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Sunday, June 26

Sarkozy Says Turkey Not Part of Europe

Updated on: 08.02.2007, 10:42

Published on: 08.02.2007, 10:31

Author: Dimitar Tabakov

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French Interior Minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has repeated claims thatTurkey is not a part of Europe and doesn't belong in the European Union, Turkish Dailly News reported.

Appearing on a television program on U.S. station PBS Sarkozy compared Turkey's EUhopes with Mexican-U.S. relations but the program's reporter Charlie Rose backed the French politician into corner by saying, We're talking about Turkey being a part of the EU, not a part of France.

Rose asked, You believe instability will arise if Turkey becomes an EU member, don't you? Are you opposing Turkey for this reason? Sarkozy said he was not opposing Ankara's EU bid just because Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country.

Seventy-five million people live in Turkey. This number will rise to 100 million in 25 years. This is a huge number of people who are not European... Shall we build Europe with those who are not Europeans?

Sarkozy repeated that Turkey belonged to the Asian continent and that Ankara's negotiations with Europe should result only in a strategic partnership.