UK Opposes France and Germany’s Attempt to Hinder Turkey’s Entry to EU

Politics Materials 1 February 2008 12:21 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 31 January / corr Trend K.Ramazanova, F.Rzayev / The UK does not support attempts by Germany and France to hinder Turkey's entry to the EU.

"My opinion is that UK's official position envisions Turkey's membership to the EU," Alan Waddams, the European Commission Special Representative in Azerbaijan, said.

Addressing the conference on the future of Europe titled 'To Build Together Our Future' French President Nicola Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made statements against Turkey and the EU.

There is no room for Turkey at the EU because it is placed in Small Asia... If we continue expanding the EU too much, we will terminate the political Europe, the French President stated.

Experts said that one of the major reasons for such positions by France and Germany is the understanding that Turkey's membership at the EU will make the unofficial top three of the EU - France, Germany and UK, in a tight squeeze. Turkey with its vast territory, large population, tremendous economic and geopolitical significance, will comprise the leading 'four' of Europe. Waddams stated that the positions demonstrated by France and Germany are not the EU's position.

According to Waddams, the EU is interested in continuing the process for Turkey's admission to the organization. "I hope Turkey will soon become an EU member," he said.

He did not agree that the delay in Turkey's admission to the EU is due to Turkey's religious platform. Many experts, including those in Turkey, have repeatedly stated that the obstacles preventing the country's entry to the EU are related to Turkey being a Muslim country.

Meanwhile, Jem Oguz, a commentator with The Turkish Daily News, regarded the positions by Berlin and Paris as 'very unsuccessful statements'.

The EU has a definite interest in Turkey and this step is very unfair. Jem said that Turkey will not accept such statements made to the public by Germany and France. "Furthermore, such statements actually hurt the EU's image, the Turkish journalist stated.

Since the 2004 talks on Turkey's entry to EU have been launched. The major cause for the delay in Turkey's membership into the EU are the Kurdish problems in which Turkey has not fulfilled the demands for opening the border with Armenia and its recognition of the 'Armenian genocide' by Ottoman Empire in 1915.

In accordance with the statistics for 2005, Turkey has the population of 73 million people. Over 25 national minorities live in the country. Turks comprise a major part of the country's population. There are approximately 80,000 mosques in the country. Turkey has the second largest army following NATO. Their annual sale of armaments in the Turkish market amounts from $3mln to $5mln.