After more than four decades since first applying for membership to the European Union, Turkey finally got a foot in the door with the 25-member bloc giving it the go-ahead to open entry talks on Oct. 3, 2005.
Supporters argue that binding a large Muslim nation closer to Europe sends a powerful message to Islamic militants and would push Ankara to continue its democratization and reform drive. But critics in many parts of Europe question the logic of accepting the populous nation into their midst. At the same time, under the terms of the EU offer to Ankara, Turkey cannot hope to join the bloc before 2014, and there is no absolute guarantee of membership.
Click on the links below to find out more about both sides of the debate and in particular about how Germany -- Turkey's largest trading partner within the EU and home to the largest Turkish immigrant community in Europe -- views the issue.