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Paulo Gorjão / "Portugal and Turkey: An Increasingly Substantive Relationship" The seventh edition of the Turkey Policy Brief Series is authored by Paulo Gorjão, Director ofthe Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security (IPRIS) and lecturer of international relations in the Human and Social Sciences Faculty at Lusíada University in Lisbon.
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18/12/2012 - Viewed 3434 times

"The last visit to Lisbon by a member of the Turkish government occurred in September 2012. Egemen Bağiş, Minister for European Union (EU) Affairs, as part of a round of contacts at the European level, met with the Portuguese President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, as well as with the Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Paulo Portas.1 The main theme of the talks, as expected, was the stalled process of Turkey’s accession to the EU. Despite the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis, the Turkish government stands firm in its desire to join the EU. In a previous interview, Bağiş could not have been clearer: “By the time Turkey completes all negotiations, by the time all the chapters are completed, I’m sure this [European] economic crisis will be over, because no crisis lasts forever”.2 Put another way, the Turkish national interest in EU membership is strategic and structural. As the chief negotiator of Turkey in accession talks with the EU, Bağiş has to convince the Turks that EU membership is the way forward while in European capitals his job is to persuade the Europeans that Turkey’s inclusion is in their interest..."

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