Should the EU include Turkey?
|The EU has decided to open negotiations
with Turkey for its eventual membership. Is this right? Is Turkey
too large, poor, muslim and in Asia? Or is bringing Turkey in just
the signal we need to the rest of the 'near East' that Europe is not
a Christian club, and that a moderate Islamist government can reap
Debate - Page 1/2
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The EU must start the negotiation with Turkey. It is essentail
to keep peace in the EU. Turkey is "the most westernized islamic
country". The fuel to their progression has been the possibility
that once Turkey will be member of the EU.
Since the political gap between the muslim and the european-american countries
has been gaining we need to find "someone" that could appear
to be the connection bewteen us. (and to contradict Huntington's theory
about the cultural confrontaion). I think Turkey should be the "someone"!
Otherwise we push them among the radicals which would influence the approach
to the peace of those turkish who are already living within the EU! we
can simply not afford it!
Joe Greene, London, England
Yes, Yes, Yes. Turkey stands at the cusp of both Christendom
and Islam; as a amodernising democracy, it can only benefit from interaction
with Europe. Conversely, it can benefit Europe by acting as a bridgehead
between Europe and the Middle-East. It can also prove to the world at
large, that an Islamic country, is capable of embracing democratic ideals,
without losing its identity.
Christian Witte, Cologne, Germany
The EU should not try to absorb undeveloped countries under
authoritarian rule. For example, it would not have been advisable to allow
a Spain of the early seventies to join. But Spain has changed substantially
and irreversibly and is today an indispensable EU member. So will Turkey,
if given the chance.
The EU endorses certain political and moral values. It's
all about human rights, democracy, free trade, cooperation, and development.
Christian governments and peoples have promoted as well as violently opposed
these values. Look at South America, a thorouhly Christian continent.
Or worse, at Europe's past. Present day Europe is not even particularly
Christian. Agnostics most probably outnumber Christians. To sum it up,
all this talk about the EU being a Christian club is only an excuse for
If Turkey succeeds in adapting to European standards during
the next 10 years, it should definitely become member. On success, this
would be a real boost for the European model. Then, maybe even more countries
South of the Mediterranean would strive to follow Turkey's lead, and the
islamic world might finally have a chance to escape the deadlock it is
trapped in now.
The EU is also about power. In the future, the power blocks
USA, Europe, China, and Japan, will compete who has access to the remaining
natural resources. Then, it will be good to have the Turks on our side,
The whole thing could fail, of course. But I think it is
well worth the risk.
No question Turkey should join, sooner rather than later.
Tomorrow. Europe is absolutely not a Christian club -- the EU probably
contains the largest collection of agnostics and atheists in the world,
not to mention 8 million+ muslims. We need the immigrants and there could
be no more powerful signal to countries in the Middle East that democracy
will work there.
It will be hard to win referendums on the issue accross
Europe. Perhaps we could point out that without a substantial demographic
boost Europeans may have to work until they are over 70 -- will the "leasure
preference" trump xenophobia, I doubt it.
Stefano S., Belgium
I think Turkey should not get into the EU.
They don't fit into the EU standart in many points. The Kurds are too
much under the pressure of the Turkish people. Then, women are still treated
badly there and the religion is still too highly used there. Not to imagine
the mass storm into the other EU countries.
Coral Hillary, Cyprus
Most definitely not, if Turkey were in Europe, the USA
will get their oil pipeline and will still have access to cheap oil and
pollute the world even more. What chance them then signing up to the Kyoto
Protocol on Climate Change? Or finding an alternative to petrol cars.
Aside from that, Turkey is not in Europe and its people are not Europeans.
The imbalance would make huge problems for an already troubled Europe.
Rafael Jacko, UK
The reasons expressed for favouring Turkish entry seem
The main one, to show that Europe is not a Christian club and that secular
government can prosper in a Muslim society, is particularly ludricrous.
Europe is known abroad for endorsing Muslim-friendly policies consistently,
such as support for the Palestinian Authority, engagement with Iran, and
opposition to the invasion of Iraq. In addition, as others wrote above,
Europe has a very large non-Christian community.
A secular government in Turkey is in fact a greater beacon for democracy
in Muslism countries if it stays out of the EU. Does a Muslim country
need to be one of the "West" in order to have a secular government?
That certainly shouldn't be the message. If democracy is to be promoted
in Muslim countries, the message should be that democracy works outside
the West too.
Someone above wrote that Europe needs immigrant labour, and it is certainly
receiving it from new E European members. The surest way to break the
civic compromise between countries with high unemployment (there are surely
one or two of those in Europe???) and the European project, is to allow
an enormous and unprecedented influx of unskilled labour from Turkey.
Socio-economic tensions could become unbearable, and the most vulnerable
people in Europe and Turkey will pay the price.
Anyone who has visited Ankara should know that Turkey is an extremely
nationalist country. Gigantic flags with Ataturk's face adorn highrise
buildings, reminiscent of the reverence for Mao in China. It is clear
that secularist propaganda remains an essential part of Turkish stability.
