German opposition leader Edmund Stoiber pledges to oppose EU membership for Turkey. From the German-language Die Spiegel, as translated for Jihad Watch:
Berlin. Several days before the decisive meeting in Brussels, there has been a heated debate between Recep Tayyip Erdogan, PM of Turkey, and the governor of Bavaria, Mr. Edmund Stoiber.
Mr. Stoiber denied Ankara’s accusations that Germany’s large conservative party (CDU/CSU) would discriminate against Turkey:
“Mr. Erdogan should know that Angela Merkel and I myself are going to undertake all efforts together to guarantee a resolution that will lead to open-ended negotiations, not only on the basis of lip-service,” Mr. Stoiber told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”.
Admittedly, CDU/CSU would work against full membership for Turkey if elected in 2006 as Germany’s ruling party: “Turkey’s full membership will break down because of the free will of Europe’s women and men.” Mr. Stoiber said this in order to justify his negative mindset. “Our goal is a privileged partnership, because we do not want to make excessive demands of Europe”.
In order to achieve this plan, “we will proceed with our partners in Europe, such as France”.
Mr. Erdogan sharply attacked CDU/CSU in one of Germany’s largest tabloids, “Bild am Sonntag”. “Germany’s opposition party seems to believe that she can play domestic politics with Turkey’s desire for full membership. You can call this discrimination!”
Mr. Erdogan said Turkey’s membership would be problematic if Europe regarded herself as a “Club for Christians”.
“In a European community Turkey very well has a place,” Mr. Erdogan affirmed.