"...In October 2005 formal negotiations are supposed to start on Turkey's long-sought accession to the European club.
Just getting to the starting line has taken four decades.
Many welcomed Turkey's EU entry deal - but it faces some thorny issues before joining
Given its size, its relative poverty and its Muslim population, taking on Turkey will be the most challenging enlargement project in the EU's history.
Turkey has obvious strategic and economic potential, but in a year likely to be marked by increasingly strident discourse about the place of Islam in Europe and the dangers of a 'clash of cultures', there may be growing scepticism in some quarters too.
Cyprus could also be a sticking point.
Is Turkey ready to make gestures pointing towards recognition of the Greek-Cypriot government?
The EU has swallowed one major expansion, and is considering another even more ambitious. "
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