Speaking at the opening of a German-Bulgarian economic forum on Friday, Schroeder said bringing in Turkey as a member would contribute to Europe's security "in an incredible fashion" by uniting the values of enlightenment and a "non-fundamentalist Islam".


Schroeder said he was confident the European Commission would establish that Turkey was on the right road to fulfilling the membership criteria.


If this occurred, he said Germany would ask at the EU summit in December for the commitment made to Turkey to be respected.


The German chancellor's support of Turkey's ambitions to be integrated as a member nation of the EU comes only days after a leading Catholic cardinal said the Muslim country had no cultural common denominator with the rest of Europe.