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Barroso says Turkey not ready to join EU

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was quoted as saying that Turkey was not ready to join the European Union.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was quoted on Sunday as saying in a Greek newspaper that Turkey was not ready to join the European Union, but that its membership negotiations should continue. Millions of Turks flocked to vote on Sunday in a parliamentary elections seen as crucial to the future of the large Muslim state. “Let's be honest. Turkey is not ready to become an EU member and the EU is not ready to accept Turkey as a member. Neither tomorrow nor the day after tomorrow,” Barroso told the Kathimerini newspaper.
But Barroso urged EU member states not to shut the door on Turkey altogether. “Personally, I believe it is a matter of the EU's credibility. Anything we have unanimously adopted is a pledge we have made to the others”, Barroso was quoted as saying. “I would like to ask France and all member states not to change the decision we took jointly and continue negotiations”. Greece and Turkey have been locked in various territorial and boundary disputes for a number of years.

Turkey's entry talks, begun in 2005, have been dogged by disputes and the EU has suspended talks on eight of 35 policy areas, or “chapters”, due to Ankara's refusal to open its ports to EU member Cyprus. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, who took office earlier this year, has said he opposes Turkish EU membership. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan fears Sarkozy may try to block the continuation of Ankara's accession negotiations. (javno.com)