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Sceptical Merkel wants Turkey-EU talks
Photo: DPA

Sceptical Merkel wants Turkey-EU talks

Published: 24 Feb 2013 07:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Feb 2013 07:29 GMT+01:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said despite remaining skeptical, she favours opening up a "new chapter" in talks related to Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying the discussions need to move forward.

"We conduct negotiations without the result being fixed in advance. These negotiations have stalled a little recently and I am in favour of opening a new chapter in these talks so we can advance," Merkel said in her weekly video message.

But she "a long path of negotiations lies ahead of us. Although I am sceptical, I have approved the continuation of the membership discussions."

The comments were made a day before Merkel leaves for a two-day visit to Ankara where she is set to meet President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with whom she is expected to discuss Turkey's EU ambitions.

Turkey's efforts to join the 27-member bloc have stalled in recent years, largely because of the long-running dispute with Cyprus and fierce opposition from other EU member states including France.

Stumbling blocks include Turkey's human rights record, its large Muslim population and the eurozone debt crisis, which tested confidence in the bloc's own future.

Of the 35 so-called policy chapters EU candidates must negotiate, Turkey has opened talks on only 13.

Turkey, an associate member of the old European Economic Community since 1963, first sought to become an EU member in 1987 but did not launch formal accession talks until 2005.

In an interview published in regional daily Passauer Neue Presse on Saturday, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called for an acceleration of the talks.

"If we don't pay attention, the time will come when Europe will be more interested in Turkey than Turkey is interested in Europe."

He said he is working with his European colleagues to open up blocked policy chapters.

AFP/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:06 February 24, 2013 by jarkis
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Turkey's joining the European Union??????? this will destroy europe!!!!!!!!!!!!
10:13 February 24, 2013 by Bavaria Mike
Great, another welfare country that will need bailout money. Greece part II only worse with all the Muslims demanding religious righteousness. I've had friends stationed there and they tell me it is nothing but corrupt. I just can't see what Turkey could bring to the plate!
11:00 February 24, 2013 by Englishted
@ Bavaria Mike

What Turkey would bring is yet another source of cheap labour and a pushing down of wages throughout Europe.

But as with so many E.U. decisions none of the electorate will be given a say, not a great surprise that there is a growing dislike and distrust of the E.U. in Europe.
11:27 February 24, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
EU democracy Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde style. What her corporate elites need she will supply whether or not the electorate or the rest of the EU want it.

Cheap labour at any cost is needed for her German corporate friends to compete with China. Either that or they will relocate there. The never ending spiral of Dr. Merkyl eventually flying up her own a$$.
11:54 February 24, 2013 by smart2012
Ahhhhhhh silly Verkel.. Now Germany wants Turkey as turkey is booming economically. Erdogan will say no do not worry, he is not silly to enter struggling Europe...

Germans, wake up..

Turkish, go back to turkey, u will have more and better jobs there
12:09 February 24, 2013 by blackboot11
What are the real motives for this sudden change of heart? Purely money !
22:02 February 24, 2013 by ozdemiron
Guys, what union are you talking about and what values? Of course it is all about money, were you thinking Eastern European countries were included in the union because of sharing same values? Or is it cheap work force, cheap land and Russia factor?

Less and less people in Turkey are willing to join this eu thing. Travelling freely is enough and that`s it. I totally see Europe as the talking dead, no dynamism, no creativity, no movement and parochial point of view.

These border, nationality, union stories are damn boring anymore.
22:04 February 24, 2013 by yllusion
Europe must stop this "party" where everybody is joining in without proper conditions. These newcomers get money from the EU, build bridges and roads, put some make up to seem like they are becoming a developed country or going in that way, then they enter the EU and the holes in their economies, bad projects and bad investiments are soon discovered. An then we realise that their laws are decades behind and the mentality dates to the communism era.

Turkey. Sorry, turkish isn't an european culture, it's middle eastern. They should create a Middle Eastern Union. Nothing against the culture or the people, but Europe has boundaries. Plus, they would become an easier door for radical islamists to get into Europe. Europe can make agreements with them concerning economical partnerships, etc. but no Schengen, no Euro.
22:57 February 24, 2013 by adam.müller
@jarkis @ Bavaria Mike

half baked knowledge is very dangerous, my friends.

Turkey is a booming economy with Increased +8.49 % growth of total GDP $1.288 Trillion. Our growth is 0.9% (2012 estimate). Turkey has gained great economic social and political influence all over the world in the last 10 years and its increasing.

Fact is we will be looking for Jobs in Turkey in next 10 years. There is a reason that we have "suddenly" felt close to Turkey and opened a new Chapter. we need them more than they need us.
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