It is symbolic of a severe national complex that is outside the tradition
of the EU, and a potential threaten to the political harmonisation that
the EU aims for.
The true reason why some politicians are keen to give Turkey membership
is likely the fear that Turkey will "defect" to Islamism. But
Turkish nationalism and reverence toward Ataturk acts itself as a stalwart
against this. As so does the politically determinant and strictly secular
Turkish military. If Turkey is to be Europe's "bridge" to Muslim
countries, then it might as well stay outside the union. The alternative
is that it will either come to be seen as a lackey of Europe, or it will
need to prove its credibility by disrupting Europe's inexorably Western
agenda. Neither prospect is enticing.
There are other fairly obvious arguments against Turkish membership that
have been largely swept aside in recent public discourse. The Kurdish
issue, for example, is preposterous.
Alas, everything indicates that my reasoning is on the "wrong side
of history". Whatever that means.
Peter Kates, United States
Many Greeks are concerned about Turkey's claims in the
Aegean Sea, repeated airspace violations, and the continued division and
military occupation of northern Cyprus, as am I. My belief is that Turkey
should be allowed to become a member of the EU if they can show a willingness
to use diplomacy, the rule of law, and not use coersion as a means to
achieve its objectives. Many Greeks do not believe that Turkey has changed
from its bullying means to arrive at its desired ends. I am not convinced,
either, so I cannot accept their membership until their aggressiveness
Stephen Ewing, The Blue States of America
If Turkey was other than a Stalinist police state in sheeps
clothing they would be a great boon to the EU. However, as things stand
now their treatment of the Kurds and secret police throughout the country
mark them as decisively uneuropean. The fact that they are Muslim and
could potentially serve as a bridge with the Middle East should in no
way trump their domestic situation. If and when they transform themselves
into a European country they should be granted admission into the fold.
But until then to allow them entry would be to condone their myriad of
Bill Irving, UK
Everything I have read about the views of the Kurdish population
of Turkey tells me that they attribute the recent improvements in their
situation to Turkey's bid for E.U. membership. Kurds strongly favour this,
and see it as their best hope for the future.
Have those who wish to prevent Turkey joining the E.U. because of the
history between Turks and Kurds thought of a way of presenting this decision
to the Kurds which will make them properly grateful to our concern for
Jonathan Tee, United Kingdom
I think that in looking at Turkey now, as a potential member
of the European Union we should consider future benefits as much as present
issues. Greece, Portugal and Spain had all been labouring under the sort
of regime which pursues tax-and-spend-on-tanks policies not so very long
before they joined the EEC. These countries are now stable, fairly affluent,
modern democracies and it is not unreasonable that we should expect the
same as Turkey progresses towards entry. The Turkish government have already
made many positive steps.
In some respects the criticisms of Turkey, as an aggressive and nationalistic
quasi-democracy (I am content to sit on the fence on the matter of whether
such views are valid), are reasons in favour of entry. The main purpose
of the Union is surely to promote and maintain peace and stability in
Europe. To exclude rather than embrace Turkey would seem to run counter
to this aim. There are also practical benefits to Turkish entry. Whilst
the Turks may not be incredibly wealthy, there are still 80 million of
them and easier trading conditions will create many new opportunities
for enterprising European companies. The Turks also have a large army,
and this could make a useful contribution to any future European Defence
Force. Finally, I don't swallow the argument that Turkish entry will unleash
waves of immigrants. Polish entry was also supposed to do this, but I
have yet to notice the teeming hordes of Polish migrant workers promised
by the British tabloids.
Turkey should join the EU.
I remember that the main goal of Mr. Schumann and his supporters, when
drafting the European Communities, was to give peace and prosperity to
this continent and to the world.
Peace and prosperity will only be definitely possible when non-Christians,
non-Caucasian and non-wealthy people feel they too are part of the free
world and the scientific, cultural and economical progress is to be shared
by all men, women and children, irrespective of their race, age, sex,
religion or nationality.
Thomas Neeley, USA
The E.U. should not expand to include Turkey. The standard
of living, habits of democracy and the civil society simply do not meet
the threshold of the E.U. Turkey does not even guarantee freedom of religion.
Virtually all Turks are Muslim. What other E.U. county is so mono-religious?
If Turkey, why not Israel? It is a long standing and vibrant democracy
with a vigorous free press, advanced industries, an extremely educated
and productive multilingual population. The standard of living is high.
There is freedom of religion. Somehow I don't think the E.U. is ready
for Israel. However, by any objective standard Israel is more qualified
Bill Irving, U.K.
Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey guarantees freedom
of religion. What is the point of your assertion to the contrary? Is it
to let us know that you don't know how to work a search engine?
Israel fails as a potential E.U. membership candidate on two counts; firstly,
any member must have no outstanding border disputes with its neighbours
and, secondly, a membership candidate must apply to become a membership
candidate - so your suggestion should be addressed firstly to the Israeli
government. Or do you imagine that they're waiting for an invitation?
