ISTANBUL - Recent election defeats for opponents of Turkey's bid for EU membership offer a chance to unfreeze negotiations, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told an audience in Turkey on Tuesday.

"After the latest elections we have the chance, but we also have the challenge, to overcome this frozen situation," Westerwelle told a forum hosted by the Sabanci University Istanbul Policy Group.

Westerwelle, member of a junior partner in the coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, an opponent of Turkish membership of the EU, did not specify to which elections he was referring.

But he spoke on the same day that Socialist Francois Hollande took over the French presidency from Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the most vocal opponents of Turkish EU membership.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger