Negative comments by a high-ranking cardinal in the Vatican about Turkish membership in the EU have once more stirred the already controversial debate.
In an interview with Le Figaro, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger last week said Turkey is "in permanent contrast to Europe" and linking the country to Europe would be a mistake. The German, who heads the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Turkey, which is a predominantly Muslim, secular republic, should seek political unions with Arab states and not with European countries. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the cardinal's comments. The European Commission will publish a report in October on Turkey's readiness to join. (EUobserver.com)