Turkey warns France, Germany ‘no EU fudge’

26th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

ANKARA, Oct 26 (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Tuesday before heading for crucial three-way talks with the German and French leaders that his country would settle for nothing short of full membership in the European Union.

ANKARA, Oct 26 (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Tuesday before heading for crucial three-way talks with the German and French leaders that his country would settle for nothing short of full membership in the European Union.

Erdogan described the talks he will hold later Tuesday in Berlin with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac as "very important".

"This summit... is very important with respect to our foreign policy objectives because Turkey's European Union accession process has ceased to be an ambiguous process for the EU and has taken an irreversible direction," Erdogan said in a speech before the parliamentary group of his Justice and Development Party.

A Europe-wide debate on whether Turkey, a vast Muslim nation with a relatively poor economy, should be allowed into the EU has been raging since October 6 when an official EU report declared the country fit to start membership talks.

EU leaders will make the final decision on December 17, based on the October report prepared by the EU's executive, the European Commission. Schroeder is a strong supporter of Turkey's bid, while Chirac has bowed to domestic pressure for a referendum on Ankara's accession and warned that Paris could veto membership talks at any time.

Erdogan reiterated that Ankara would reject any option other than full membership, although he conceded that his country's accession process would take a long time.

"What the negotiation process leads to is full membership, nobody should attempt to impede that," he said. "The time it will take is open to debate - that is another matter.

"Turkey's accession process will for the first time test whether the EU is a pluralist entity or not," he added.

The October 6 report said Turkey had fulfilled the basic democracy norms required to open accession negotiations.

But, much to Ankara's discontent, it said the launch of talks would not guarantee Turkey's membership and mentioned the possibility of permanent measures barring the free movement of Turkish nationals in the bloc.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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