ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ The prime minister on Saturday criticized the European Union for failing to advance Turkey's bid to join the organization during a summit this week, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said the EU had not lived up to Turkey's expectations and accused Greece, an EU member and Turkey's long-standing rival, of blocking its entrance to the 15-member union.

``The European Union is a very big organization but it appears to have surrendered to Greece,'' Ecevit told reporters after meeting with President Suleyman Demirel.

Turkey and Greece are at odds over the division of Cyprus and have numerous territorial disputes in the Aegean.

At the EU summit in Cologne, Germany, that ended Friday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder pressed the 15-member union to offer Turkey talks on EU membership once it met its human rights conditions, but failed to convince his European partners.

Germany currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

Turkey was excluded from EU enlargement talks in December 1997 because of its poor human rights record. Ankara has since put its relations with the EU on hold.

The trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan could further alienate Turkey from the EU.

Ocalan, whose trial opened Monday, faces the death penalty if convicted of treason for leading a 15-year war of Kurdish autonomy in Turkey's southeast.