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    Double standards cut public support for EU in Turkey

    Hurriyet English with wires
    29.05.2008 - 16:41 | Son Güncelleme:

    Public support for the European Union in Turkey has been eroding due to the "double standards" over the country's membership bid, the Turkish prime minister re-issued a warning on Thursday.

    "The Union requests Turkey do things that have never been put on the table for other member or candidate countries, and we are observing that double standards are imposed on Turkey," Erdogan told an Istanbul meeting of the European Foundation Center.  


    "Once this political attitude is removed, Turkey will take its deserved place in the EU," Erdogan was quoted by the Anatolian Agency as saying.


    The EU opened entry talks with Turkey in 2005, but there has been little progress amid disagreements over Cyprus and opposition from France and other EU countries, including Austria and Germany. The bloc also suspended negotiations in eight policy chapters because of Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels.


    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told the EU on Tuesday the slow pace of Turkey's accession talks was leading to waning public enthusiasm for membership, but Brussels insisted it was up to Ankara to push harder on reforms. 


    France's President Nicholas Sarkozy reiterated on Wednesday his long-standing opposition to Turkey joining the EU, making clear he did not see a country which is predominantly Muslim but was founded as a secular state as European.


    Erdogan also reiterated the government’s commitment for EU accession, adding Turkey expected the same willingness from member countries as well.



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