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Turkish PM Calls On EU To Become 'Global Power'

2 October 2005 -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today called on the EU to choose between becoming a global power or remaining what it called a "Christian club."

Erdogan said European leaders must meet the challenge of making the EU into a global power by agreeing to start membership talks with his country.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul repeated today that Turkey would not accept any alternatives to full EU membership.

European Union foreign ministers are set to hold an emergency meeting today in a bid to persuade Austria to drop its objections to starting membership negotiations with Turkey.

Austria objects to a clause in the draft mandate which states that the objective of negotiations -- due to start Monday -- is full membership. Austria has proposed a lesser "partnership" instead for Turkey in the EU.

All 25 EU nations have to agree on a negotiating mandate before the talks can begin.