Prime Minister Tony Blair says a decade in office has taught him that the West should not be afraid of standing by its values in facing up to "radical Islam".
"The West must show that it believes in its own values," Blair told journalists from several European newspapers.
"We must show the Muslim world that we let our values apply to everyone. That's why Guantanamo (Bay) is an issue for people," Blair said in comments translated from Friday's edition of Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
"But we are also on the defensive because we are not energetic in contradicting the opinion of "radical Muslims" who want to convince us that terrorism somehow has something to do with our behaviour."
Blair has long been in favour of binding predominantly Muslim Turkey to the
European Union to create a bridge between Europe and the Muslim world.
He conceded that Turkey has a long way to go before it is ready to join the EU, but said it would be a "disgrace" if Europe's club of nations went back on its promises to the Turks.
"I firmly believe that Europe should offer a place to Turkey. But I also know that beforehand complicated problems must be resolved.
"It is very important that the current situation in Turkey is resolved peacefully and democratically," Blair said, referring to the presidential vote annulled by the country's highest court.
"But it would be a disgrace, and at the end of the day very difficult for us, if we departed from our promises to Turkey."
Blair stood by Britain's involvement in the invasion of Iraq despite the chaos which has engulfed the country in the four years since.
Blair is expected to announce next week that he is leaving office. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is widely expected to take over as prime minister.
Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2007, 15:09