The European Union opens a two-day summit Thursday in Brussels, where the 25 EU Eleaders are expected to propose membership talks with Turkey.

The European Parliament said Wednesday the talks should start without delay. 

Several European nations have expressed concern over Turkish membership because of Ankara's human rights record and its reluctance to recognize the Greek-Cypriot-led government in Cyprus.

In an opinion piece published in a German newspaper Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would be a mistake for the EU to exclude his country just because its culture and religion are different.

He has insisted that Turkey has met all of the membership requirments and has threatened to freeze relations with the EU if it places any more conditions on Ankara for membership.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, Reuters.