Turkey plays down row


Ankara - Turkey said yesterday it was not singling out Germany for blame In the EU's refusal to include Ankara in its eastwards expansion plans.

"Turkey is distressed because it could not find the support it expected from not only Germany but also other European countries," a foreign ministry spokesman said.

His comments appeared be an attempt to ease a dispute between NATO allies Turkey and German over the EU.

"Germany is an important ally on the bilateral basis," Mr Sermet Atacanli said.

The Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Mesut Yilmaz, earlier this month angered Germany by comparing its European policies with Hitler's Lebensraum strategy of aggressive eastward expansion.