Martin Standage, Cyprus/Britain
Turkey should be allowed to join the E.U.,one
of the main reasons being that we would all be far safer with them as
a member rather than a rejected and bitter country on its fringes!Certainly
as far as Cyprus is concerned we see this as our only possible chance
of ever getting them to withdraw their army from our country!Their excuse
that they accepted the proposed settlement plan earlier this year and
therefore have no furthtr obbligations here does not stand,especially
as most of the provisions satisfied Turkeys demands while ignoring the
key issues Greek Cypriots are concerned about-i.e. security and guarantees
for the implementation of the solution!
Pedro Vendaz, Portugal
As an european citizen, I do believe that
is in our utmost interest to have Turkey in the EU, because it will reinforce
the only muslim nation with a fairy democratic political sistem. That
is very important for the defense and even expansion of our tolerant and
democratic kind of societies.
But I do also believe that we must change our vision of Europe in order
to include very diferent people, both culturaly and religiously.
It's a great challenge, but it's Europe future that it's at stake.
Daniel Schwickerath, Sweden
I am not sure if the discussion about Turkey and Islam is beside the point.
It needs to be stressed that the founder of the post Osmanian empire Turkey
was very against the Islam and the values it stood for. Attaürk regarded
the Islam as backwards and inferrior to the (christan) west.
Bearing in mind that moder Turkey still seems to be very much having the
"DNA" that Attatürk gave it, I am not so sure if religion
is such a big issue. I think the issue, besides its ecconomy and esp the
one of the eastern parts, is more in how fare human rights and rights
of women and minorrities are respected in practise. If Turkey can prove
that it does respect them then it should join if it so desires.
Harri Mikk, Estonia
I think the very basic aim of the European Union is to
become a synonym of Europe. And this should be the basis of the discussion
about Turkey‚s EU membership. European Union has become a kind of
present form of the European existence. EU wants and shall involve all
European countries. And every country that may wish to become a European
country should have a reasonable prospect of entering the European Union.
Secondly, Europe is not a continent or a subcontinent; Europe is not geographical
term at all. One cannot conclude from the geographical location whether
a country is „European‰ or not. Europe is a concept, an idea
or a way of life of nations. Europe is based on values. A continent cannot
expand but Europe can and Europe has been extremely successful in doing
that. So successful that we can at least for two centuries already speak
of West and of Europe as part of it.
Turkey is a country that wishes to become a European country and it is
our duty to support Turkey and to offer a chance and real prospect of
becoming the member of the European Union. If we wouldn‚t offer
Turkey a real prospect of joining European Union, we would somehow refuse
one country to be the part of this value system what we call Europe or
European. And why should we do it? Because it is a Muslim country? Would
we say that a mainly Moslem country couldn‚t be free, democratic
and based on the rule of law etc? Can those values be only the „product‰
of a Christian tradition? We wouldn‚t say that. If Turkey fulfils
the criteria as 10 new members have fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria,
it should become a member of the EU.
It seems that the very important problem of immigration is often brought
as serious argument against Turkey‚s membership. We should note
that this problem is already long existent in EU. Berlin is the fifth
biggest Turkey‚s city for many years already. This problem would
not arise, it is already there and it should be solved anyhow. And rejecting
Turkey‚s application would certainly not help to solve it. And not
to forget ˆ no enlargement of the EU has caused any notable immigration
to the existent EU countries before.
Ross Gurung, France
Geographically speaking,Turkey is not at all in Europe.Its
would be 100 millions of population is real. And they are utter muslims.
Do you all, favouring Turkish membership in Europe, wish a community war
door to door in a very near future? Where ever I see there are muslims
there is a problem. In Kashmir,for example,the war between India and Pakistan
is as useless as anything. India will never never let Kashmir go 'cause
in 1947 the tug of war was definitely won by India.When you pay a visit
to Turkey you see everywhere the scums and complete illetrate people giving
the idea of what the middle age was like.Why the Turks treat their women
so badly? The wall between Greek and Turkish in Cyprus is the real example
of Turkish behavior. In 1453 the Turks were stopped in Vienna. If you
want Europe to be an islamic world in the 22nd century you can sponsor
Turkish agenda if not don't be the ignorants who would apolize one day
saying we could not forsee that.
Ross Gurung, France
Just let us remember what the Turks did in the past.What
we find is, they were the great propagators of Islam. All central Asia
and south-east Asia (present Pakistan, north half of India and Bangladesh
- between 6th & 19th centuries) were converted into Islam by the Turks
in employing force. The Mediterranian surroundings were also put under
their yoke. When they were stopped in Vienna (1529) after so many battles,
Ottoman empire slowly retired from Europe. The horrors they committed
in the name of Islam haunt still the memories of Balkan people. And they
can hardly forget it.
All this to denounce the blind and short sighted view of politicians who
are not aware of the danger by letting the Turks enter Europe without
sufficient guarantie. Moreover, I'm sure that they might giggle behind
their sleeves in remembrance of the past and the rapid and easy success
Evidently, the Turks are inspired by Europe to better up their everyday
livings. It's but normal 'cause of the vicinity. When they want to enter
the Union with their huge mental backwardness regarding the relationship
with women, I hardly can bet a dime on the survival of Europe if they
become the member say before atleast 20 years. All this makes me think
of the tale (fable) of Jackal and Camel. If the Camel enters the Jackal's
house, the same would crumble as a heap of cards.
