Erdogan slams Sarkozy over Turkey's EU bid

08:54, February 01, 2010      

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized French President Nicolas Sarkozy of his opposition to Turkey's bid to join the European Union (EU) in his interview with Euronews channel on Sunday.

Pointing to the French president's stance regarding Turkey's EU bid, Erdogan said, "no matter what they do, or what kind of obstacles they put in front of us, we will keep walking, patiently."

Erdogan, during his first interview with Euronews channel, which launched broadcasts in Turkish on Saturday, said that some of the EU member states were not acting honestly during Turkey's ongoing EU bid process.

"They are trying to corner Turkey with conditions that do not exist in the acquis communautaire. This is really wrong," he said.

Turkey first applied for associate membership in the European Economic Community, a now defunct international organization formed during European countries' integration process in 1959.

The EU agreed to launch accession talks with Turkey in October 2005, but progress was slow.

Countries hoping to join the bloc must fulfill EU requirements in 35 policy negotiating areas, or chapters. Ankara has so far formally opened 11 chapters, of which it has provisionally completed negotiations on just one, science and research.

The 27-nation bloc has also urged Ankara to normalize relations with Cyprus and speed up reforms to improve human rights and democracy.

France and Germany have said they favored a "privileged partnership" instead of full membership for the mainly Muslim- populated country.

Source: Xinhua
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