Turkey frowns at beer mug presented to Chirac

28th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

ANKARA, March 27, 2007 (AFP) - An antique beer mug presented to French President Jacques Chirac as an EU going-away present drew criticism from EU-hopeful Turkey on Tuesday for reportedly depicting an 18th century Ottoman defeat by the French.

ANKARA, March 27, 2007 (AFP) - An antique beer mug presented to French President Jacques Chirac as an EU going-away present drew criticism from EU-hopeful Turkey on Tuesday for reportedly depicting an 18th century Ottoman defeat by the French.

"The European Union should concern itself with the future rather than the past," Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters when asked about the mug.

"If the EU has a future vision, it should look to the future," he said. "Harping on the past does not befit the EU vision."

Turkish newspapers said Tuesday that the mug depicted Napoleon's 1799 victory over Ottoman forces in Egypt and reflected hostility towards Turkey.

It was given to Chirac as a retirement gift by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at celebrations of the EU's 50th anniversary at the weekend.

Merkel is opposed to full membership for Turkey and has instead advocated a special partnership with the sizeable mainly Muslim country.

Turkey's bid suffered a serious blow in December when the EU froze its membership talks in eight of the 35 policy areas that candidates are required to complete in response to Ankara's refusal to grant trade privileges to Cyprus.

Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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