EU must change its mind­set about Ankara, FM Çavuşoğlu says

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Politics -

FOR­EIGN Min­is­ter Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu urged European coun­tries on Thurs­day to change their view of Turkey, stress­ing that un­less the EU sees Ankara as an equal part­ner, “a healthy re­la­tion­ship will not be pos­si­ble.”

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence while vis­it­ing his French coun­ter­part Jean-Yves Le Drian in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey “doesn’t want to have prob­lems with Europe.”

How­ever, the for­eign min­is­ter also re­it­er­ated that Turkey is “not a coun­try that bows down to de­ceit or dou­ble stan­dards.”

“As long as you do not see us as an equal part­ner, a healthy re­la­tion­ship can­not be ex­pected, de­spite our dif­fer­ences in stan­dards,” Çavuşoğlu said.

The for­eign min­is­ter em­pha­sized that Turkey’s view of Europe has changed over time and that European coun­tries must sim­i­larly “change their mind­set on Turkey.”

Com­ment­ing on the Sept. 25 ref­er­en­dum re­gard­ing the se­ces­sion of north­ern Iraq’s Kur­dish Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG), the for­eign min­is­ter said that Turkey will use its power to have an im­pact on the out­come “if needed.”

“We ob­serve this in our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions [...] Amer­i­cans and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other coun­tries say ‘The [KRG] is your neigh­bor and you have power.’ So, Turkey does not hes­i­tate to use its power if needed.”

Point­ing to the im­por­tance of the is­sue for the re­gion, Çavuşoğlu also added that Turkey and France might take some steps to­gether.

“In fact, the ap­proach of France and Turkey over­laps in this re­gard. Such a ref­er­en­dum de­ci­sion would be the wrong choice and is not good for Turks, for Iraqis, or for the re­gion.”

Le Drian met with Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan late Thurs­day at the Pres­i­den­tial Com­plex in Ankara.

Er­doğan and Le Drian was ex­pected to to dis­cuss the Paris agree­ment, which is due to be rat­i­fied by Turkey, the im­por­tance of the strate­gic Turkey-EU part­ner­ship es­pe­cially on mi­gra­tion, and Turk­ishFrench eco­nomic re­la­tions.

The top French di­plo­mat was in Ankara for two days, where he con­ducted meet­ings with his Turk­ish coun­ter­part Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the heads of non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions (NGOs) and main op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Party (CHP) head Ke­mal Kılıç­daroğlu.

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