Further delays on talks regarding Turkey\'s membership to the European Union will be taken by as a snub to Muslim nations, the Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has warned.
Speaking after German and French leaders failed to announce a timetable for discussions on Turkey\'s entry into the EU the Turkish premiere said he would not settle for anything less than \"a definite date for talks\" at next week\'s European summit in Copenhagen.
Mr Gul said failure to provide a date would confirm Turkish fears that the EU sees itself as a Christian club to which Muslim nations will never be admitted.
At its Brussels summit in October, EU leaders said Turkey had not yet met the political criteria for membership, referring to continuing concern over human rights conditions in the country.
But Turkish leaders insist they have committed themselves to a raft of reforms that would meet all the EU\'s concerns.
Should Turkey be admitted to the EU? Has the country done enough to be granted membership?
Turkey has a way to go, but the way to go about it is through inclusive rather than exclusive means
Ronen Shamir, Israel A date for beginning talks on Turkey\'s membership should be set in Copenhagen. Several comments recently made by European politicians raise concerns about the nature of the reasons behind the EU\'s approach to Turkey: the reluctance to allow the free movement of Turkish citizens in Europe and the \'distasteful\' idea of having countries like Iran and Iraq on the borders of the EU. True, Turkey has a way to go in terms of its human rights record, but the way to go about it is through inclusive rather than exclusive means. Ronen Shamir, Israel
Turkey should be admitted to the EU, but I doubt whether this will happen. Yes, it will be seen as a snub to the Islamic World if Turkey is not admitted. R Chickrie, USA
Yes, Turkey should be admitted thus becoming a model of a modern secular Muslim country for the world of Islam. No, Turkey will not be admitted to the EU. It is a big country with equally big Muslim population. It has an abundance of cheap labour force and huge, vibrant agricultural sector. Both those elements are perceived as a threat by the entrenched interests in EU countries. Thus we will hear more excuses, reservations, demands for additional reforms - all covering the real reasons for denial of EU membership. The EU is basically playing for time hoping that Turkey will eventually go away. Mirek Kondracki, USA