The foundations of a united, stable and peaceful Europe were laid on the 9th of May 1950, the day which has been celebrated as “Europe Day" in Europe since 1985, and in Turkey since 1999, when our candidate status to the EU was declared.
The European project has signified a new beginning based on peace, democracy and shared values and has become a successful example of the solidarity and cooperation among sovereign nations. Today, the integration in the European continent continues to be a source of inspiration.
Turkey supports this project with its common vision for the future and continues its efforts towards accession to the EU, which is its strategic choice. The reforms we have realized in a multitude of fields are indications of our strong commitment and will. We expect the same commitment and consistency from the EU in the negotiation process.
Turkey believes that only if both sides act together, can policies and measures to overcome the challenges be accomplished. Threats such as racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Christianity and terrorism, which target the values of stability and success in Europe today can only be overcome through a joint fight.
Turkey, with its active foreign policy, is one of the major countries to make significant contributions to Europe's political stability and its being a strong global actor. We believe that we need to have more cooperation and harmonization on foreign policy and activities undertaken in this field and reach an agreement on joint actions. Our reinforced cooperation with Europe based on the values and interests will enable the EU to pursue a more effective and visible foreign policy.
Turkey-EU relations, which will be strengthened on the basis of mutual understanding, will be of great importance not only for the stability and prosperity of the two sides, but for the entire region.
I congratulate the Turkish people and all peoples of Europe on Europe Day.