BERLIN (Bloomberg)–German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday said her Christian Democratic Union opposes Turkey’s bid to become a full member of the European Union. This is the first time she has articulated outright opposition to Turkish EU membership.
"We are, have been and will remain in favor of a privileged partnership with Turkey, but we’re against full membership in the European Union," Merkel said in a speech to the Christian Democrats’ annual convention in Hanover.
Merkel’s CDU party has until now said that accession talks between the EU and Turkey mustn’t rob Turkey of the eventual possibility of becoming a full member. The CDU is now "right to clarify" its opposition, Merkel said.
Turkey has made little headway toward joining the EU since it started membership talks in October 2005. Rising European opposition to admitting the predominantly Muslim nation has triggered a backlash against the 27-nation EU in Turkey. Sixty-eight percent of Germans oppose Turkey’s EU entry, according to a Forsa poll conducted in August.