German, French leaders oppose Turkey joining EU

The leaders of Germany and France - gearing up for next month's European Parliament elections - on Sunday denounced the idea of expanding the European Union indefinitely to include new members such as Turkey. Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has advocated having a vaguely defined partnership with the largely Muslim Turkey, said "we cannot take in everyone in Europe as a full member." "We have to talk about the borders of this Europe," Merkel said at an event organized by her conservative Christian Democrats before the June 7 European Parliament vote. "It makes no sense if there are ever more members, and we can't decide anything any more." "It is right that we say to people in the European election campaign ... our common position is: a privileged partnership for Turkey, but no full membership," she said. Turkey began EU membership talks in 2005, despite opposition voiced in Germany and France. Neither country, however, has blocked the talks, and Germany's other main coalition party - the Social Democrats - supports EU membership for Turkey.