Turkey is important for Europe in regional security: experts
Turkey, Mardin, Dec. 11 / Trend U. Sadikhova /
Turkey's membership in the EU is necessary for European security.
Austrian International Progress Organization head Hans Kohler said Turkey's integration into the EU is necessary for two reasons. These reasons concern the growing influence of European policy in new regional cooperation and Europe's energy security.
Turkey's transformation into a regional player in the Middle East and Central Asia is necessary for the future of European security policy, he said.
The Austrian academic said Turkey is a bridge between Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Kohler added that Europe on its current political course must take into account all of today's realities. This course will not develop by ignoring integration processes in the region.
Today, the Turkish city of Mardin is hosting the Second Turkish-European Forum with the participation of MPs and experts from all over Europe and Turkey.
The theme of the forum is Turkey's integration into the EU.
French Institute for Strategic Analysis President Francois Gere also thinks that now Turkey is more necessary for European energy security and combating international terrorism than ever, pointing to Ankara's attempt to take a decision regarding nuclear threats in the Middle East.
Gere said it is impossible to overcome international terrorism alone. No country will be able to cope within its borders. Besides combating domestic terrorism, Turkey is also working to destroy international terrorism. This is an important factor for future European security, he added.
Turkey could also act as a major player to combat nuclear threats in the Middle East. Though Turkey's attempts to mediate the Iranian nuclear program failed, Ankara has demonstrated an interest in regional cooperation on the issue, Gere said.
Slovenian Association of International Relations head Joseph Kunich thinks that Turkey's integration into the EU will improve the security situation in the Caucasus and the Middle East because the countries in the region will become neighbors with an EU member.