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Turkish FM: No 'Special Conditions' for Turkey's EU Membership - 2004-10-04

Turkey's foreign minister says the European Union must not use a different set of standards when considering Ankara's bid to join the bloc.

Abdullah Gul said Monday the idea of "special conditions" for Turkey is "out of the question."

Mr. Gul was speaking ahead of the release Wednesday of an EU report on membership talks with Turkey. European media, quoting drafts of the report, say it will recommend that EU leaders should open discussions on Turkish membership.

But the report also is said to warn of a long road ahead, with the potential for talks possibly dragging well into the next decade. Although Ankara recently reformed its penal code, EU leaders have raised concerns about Turkey's commitment to human rights. Others have expressed concern about the impact of including the large, largely Muslim country in the union.