The security of the European continent cannot be provided without Turkey and the long-anticipated European army cannot be founded without the participation of the Turkish armed forces, said the EU Minister Ömer Çelik on Sept. 27.
“No European army can be built without Turkey. I do not say we support or oppose this idea [of the European army]. But you can provide neither the security nor the future of Europe without Turkey,” Minister Çelik told Spanish journalists at a meeting in Spain.
“Seeing Turkey as the bodyguard of the EU is a sick mentality. We are against [those who hold] this mentality if they only talk to us about security matters and not when it comes to sharing democracy and prosperity,” he said.
The EU minister underlined that a static Europe will fail to build a European force and therefore needs to turn into a more reformist structure by taking Turkey on its side while doing so. “Unfortunately, those who are talking about Turkey are doing so without looking at the map. Turkey has a vast strategic [value] and is at the level of European democracies,” said Çelik.
“Turkey is a European country and a European democracy. Leaving Turkey out of Europe means, in fact, leaving the EU out of international issues geopolitically, economically and diplomatically,” he added.
Turkey supports Spain’s territorial integrity
Minister Çelik also evaluated ongoing in-house tension in Spain after the autonomous region of Catalan decided to hold an independence referendum on Oct. 1.
“We support the unity, territorial integrity and constitutional borders of Spain. We do not think this kind of referendum will contribute to the people at a time when more integration is necessary,” he said.