The Turkish government is increasingly upset at statements by President Sarkozy of France which offer alternatives to a Turkish entry into the European Union and to failure on the part of EU officials to move forward their nation’s application for membership. Prime Minister Erdogan bluntly informed the French leader his behavior was two-faced, he talks one way when in Turkey, but before another audience the message is a negative one about entry into the European Union. “Sarkozy approaches us differently during our bilateral talks and backbites elsewhere.” To Ankara’s dislike, an EU foreign ministers’ statement on the bloc’s enlargement strategy omitted Monday the words “accession” and”membership” in connection with Turkey, a development brought about due to French pressure. French diplomats claim changes in wording are of minor importance and is not meant to imply rejection of the Turkish application.
The Turkish government is extremely upset at recent speeches by President Sarkozy in which he advocates creation of a Mediterranean Union which would include Turkey. The obvious intent of Sarkozy’s idea is to block the entry into the EU of nations which are predominantly Muslim. Turkish leaders note the recent entry of Romania and Bulgaria which never elicited speeches by French leaders concerning necessary changes in language.