The fact that Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country should not be an obstacle to EU membership, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said in an interview with DPA on Friday (April 30th). “The EU is not a religious project, it is based on values, and if Turkey makes it clear that it not only shares those values, but also protects them, it should be given an opportunity,” Fuele said.
Asked to comment on the Cypriot issue, viewed as a significant obstacle to Turkey’s accession, Fuele admitted it was “a big elephant in the room”. He explained that unless the issue is resolved, Ankara’s EU bid could hardly succeed. Fuele welcomed the election of Dervis Eroglu as the new leader of Turkish-dominated northern Cyprus, saying that despite earlier hard-line statements, his first moves are encouraging.