Turkey’s entry to Europe “is by no means simple”. It is a “very long process subject to numerous conditions but, in the longer term, losing Turkey would be a strategic loss for Europe”. Speaking in an interview with RadioUno on 13 June, Deputy Minister Marta Dassù reiterated Italy’s favourable view of keeping talks open on Turkey’s accession to the European Union.
EU accession negotiations an opportunity to influence Ankara
“The negotiating process for EU accession is the time when Europe has true influence on candidate countries. So it is in our interest to open those negotiating chapters because they concern the defence of human rights and democratic freedoms”, explained Dassù. She commented openly on member states’ “endless hesitation” over Ankara’s accession.
Turkey’s strategic and geopolitical importance
Quite apart from its strategic and geopolitical importance, Turkey is, as the Deputy Minister observed, “a highly significant economic partner for Italy: in recent years over 1000 companies have set up business in the Turkish market”.
Taksim Square: not another Arab Spring but a protest to defend the right to demonstrate
Turning to the protests in Taksim Square, Dassù reiterated Foreign Minister Emma Bonino’s comments on the difference between events in Istanbul and the Arab Spring movements. “Turkey is a democracy, albeit an immature one, where the protest is occurring to defend the right to demonstrate against certain decisions taken by the Erdogan Government”.