CAROL HILLARY, CYPRUS SAID THAT TURKEY IS NOT IN EUROPE!WHAT
ABOUT CYPRUS? IS IT IN EUROPE? IF YOU THINK SO, YOU SHOULD REFER TO A
WORLD MAP! THERE, YOU WILL SEE THAT CYPRUS IS NOT IN EUROPE.
Most of the contributions to this debate have been thoughtful
and considered, which I hadn't expected. Personally I wasn't happy about
the expansion of the EU to include some former Soviet bloc countries,
and I'm still less happy about countries like Romania and Bulgaria entering
the EU. Previous expansion to include Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greece
seemed problematic at the time, but worked exceptionally well with the
exception of Greece, so I accept that excessive caution about who is ready
to benefit from and add value to the EU may be misplaced. For this reason
I favour Turkish membership. The only legitimate reasons to question Turkish
membership (given the other states being offered entry) are to do with
the population size/economic development level of the country. Turkey
is partly geographically in Europe, and it has for many centuries played
a central role in European history, with a cultural legacy for all to
see across central and Eastern Europe. Most hostility to Turkish entry
is essentially bigotry. As a woman and a feminist I haven't found the
Turkish state's treatment of women to be markedly worse than that of many
other countries, and it is more genuinely secular than some Christian
countries, or a theocratically dominated state like Israel.
Joe Xuereb, Malta
I find it strange that Turkish/Muslim expansionism until
1529 is brought to bear with regard to that country's entry into the EU.
And yet no mention of the horrors perpetrated by Christian countries within
most of Europe within living memory. Also, treatment of women in Turkey
is often based, at best, on (often biased) perceptions gathered through
fleeting visit/s to a country with an essentially mystical culture, often
sold as such to enhance the allure. It would be fairer I believe to look
closer at the position of women in the established EU member countries
where one can reach clearer perceptions by reason of looking within from
within with much fewer barriers than any attained in trying the understand
a social culture that is in many ways impenetrable.
Fuad, The World
I came across this space through a Guardian article and
wanted to share some thoughts, perhaps not coherent, but meant with good
will. Recent coverage of the 'Turkey problem' has irked me, on many levels.
Some of us here are here because this 'debate' has been massaged for us
to dump our baggage.
Ross, i think this discussion could do without that polluting and disablingly
poor description of how peoples in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India became
Muslim. Some folks of the Eurocentric variety need to recognise their
handicapped view on the history of this world. Go read some Rumi and Ghalib
and chill out!!
The enlightened european destruction/dislocation of european, asian, african,
american and other is well remembered. It is also recalled by questioning
the cultural origins of the Climate change and the WMD threat.
Hopefully we learn our own lessons from eachothers mistakes and experiences,
but according to our own yardsticks.
I think that one thing i have learnt from observing these discussions
in 'The West' is how protoEU folks see themselves ... i cant say that
im in love, or feel like a participant in this picture. Europe has a problem
with religion. This is not the only problem it has, but to recover what
it needs and has lost, perhaps we need to unlearn this prejudice, irrespective
of whether or not the players find it convenient to welcome Turkey.
My interest is in hopeful openings for turkey and its people, and i see
benefit and dignity for the turkish folks however this europe jive goes.
Of the muslim countries and 'developing' countries i have visited, i found
turkish people incredibly well mannered, warm and content.. so much so
that learning english is not really an ambition for many of them as they
see their futures in their ancestral lands. The picture that has been
constructed of asiatic hordes rampaging through the continent, ravaging
women and 'stealing' 'jobs' is not a sincere reflection of what could
happen. I guess these just serve to promote fear.
There are many sides to turkey, maybe they cant be seen by visiting the
beach resorts, believing the orientalist doublespeak and measuring Islam
against europes experience with Christianity.
The 'Europe' obsession in turkish society has some undeniable physical
dimensions and also stems from of some historical insecurities in modernisation,
mistakes and failings of human muslim systems and the legacy of the founder
of the modern state of turkey and those freaky people in the military.
The past 50 odd years have been a regeneration and recovery phase for
a lot of muslim societies, their living and generative knowledge systems
and institutions have tripped up in places and taking a bashing(in some
place an annihilating) from Europe and from ourselves.
I hope that, at the very least, Turkish society finds this 'courting'
phase heightening and a stimulation for a genuine recovery and pregression
on its own terms.
I dont know what europe can learn from this.. I am sure that Prof Ash
could enlighten us.Personally i dont see Europe and a union of europe
as a positive thing for the majority of this world anyway. Not at this
stage at least. An unjust bipolar system is just as far away from where
we should be as the present unjust unipolar one.
The families of muslim and developing nations and communities dont need
europe to do anything other than refrain from its habitual destructive
and hegemonic practices in study, environment and economy.
