• Germany edition
 
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

"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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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.
Today's headlines
'Police killer' confesses to shooting officer
Officers searching a field near the scene of the killing on Thursday. Photo: DPA

'Police killer' confesses to shooting officer

A suspect has been arrested following the killing of an off-duty police officer in western Germany on Wednesday night. The shooting sparked a large manhunt near Frankfurt. READ  

BSkyB to launch pan-European pay-TV giant
The British broadcaster BSkyB is rolling out a pay-TV network through Europe. Photo: DPA

BSkyB to launch pan-European pay-TV giant

The British satellite television group BSkyB on Friday announced a multi-billion-euro deal to create a pan-European TV network covering three countries. READ  

German of the Week
Should we all get €12,000 a year?
Martin Bohmeyer has not worked for money in six months. Photo: DPA

Should we all get €12,000 a year?

What would happen if everyone was suddenly paid €1,000 a month with no strings attached? "Let's try it," says Michael Bohmeyer, who raised the money through crowdfunding and will now experiment with the idea of a basic income for one year. READ  

Language barrier foils supermarket robber
Communication is key for cops and robbers alike: Photo: DPA

Language barrier foils supermarket robber

An armed robber fled a Berlin supermarket empty-handed in frustration over his lack of German language skills. READ  

Lufthansa maintains Tel Aviv flight ban
A Lufthansa flight at Ben Gurion International Airport. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa maintains Tel Aviv flight ban

German flag carrier Lufthansa said on Thursday it would continue to suspend flights to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours over security concerns amid the raging conflict in the Gaza Strip. READ  

Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight
A Swiftair flight Photo: EPA/SWIFTAIR

Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight

UPDATE: Four Germans were among the 116 people onboard a Air Algérie flight which crashed over Mali on Thursday, according to the airline which operated flight number AH5017. READ  

Munich midwife 'tried to kill pregnant mums'
The hospital in Munich where the midwife worked. Photo: DPA

Munich midwife 'tried to kill pregnant mums'

A midwife in Munich stands accused of trying to murder four pregnant mums during childbirth using a blood-thinning drug. READ  

Top university switches master's to English
Munich's TU university wants to switch its master's programmes to English. Photo: DPA

Top university switches master's to English

UPDATE: One of Germany’s top universities wants to ditch German and switch almost all of its master’s programmes to English in the next six years, prompting fears that the academic standing of the German language is under serious threat. READ  

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer
Anja Niedringhaus (r) with colleague Kathy Gannon in 2013. Photo: DPA

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer

A former Afghan police commander has been sentenced to death in Kabul for the killing of German war reporter and photographer Anja Niedringhaus in April this year. READ  

ECB blackmailed after data stolen
The ECB building (right) in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

ECB blackmailed after data stolen

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt has received a blackmail letter after its public website was hacked and contact data stolen, the bank said on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,285
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd