Turkey should be EU partner, not member: French president
( People's Daily ) - Turkey should be a partner with the European Union (EU) instead of a member, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday.
"I do not believe that Turkey is a part of Europe, and for a simple reason that it is in Asia Minor," said Sarkozy during an interview with France 2 television.
"What I wish to offer Turkey is a true partnership with Europe, " he said.
Turkey, a populous Islamic country on the edge of Europe and the Middle East, first presented application for EU membership in 1987 and became a candidate in 1999. It began its accession negotiations with the EU on Oct. 4, 2005, a process that has achieved little.
The EU is split over Turkey's bid, which France and Germany both oppose. Most French political parties are opposed to the EU granting membership to Turkey. Polls also show French people are unwilling to be integrated with Turkey.