Maybe the 'counterbalance to the US' argument might have some weight with
some. It doesnt leave me jumping up and down, It seems like the Kerry
What we need is Nader. Bush and Kerry, US and the EU are virtually identical
to the first approximation and wholly inadequate for a justice based society.
Tonino Martinez, España
A pesar de tener el porcentaje de renta más alejado
de la media europea que un aspirante a miembro haya tenido jamás,
de ser el más extenso y poblado, con mayoria musulmana, con desigualdades
aún por corregir entre hombres y mujeres (acaso no las hay aún
en todos los paises miembros?), etc... supone tal reto para Europa el
poder asimilar, convivir, suprimir las fronteras entre el occidente tradicional
y el oriente más próximo que la aventura merece la pena.
Es un guiño al mundo, dar un mensaje a las generaciones futuras
que va más allá de simples acuerdos comerciales o politicos,
es crear un marco de convivencia y esperanza, una europa de verdad sin
fronteras, sin miedo a lo diferente, integradora, una europa que marque
el camino de las politicas del nuevo siglo y del nuevo orden mundial,
con una europa con fronteras en asia y una asia (con china al frente)
con fronteras en europa. El sueño de Marco Polo, de Alfonso X "el
sabio" y de tantos otros. empecemos a soñar cuanto antes.
Ross Gurung, France
My response to Fouad, Yasmine and others,
Dear me! I’m not at all hostile to Turkey being one of the member
states of Europe.
What are those things, which give chills as well as itching to Europeans,
let me try to numerate them one by one.
1) As far as I know, the present Government of Turkey has 3 or 4 polygamous
ministers. Is that in tune with our 21st century?
2) When you enter a club or a consortium you are supposed to fulfil certain
criteria, such as, what are your backgrounds? Therefore why, the past
history of a would be member country must be known to all before the other
members put the acceptance seal for good.
3) There are already 10+3 countries to be ‘digested’ by Europe.
And it makes about 450 millions of Europeans. At present, Turkey is a
big chunk to be admitted. With the present voting system Turkey would
be more important than the founder countries such as France, Italy, in
the very near future Germany and Britain in Euro MPs. Nobody can accept
that. Further, there is no money left for the commissioners to enable
them to meet the scarcity of Turkey in materials and road penuries before
atleast 2013. Would there be more than 1% of the annual budget of each
member state based on GDP? For the time being, almost all of them are
against increasing it before a decade or so. In plus, Britain wants its
money back (Thatcher’s claim!). Heaven knows, after the ensuing
referendum Britain would remain still an European member state.
4) Everybody says that Turkey is a secular country. And Turks say they
are very proud of that since 1923. O.K. But it leaves anybody appalled
when he or she sees on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul more than 70%
of women, even the girls of 12, have their scarfs on their heads. In what
field are they secular? Why army should guarantee their status? Fouad,
you say, you are in search of justice haven. As far as I know this kind
of make-believe story is described in Bible and Koran. So why, they are
fake and just the imaginative fruit of some screwy mugs to lull and bully
the adepts of enchantment. Europe is a human made entity where the most
telling today’s problems of human beings are treated to make function
the daily chequered lives of everybody. I’ve still a question and
am wondering as to how the present PM of Turkey, so utter former eurosceptical,
transformed himself into a fervent euro-enthusiast after his imprisonment?
Is there a mystery behind it? His arrogance towards the member states
is too much against the interest of Europe. Of late, in 1963 De Gaulle
and Adenaur accepted Turkey to be the future member of the ECC, not that
of the EU which is the fruit of continuous efforts of Giscard, Schmidt,
Mitterrand and Kohl.
5) There are other muslim countries such as Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria
who are on the waiting list and are very keen to be the European members.
They have atleast an advantage of speaking french which is one of the
main working languages of Europe.
6) At the starting block, when Monnet and Schuman began to make the sketch-map
of would be Europe, they had in mind to make live France and Germany,
side by side, geo obliges, without biting each other and nomore wars between
the ancient foes as well. The success was striking. Europe became a sort
of big magma of attraction for all those countries who sought democracy
and prosperity. The ancient satellites of the former Soviet Union waited
15 years to be full-fledged members of Europe. But there is a snag in
it. Poland bought US fighters instead of Euro fighters for their air security.
Some of the member states remained flabbergasted. How come Poland expects
to be financed by Europe to better up its crying infrastructures, if it
goes to shopping elsewhere? Dear Dad, No mon’ no fun, Your son.
Ifso facto, Poland became the black sheep. Furthermore, it participated
headlong in the Irak war without a word, lack of politeness, to the European
partners. There is no one to compel Poland to do anything; least the polish
mob puts the neo-communists on the right track.
7) After the human bombs were thrown against the twin towers of NY and
the Moroccan slaughter of Madrid railway station as well as the daily
30-50 massacre of the US soldiers and innocent Irakian civils, how can
anybody keep mum and not to be on his guards? Already these beastly acts
disqualify any country of Muslim obedience to enter Europe for the time
being. This is the fact not the hysteria. These are the moot points as
well as the hiatus. We’ve our heads screwed on all right. All these
mumbo-jumbos are meant to avoid a future boob. We’ve nothing very
exceptional to brag about, unless there would be a break in the clouds.
