German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer pleaded Wednesday for Turkey to be admitted to the European Union, saying its membership would amount to "D-Day" in the fight against terrorism. In an interview broadcast on BBC radio he said the modernization process necessary for the secular Muslim state to join the EU "would be almost a D-Day in the war against terror," and added: "It would be the greatest positive challenge for these totalitarian and terrorist ideas." EU leaders are expected to take a final decision on Ankara's accession talks at a summit on Dec. 17, but there is no clarification yet as to when the talks could start. Fischer warned of a backlash if the EU put off embracing Turkey, pointing to its central position between Europe and the Middle East after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. "Europe made promises to Turkey since 1963," he said. "So after 40 years of promises ... it would have very negative consequences. In my opinion Turkey's membership of the European Union is totally in our interest."