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Turkish PM criticises French president

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(ISTANBUL) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rebuked French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday over his opposition to Turkey joining the European Union.

EU membership has been "a dream for our country for half a century," Erdogan said in an interview to mark the launch of the Euronews television channel's new Turkish language service.

Ankara has been in talks to join the 27-nation bloc since 2005 and Erdogan said he was determined to press on with the project.

"Mr Sarkozy sometimes says things that reason cannot accept. But no matter what he says, we will continue, unless the EU members all say they do not want Turkey," Erdogan said when asked about Sarkozy's opposition to Turkish membership.

"A European Union which does not include Turkey would not be complete -- it would be missing something," he said at the Euronews launch in Istanbul.

Turkish is the ninth language for Euronews, and the new service will be broadcast around the world by satellite and cable television operators, as well as over the Internet.


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