Republic. Current figures do not satisfy us, because Turkey deserves much better. Our goal is to raise our national income to 2 trillion USD by 2023," the premier added.

Erdogan also pointed out to Turkey's contribution to the solution of the conflicts in different parts of the world.

"We are not trying to grab a role in the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus or the Balkans. We are not acting in line with our interests. We are acting as a state that is aware of its responsibilities," he said.

The premier said Turkey displayed efforts for freedom, peace, justice and democracy.

Commenting on the developments in Libya as well, Erdogan said Turkey did not want the unrest in the country to turn into the situation in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"Libya cannot be seen as a place of benefits by any country. Libya belongs to Libyans," he said.


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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Apr 13, 2011
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