Turkish premier pushes for EU entry during visit to Spain
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the European Union to admit his country as a member.15 January 2008
MADRID - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the European Union to admit his country as a member, saying such a move would link the West with the Orient and help to establish peace and stability in countries near Turkey.
Erdogan was speaking to journalists during an official visit to Spain, which backs Turkey's aspiration to join the EU.
Erdogan said he had asked the EU to explain what "scientific" reasons could prevent Turkey from joining, given that the 27-nation bloc had admitted countries like Cyprus, which did not meet the requirements for membership.
Erdogan said he intended to discuss Turkey's application in May with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who have reservations about it.
Erdogan arrived Sunday in the southern city of Granada for a private visit before beginning his official trip, which was to focus on boosting trade relations.
On Tuesday, Erdogan will attend the inauguration of a two-day forum of the United Nations' Alliance of Civilisations project, which he launched together with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
In 2005, the UN adopted the initiative, which seeks to increase understanding especially between the West and the Muslim world.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news