Gül: Turkey walks stridently toward EU

img9Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Monday that Turkey was proceeding toward the European Union in a determined way.

“We can be more hopeful in 2010,” Gül said.

He added that whether Turkey became a full member was a different issue.

On the Cyprus issue, Gül said that the EU was misusing the issue a bit, but Turkey would first do what it had to do, complete all chapters and adopt all required laws.

“Turkey is having constructive, not destructive, relations with its environment,” Gül added.

Gül said Turkey’s relations with the United States were based on mutual respect, and Turkey was boosting its relations with Russia, the Middle East and other countries.

The president defined terrorism as the most important issue facing Turkey. He added that he believed terrorism could no longer live in the region when developments in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, and the clear stance of the EU on terrorism were taken into consideration.

Upon a question, Gül said he would never want the non-Muslim citizens living in Turkey to face problems or feel estranged in their homeland.

“Therefore, we will deal with their problems,” he said.

Gül said everyone had to be hopeful about the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations in the first quarter of 2010, however, he added that he could not say anything definite because such issues were very sensitive in nature.

“It is important to turn this region, the entire Caucasus, into a region of stability and peace and an area of cooperation,” he said. Gül added that Turkey was helping countries solve their own problems.

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