About 4,000 people turned out in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Saturday to welcome home Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from successful talks with the European Union.
Near-freezing temperatures did not discourage the cheering crowd, many of whom waved EU flags. Confetti and fireworks rounded off the celebrations marking the European body's decision Friday to begin membership talks with Turkey next October.
Prime Minister Erdogan told the crowd that Turkey had turned a critical juncture and would have to work harder now to assure its entry into the Union.
The European Union has imposed tough conditions on Turkey's membership before talks, which could last years, can open next October.
Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.