Friday, May 23 2003 @ 08:34 PM MSD
|Ankara, TURKEY, May 23, 2003 - State Minister for the Treasury Ali Babacan made his first public comments about his experiences at last week's Bilderberg conference, which was closed to the media in line with the annual meeting's heavy air of secrecy. |
Speaking to Channel 7 television, Babacan said he had talked about the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government's vision for Turkey at the meeting, during which the world's political and economic future was discussed. He stated that for the first time, a "Turkey" panel discussion was held, lasting for over two hours and attended by more than 120 people from 20 different countries. Babacan added that Turkey needed to talk about itself on every platform.
Meanwhile, participating in the same meeting, True Path Party (DYP) Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ali Bayar said that Babacan had represented Turkey in the best possible way and noted: "As a citizen, I was proud of him. Our country was well represented through the character of Mr. Babacan." Bayar admitted that he had hesitated for some time before traveling to Bilderberg; however, he decided to participate after consulting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, indicating that that the meeting could be described as a "brainstorming session."
Babacan said various questions had been answered with the help of Bayar and Turkish Ambassador to France Ozdem Sanberk. Causing a stir because of some of the brief meetings he had with various politicians, Babacan said he had met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
Commenting on the Bilderberg conferences' highly secretive nature, Babacan said, "The meeting is kept secret for the participants' safety." Underlining that "mysterious or dark" incidents had not taken place during the meeting, Babacan said: "No decisions were taken. Everybody just put forward his own opinions in a sincere manner."
Aydin Haskebapci / Ankara / TURKEY