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EU Nears Deal to Welcome New Members, Delays Turkey Membership

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The European Union held last-minute negotiations to break a deadlock with Poland and two other candidates for membership over financial aid. Turkey also reluctantly accepted a deal to delay its own long-running drive to become an E.U. member.

The Turks reacted furiously when they were told that they would have to pass a review of their human rights situation in December 2004, before the European Union would give them a starting date for their accession talks. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul accused the group of being prejudiced against his country.

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EU deaf to Turkey\'s knocking

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OpinionsBy Pepe Escobar

When he ratified the Treaty of Paris in 1865, Emperor Napoleon III included Turkey - which had just won the Crimean War - in the European Union of the time. Now, 137 years after the French emperor\'s gesture, Turks are still engaged in the never-ending European debate about Turkey\'s European identity, and the country is champing to be de facto admitted into Europe - in the name of history, and despite geography. After all, most of Turkey is in Asia; by boat or by bridges over the Bosporus, hundreds of thousands of Asians disembark every day in Europe, and then at sunset return to their homes in Asia Minor.
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Teenage runaway found in Turkey

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A teenage girl who ran away to Turkey to marry a barman has been found safe and is now with police.

14-year-old Rachel Lloyd, from north Wales, met 24-year-old Mehmet Ocack when she was on holiday with her family during half-term in May.

She flew out to Turkey again even though her parents took away her passport and says she\'s now married to the man.
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EU refuses pressure on Turkey

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PoliticsCOPENHAGEN: The European Union has rebuffed fierce pressure from Ankara and Washington to give Turkey a swift date for entry talks, saying it will take a decision in two years\' time based on its human rights record.
Several EU leaders said public hectoring by Turkey\'s new leaders and intense lobbying by US President George W Bush had been inappropriate and harmed Ankara\'s cause.

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Villagers Armed to Fend Off Plundering Pigs

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General NewsFri December 13, 2002 11:00 AM ET
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Hungry wild pigs rampaged through Turkish villages on Friday pillaging crops and gardens as they sought food and refuge from fierce weather conditions sweeping through the country\'s northeast.
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EU, Turkey Clash Over Entry Talks\' Start

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Dec. 13 —
Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul accused European Union leaders of bias at their year-end summit Friday for not fixing a date to begin negotiations to bring his Muslim nation of 66 million into the union.
Gul, who wants Turkey to begin such talks next year, reacted angrily as the 15 EU leaders moved to complete entry talks with 10 other candidates who had applied later: Cyprus, Malta and eight East European nations.
EU officials circulated a draft statement urging Turkey to improve its human rights and economic records by late 2004.
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EU Leaders Plan Historic Eastward Push

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European Union Leaders Work to Overcome Last-Minute Snags in Historic Eastward Push
The Associated Press
European Union leaders worked Thursday to overcome last-minute snags to the EU\'s largest expansion at a summit many hoped would overcome the legacy of the Cold War by bringing in eight former communist nations.

The leaders were also preparing a response to Turkey\'s petition to be included in the EU\'s longer-term expansion plans, with a firm date to open membership talks.

Efforts were also under way to resolve the 28-year division of Cyprus but hopes for a breakthrough faded when poor health prevented the attendance of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

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EU summit opens with warning

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PoliticsThursday, 12 December, 2002, 20:07 GMT
Rasmussen told applicants not to push their luck
A landmark European Union summit has begun with host country Denmark urging 10 potential new members to accept the EU\'s terms for entry or risk delaying enlargement for many years.
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Austria-Switzerland to host Euro 2008

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Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 13:32 GMT
By BBC
Austria and Switzerland will jointly host the Uefa 2008 European Championship.
Uefa\'s executive committee voted in favour of the Austrian-Swiss bid ahead of six other contenders, including Scotland and Ireland.
The team behind the joint Celtic bid had been hopeful of winning the vote on the eve of the announcement.
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We don\'t want Turkey, poll says

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A new opinion poll reveals widespread resistance among Danes to Turkish EU membership. A new opinion poll suggests that the Danish government is out of step with the will of the electorate in the question over Turkish accession to the EU. Less than one of every four Danes supports Turkish membership in the Union. Fully half are directly opposed to Turkish membership, while the last fourth are undecided, according to a new opinion poll undertaken by Vilstrup for daily newspaper Politiken on Sunday. The question over when Turkey may be eligible for EU membership is expected to become one of the leading themes at this week's EU Summit in Copenhagen. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has promised a ‘good resolution’ to the question of bringing Turkey closer to the Union, but has stopped short of promising a firm date for accession talks.
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