If We Like to Prevent 'Clash of Civilizations', Turkey is the Remedy
Interview with Guy Verhofstadt
Belgian Prime Minister
By Selcuk Gultasli, Brussels
Published: Thursday, December 16, 2004
- You were the first European leader to declare that religion can not be an obstacle for Turkey's membership. Where do you think religion is situated in the context of Turkey-EU relations?
-It is an important argument for Turkey. It is a country with a Muslim majority, that can modernize itself with a clear seperation between church and state. The entrance of Turkey could be an example for other Muslim countries for North Africans and others to go in the same direction. Since Atatürk, modernization has started so it is not new. Mr. Erdoğan is pushing this modernization in a good direction. So, for me, to combat terrorism, Turkey's entry will be a good example for others to modernize themselves.
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(native Turkish professional translator)