Although he acknowledged Turkey’s importance as a political and economic actor, he openly reiterated his well-known opposition to Turkish membership in the European Union. Underlining Turkey’s determination in its EU bid, the Turkish president and prime minister, on the other hand, once again called on the EU to keep its promises to Turkey.
Commenting on Sarkozy’s visit and the cold stance adopted by Ankara, which had earlier expressed disappointment with Sarkozy’s failure to visit Turkey in his capacity as the French president, Yeni Şafak’s Kürşat Bumin quotes main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who said Ankara was right in adopting a cold stance during the visit and that he wished Sarkozy had visited Turkey with the title of the president of France. “This is a nice hope. But there is something that makes this hope impossible. While expressing his well-known opinions regarding Turkey’s EU membership, Sarkozy was appealing to the far-right voters in his country rather than his addressees in Ankara. That was like an election speech for the 2012 presidential elections to be held in France. We know that the French right this time will really have a hard time in the 2012 elections,” Bumin says.
Of a similar opinion to Bumin, Taraf daily columnist Ahmet Altan says Sarkozy has been pursuing a policy to garner the votes of a few racists in his country, but that he will be the loser in the end. “In the end, he will watch Turkey’s accession to the EU from a deserted beach in his oversized shorts,” Altan says. Stating that neither Turkey nor the EU will shape its policy according to Sarkozy, Altan underlines that Turkey should be self-critical and attempt to be a transparent state by itself. “If we can establish a system that protects our citizens, if we can make our state transparent and make ‘humans’ more important than any other thing, why would we need Europe?” he asks.