French Prime Minister Francois Fillon while on trip to Cyprus stated that his nation opposes the entry of Turkey into the European Union. He used the occasion for his talks with Cyprus President Demitris Christoflas to make clear his nation is against Turkey’s entry into the EU because it has “occupation troops” in Cyprus which is an EU member. His comment is among the first times in which the French government has publicly bluntly stated that it is against Turkey becoming a member of the European Union.
During the past few months, French President Sarkozy has floated many ideas such as formation of a Mediterranean Union in which Turkey could play a leading role and has dodged clearly explaining his reasons for opposing Turkey’s membership application. Not many believe Fillon’s reason that opposition is based on the situation in Cyprus. It most probably stems from the large number of Muslims in France and fear that Turkey’s membership would result in even more Muslims coming to France.