Turkey unfazed by French vote

Turkey has said France's resounding rejection of the European Union constitution would not affect Ankara's plans to begin long-delayed entry talks with the bloc in October.

    Abdullah said the result concerned only the French public

    The French rejection of the constitution has plunged the EU into political crisis and could force the bloc to delay further enlargement plans.

    "This result is something which concerns the French
    public ... not Turkey," the state Anatolian news agency quoted Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as saying.

    "The start of negotiations is in our hands. What would prevent Turkey starting EU negotiations is doing things contrary to EU standards or not fulfilling the things it has promised to do," Gul said.

    EU entry talks

    Turkey is due to start EU entry talks on 3 October, but the issue of the majority Muslim country's future membership in the bloc has been one focus of the "No" campaigns both in France and the Netherlands.

    The constitution aims to adapt EU institutions to an enlarged Union of 25 or more countries. It makes no direct reference to Turkey's possible accession.

    "The EU has made its decision. In the EU, governments are always changing. Parties come and parties go. None of this affects us. We have to look to ourselves. We have to work to implement EU standards in a decisive way," Gul said.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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