Schroeder sees Turkey ontrack for EU membership

29th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

29 June 2004 , ISTANBUL - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Tuesday that Turkey's successful hosting of a NATO summit was further evidence that Ankara was on track for European Union membership. "All those who think they have a reason to deny Turkey (European Union) membership will have to rethink this - they'll really have to rethink this," said Schroeder at news briefing wrapping up the two-day NATO meeting in Istanbul. Schroeder said the Turkish hosts had used the summit to showcase the country's

29 June 2004

ISTANBUL - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Tuesday that Turkey's successful hosting of a NATO summit was further evidence that Ankara was on track for European Union membership.

"All those who think they have a reason to deny Turkey (European Union) membership will have to rethink this - they'll really have to rethink this," said Schroeder at news briefing wrapping up the two-day NATO meeting in Istanbul.

Schroeder said the Turkish hosts had used the summit to showcase the country's culture and ethnic diversity.

"This showed a modern, self-confident Turkey which is not in the least arrogant," said Schroeder, adding: "They are on a good path which one could not have imagined even a few years ago."

The German leader has evolved over the past years into one of the strongest European Union (EU) backers for Turkish membership in the 25-nation bloc.

EU leaders will decide in December - on the basis of a report on Turkish political, legal and economic reforms - over whether to launch formal membership negotiations with Turkey.

Germany has the largest Turkish minority in the EU with about two million Turks out of a total population of 82 million.

 

DPA

Subject: German news

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