8) All those Turks already installed in Europe are neither integrated
nor assimilated. There are as yet the ancestral laws and orders applied,
especially to the young girls. If they try to overstep the invisible but
always existing ‘fences’, the poor girls are simply punished
to death by their fathers, brothers or the relatives as if they were in
the remote belt of Anatolie where the village chieftains still apply ‘charia’
just like in the middle ages. In Alsace, most of the rebellious girls
are of turkish origin. They keep themselves aloof from the academical
schedules, such as the participation in the gyms, swimming, and medical
check-ups. I, therefore, suggest you to mind yours Ps and Qs, so as to
make happen something concrete materializing. When would you give birth
to somebody like John 23rd? If somebody has guts to raise his head, mind
out, there would be ‘Fatwa’ on him as for Salman Rusdhi. The
world as a whole, advances with gigantic footsteps leaving far behind
the muslim world with their rhetorical ‘Alap’ and quiproquos
of the Muslim Brothers. Omar Khayam wrote a ‘Surat’ in Urdu
which goes as follows :
« Khudi ko kar buland qu’ har takdeer se pahale,
Khuda bande se puch teri raza kya hai. »
In short cut, be as good thinker as God Himself.
After Khomeini’s come back in 1979 to Iran Muslims stepped back
to the Middle Ages. What a calamity spread over them? I’s so sorry
about it. And the lateral damages caused to all other religions, making
them more and more stiffened and reticent to the heart throbbings of Muslims
all over the world. Ah, If only you could take a leap of 100 years!
Edgar Cabral, Brazil
Yes, I think it will be wonderful to EU because will decrease
american influence in Middle East, but the problem is the kurds, the governament
of turkey don't respect kurds and the kurdistan country is only a promisse.
Fritz Schirrmeister, Germany
I'm of the opinion, that the EU should start negotiations
with Turkey, because it's so essential to show the world and especcially
to our selves, that the EU is not a exclusive club for people believing
in Jesus Christ. The reality in most of the european countries is, that
many muslims still living in the EU - we should remember that when we
talk about the membership of Turkey. The challenge for the future is,
to integrate foreign people into a european society - the best challenge
is, to include Turkey. But we should also remember, that there sould be
not a special political reason, to let Turkey became a member of the EU.
The "Kopenhagener Kriterien" should stay the important point,
otherwise the EU risks a breakdown of it's ecconomic foundation - by the
way I think that's still the strongest part of the EU. But for the future
- a european society - with all the various cultures, languages and little
differences should take place. It's our thing to create that, February
15 in 2003 was a start, but it needs to continue. Not in the direction,
that people are against America or what George W. Bush is trzing to do
- but for Europe!
Just a thought: Europe is about to gain a large population
of practising Muslims, completely at odds with the largely non-religious
habits of Europe; a half-hearted secularism - note that the PM himself
refused to alllow or encourage his daughters to remove their scarves in
compliance with the laws of his own country, which is why they are studying
in the US - better the Great Satan than genuine secularism - what kind
of an example is he giving to his people and what kind of a model of modern
European leader is he?; a large territory with third world standards of
living, plus, as many who have visited Turkey know, pretty archaic social
practices and a huge Kurdish problem. Harmonization, in this case, will
probably mean that Europe will look and feel more like Turkey rather than
the other way around, that is standards of living may very well decline
in Europe while slightly rising in Turkey, which, it is true will bring
the two closer. At the same time, there will be pressure to modify the
liberal social climate and the freedom of speech, for many Turks will
be offended by the irreligiosity and permissiveness that are now prevalent
in Europe. Is this good.
Let's look at this from the other point of view - why should
Turkey want to enter Europe?
1. It's a good way of disempowering the military - the Turks have recently
spent circa 30% of GNP on the army etc, as against the EU norm of around
2. Turkey's already part of the customs union - why not have the political
benefits that should go with the surrender of trade barriers?
3. It will hopefully prevent the US winning every Turkish election (by
buying candidates/parties). This govn't has been the first one since the
1950's to say No to the USA on any serious matter.
4. It may provide skilled employment, both by encouraging people to fill
needs in EU countries and by boosting export of services and goods. Thus
enabling payment of social security benefits etc. and raising living standards.
5. 'Europeanisation' of Turkey's taxation system could level out the rich-poor
divide (4th worst in the world?).
BUT there are disadvantages in entering a club which is likely to incur
severe infrastructure costs as the result of
1. The demise of the dollar.
2. The effect of global warming.
3. A below replacement birth rate coupled with a xenophobic immigration
Maybe Turkey only needs to meet the accession criteria and then say No
Wojciech, Krakow, Poland
I also believe that there should be no "light"
condidions. Turkey should be able to prove that it is able tu fulfill
all of the EU's criteria before it's allowed to join. But once economic
and social targets have been met - I see no reason why we shouldn't embrace
Turkey as a fellow member of the EU.
