Turkish EU minister says his country aims for EU’s leadership

Turkey is not simply a candidate for European Union membership, but is a candidate for the union’s leadership, EU Minister Egemen Bağış said today during his opening speech at the Town Twinning Workshop, a project aiming for international collaborations on local levels by partnering European and Turkish districts.

Bağış said Istanbul’s unique status as a “peaceful coexistence of all cultures and religions” makes it a vital player in the union membership process.

Bağış highlighted the ongoing multicultural existence of the city, with “mosques and churches and synagogues” standing side by side, as well as its current “rise to stardom” by becoming the European capital for sports and culture simultaneously in the same year.

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