German Politicians Talk Turkey
Report; Posted on: 2005-09-16 12:41:42

Turkish EU membership hot topic in close German election

Luke Harding in Berlin
The Guardian

A row over Turkey's application to join the European Union dominated Germany's election campaign yesterday, with the foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, describing the conservatives' policy on Turkey as "dangerous, blind and irresponsible".

Interviewed in the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, Mr Fischer said Angela Merkel's opposition to Turkish membership of the EU showed her "lack of sure-footedness" on foreign policy. "The question whether Islam and democracy, open society, women's rights, a modern economy and a free media can be combined is of decisive importance for our security in the 21st century," Mr Fischer said.

Joining the EU was a "long process", he added. It would take at least 10 to 15 years before a "Europe-capable" Turkey emerged, he said.

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Source: Guardian • Printed from National Vanguard
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