Le Pen: Turkey not a European Country

World | September 30, 2007, Sunday // 00:00
Le Pen: Turkey not a European Country Speaking at an electoral rally of Bulgarian nationalists Ataka, who make no secret of their dislike of the ethnic Turk MRF party, Le Pen (pictured) dismissed Turkey's EU bid. Photo by Kameliya Atanasova (Sofia Photo Agency)

French far-right nationalist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen renewed his criticism of Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union on Sunday.

Speaking in front of thousands at an electoral rally of Bulgarian nationalist party Ataka, Le Pen dismissed the prospects of Turkey's membership, saying it did not belong in Europe geographically, historically or culturally.

He will have found his audience receptive too - Ataka considers Bulgaria's ethnic Turk MRF party, which is in the three-way ruling coalition, unconstitutional and at the roots of much of the corruption that pervades the new EU member state.

Le Pen's Front National is currently gathering signatures under a petition to block Turkey's efforts to join the EU.

The French politician was in the Bulgarian capital for the launch of Ataka's campaign ahead of next month's local polls.

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