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France, Germany accused of ‘black campaign’ against Turkey’s EU bid May 16, 2011

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, France, Germany, Turkey.
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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there is a “black campaign” led by France and Germany to “destroy Turkish determination to become a member of the European Union,” Bloomberg reported Thursday.

“They want Turkey to give up,” Erdoğan said in an interview in Ankara with journalist Charlie Rose from the U.S. public broadcaster PBS that aired Wednesday night.

“Let me put it very clearly: France is number one, secondly Germany” in opposing Turkey’s EU membership, he said.

Turkey has been “at the doors of the European Union for more than 50 years and there is still a European Union that does not accept Turkey as a member,” Erdoğan said. He added that Turkey remains committed to joining, although the EU continues to “change the rules of the game.”

“It’s not honorable. They don’t stick to their promises,” he said.

‘Hamas not a terrorist group’

In the same interview, Erdoğan also expressed his belief that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, saying he felt the recently penned Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah was an essential step toward Mideast peace.

Erdoğan’s comments came one day after Hamas’s Gaza strongman, Mahmoud Zahar, said that while his organization would accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, it would never recognize Israel. He said this was because of the damage such a move would do to Palestinian refugees in the “diaspora,” according to a report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Commenting on the recently achieved unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, the Turkish prime minister said he did not feel Hamas was an obstacle in achieving Mideast peace.

“Let me give you a very clear message: I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party,” Erdoğan told PBS. “It is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation.”

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