The "culture shock" argument is a complete miss. You would be
hard-pressed to find a place that is as culturally diverse as the EU.
Are the cultural differences between Turkey and, say, Italy bigger than
the difference between the cultures of Greece and Sweden? Spain and Lithuania?
Poland and Belgium?
And for those raising the "historical conflict" issue - remember,
that for centuries it was Turkey's predecessors who were the source of
culture and enlightenment and it was the Europeans who were the Thirld
World of the day.
Paul Emby, UK
Is there something im missing here? A European country
is illegally occupied. That there is no arguement; and the country at
fault if i may use a another euphemism for
the 'cyprus problem', is being feted to join the EU. How about resolving
this before contemplating membership credentials?
If Turkey fulfils the conditions which have been laid down
for member ship then it should be welcomed as a member of the EU.
But not because we "need" immigrants. We do need some immigration
as a short term plug for gaps in the labour market. Though in the long
term we need desperately to have a trained indigenous skill pool (engineers,
nurses and so on).
We do not need immigration in order to compensate for the effects of an
ageing population. Not because we don't need to solve this problem, but
because replacement immigration will not solve it.
The UN report which kicked off the debate on replacement immigration back
in 2000 has been widely misquoted and misunderstood as well as deliberately
The report examines the effectiveness of replacement migration as a solution
to the problems of an ageing population and comes to the conclusion that
it is not effective, because it requires a large rise in population to
maintain current support ratios and, even worse, in order to keep those
ratios constant the population must continue to rise forever. As soon
as immigration tails off, or is stopped, then you're left with all the
same problems of an ageing population that you had before, but with a
much larger population.
Of Britain the report says:
„Scenario V keeps the support ratio at its 1995 level of 4.09. Keeping
this ratio would require 59.8 million migrants between 1995 and 2050,
slightly more than one million migrants a year on average. The overall
population would reach 136 million in 2050, of which 80 million (59 percent)
would be post 1995-migrants or their descendants‰.
Turkey should join the EU because it would be benefit both Turkey and
the union economically, because it would strengthen democractic and secular
tendencies in Turkey and because, as long as Turkey fulfils the human
rights and economic conditions laid upon it, there is no reason for it
not to be allowed to join.
But anyone who tells you that Turkish migration, or any other kind of
migration or immigration, will solve the problem of ageing populations
in the EU either hasn't understood the problem or is lying. In the case
of many politicians and journalists I suspect it's the latter.
Ahmed Moh. Naguib, Egypt
the accession of turkey in the EU will be a forward step
towards a larger free Europe and of course this will increase and enhance
the 'euro-middle east' relations. It's a huge step forward forall of the
The accession of Turkey will open the door towards a new, free and democratic
Turkey: in or out? Hard question... but before we should
find some other answers.
For example, we could start asking whether Turkey is really in Europe,
and which policy to adopt with EU neighbors. The EU cannot continue its
enlarging policy forever. The Eu cannot grow too much and too quickly
at the same time. Germany needed 15 years to recover after its reunification.
Recently 10 new members have been added and it is already a big step ahead.
We need time verify the impact on the EU economy and on EU institutions.
I wouldn't like to see the EU collapsing under the weight of its new members
or being an ungovernable superstate. It is already a mess now with 25
members and it is complicated to speak with one voice over a number of
issues. Do we need other complications? Not now. There is challenge that
must be addressed, but the EU must be ready first. Now it is not. Not
yet. Now it's time to talk about cooperation, not full accession.
Then, there is still the question of the Balkans on the table. If Bulgaria
and Romania have already one foot in, others should have a priority (over
Turkey). I mean: Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Abania, Macedonia. That will
also take a long time.
When this process will be completed and consolidated, the EU could start
thinking about Turkey and Caucasus... meaning sharing a border with Syria,
iran and Iraq.... ok, where should we begin from??
Ben Piggot, UK/US
Yes. Maybe not right away, but down the road, definetly
yes. I would argue that Turkey joining the EU would represent the tremendous
step towards global integration and peace and distinct step away from
Huntingdon's Hobbesian "clash of civilizations" thesis.
Turkey and what historically has been Turkey (the Ottoman Empire, etc.)
has been intimately involved in European affairs for centuries.
John Norman, UK
No!They will cost us some 22 billion euros a year for decades.
Moreover, governements that tear-gases a women's demonstration and uses
billy-hooks on the marchers, that allows under-age (child) marriage, that
refuses to recognise the genocide of the Armenians, that ethnically cleansed
Anatolia of millenial-old Greek populations, that continues to discriminate
against Jews and Orthodox Christianity, that persecutes the Kurds has
no, absolutely no place, in the EU.
When Turkey has matured - and that's a long way off - maybe it should
Emilio Fernández Castro, Albacete, Spain
Why not? The real question is if we, the Europeans, have
thaught about the door we will open if Tukey becomes a member of the EU.
