As host to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied the Chancellor to the Turkish-German Economy Congress in Istanbul yesterday.
Erdogan said that the importance they ascribe to the implementation of reforms and to the fulfillment of points to be completed has not lessened. He indicated that Turkey would accomplish its homework relations with the European Union (EU) until October 3. "Our country desires the completion of the screening process regarding the negotiation chapters before the year's end and to start active negotiations in these chapters. Within the framework of a concept reached at the December 17 summit, our country will keep its promise to sign the adjustment protocol that enlarges the Ankara Agreement to the new members by October 3. I am sure that the EU will also complete the necessary preparations within the period until October 3."
In response to a question, Erdogan underlined that the French referendum on the EU Constitution has nothing to do with Turkey and added, "nor the October 3 negotiation process has any preconditions." Erdogan indicated that Turkey presents a good opportunity to foreign investors who want to open new and developing markets thanks to its geographical position. "We expect German firms to be encouraged to benefit from the experiences of our country and firms along with the ability to have joint enterprises in developing countries. I anticipate German firms to be encouraged to make investments in Turkey."