What will we do if, in a couple of years, Georgia knocks our door? Turkey
is not the door that conducts to the Arab world -in fact, the distance
between an Arab and a Turkey is larger than the distance between a Spaniard
and a Finnish (about this question, I recommend T.E. Lawrence's "The
Seven Pillars of Wisdom")- Turkey, actually, is the gate to the Caucasus,
to its mountains of hard problems (Chechnya...), to the Caspian Sea oil,
and, furthermore, to Russia!If we admit Turkey into our club, why not
Russia? I know it is a very long-term idea, but, what would Russia do
if Ucrania and the Caucasus countries belonged to the EU? Russia would
be enclosed between the rest of Europe and China, just like three hundred
years before, at the starting of Peter the Great's reign.
...and then who and how will govern the EU? a sort of paralyzed
United Nations Security Council??? it is true with the accession of Turkey
the EU will open a door to precious resources... and it is true that Georgia,
after knocking on NATO's door, will soon knock on EU's... but then we
can go on forever? why not lebanon or israel, then? i am afraid that for
this century the EU cannot afford grow more than this. the risk is a tremendous
The EU should promote wealth and stability beyond its borders... but sharing
its institutions is another story.
Emilio Fernández Castro, Albacete, Spain
Riccardo, you're quite right and I agree with you much
more than you think. You have pointed the real problem behind Turkey's
accesion, that is: where does Europe end? In the Polish Border? In the
Caucasus? In the Ural Mountains? Or even in Vladivostok, the most eastern
town of Russia, on the shore of the Pacific Ocean? We can't push our borders
again, and again, and again... and I'm afraid we're not thinking about
the consequences of an infinite ampliation. Furthermore, if you read the
European Constituion, you'll see that question is not yet accurately answered.
So, I've got nothing against Turkish people, but, I repeat it, are our
politicians thinking about all these issues, or not?
I am against Turkey's entry. First we have understand that
democratization doesn't mean europeization. There will be different variants
of democracies in the world and all of them will not fit to each other.
Second thing is women abusement, according to Amnesty International report
up to 50% of women says it had experienced familly violence. Third the
question of Islam is not solved in Europe, we have serious problems now
with integration, and from their side new demands of changing our law
are arising. It is not clearly today if islam will throw away its political
version and rules of shariat, and it is the same way not clear as Turkey
will stay secular country if the army control finally go away. I don't
know also if you remember that just two weeks before accepting report
from EU Commission it was a treat in Turkish Parliament to put adultery
into penal code. Not saying about accidentes with free press and women
However it will not be also good message to Muslim world, again working
democracy will be only European. Maybe they need also their own examples.
Then we can toghetr with Turks think of solving problems of Middle East
And these stories about White Christian Club it is completely bull...t.
In most European countires Christianity loose its power and churches become
empty. I was at the conference organized by Turkish embassy and this argument
was clearly manipulation for Europeans to make them feeling guilty, because
nobody would like to be a racist.
This is more of a question, I suppose. If Turkey is admitted
into the EU, where does the line end for other countries who might wish
entry in the future? If Turkey (*Asia* minor) is accepted, Iraq may be
provoked to join, and it's difficult to ever consider Iraq part of a European
Union. Where does Europe end, and everything else start?
Frank Yeo, UK
Turkey in the EU will be the greatest mistake that Europe
will ever make. The Turks are arrogant, inconsiderate, rude, sullen and
aggressive. The ones that I have seen in London are about the worst.
The Turkish Prime Minister threatened a million muslim terrorist if the
EU refused entry for Turkey. I would rather have a million terrorists
than a million Turks.
Daniel Taylor, UK
Most certainly not
A gateway to Brtitain for Islamic extremists, The poorest European nation,
with migrants flocking to allparts of Europe, in particular Britain. A
clash of cultures... will lead to WW3 between east and west.
You Guys should come to my Model UN conferance this is
our topic? Does anyone have any idea what czech would think on the matter?
Emilio Fernández Castro, Albacete, Spain
To Cheye, from America:
I don't think that Irak will ever join the EU. For me, the BIG problem
is Russia. Look at the countries that once were satellites of the USSR.
What do the Ukainians want? To join the EU. And the Georgians? They want
the same. And this is happening now, when we have just admitted ten new
member states. We're trying to digest this recent huge accesion, and we're
opening new negotiations with the Bulgarians, with the Romanians, with
the former members of Yugoslavia... Don't misunderstand me, I want them
to join the EU, but I don't want to repeat the mistake that commited the
Germans, a so quick, so accelerated integration of East Germany that caused
a big economic and social crise. Things have its own speed and sometimes
to accelerate them is so bad as to brake them. Suppose that, one day,
Russia says "OK, it's our turn. We want to join the club". If
we had admitted before all the Eastern Europe, and even Turkey, how could
we refuse it? But if, one day, Russia joins the EU, would it be an accesion,
or an absorption?
antti vainio, finland
I'm not sure it's islam which is the problem. f.ex the
muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina are as civilized as the Slovenes, ready
to the Union. their problem is that their country is full of fucked up
Steve W, human race
The EU experiment may serve as a model for the rest of
the world in terms of further human integration. The addition of Turkey
could go a long way in demonstrating that Huntington is wrong and we are
indeed one race instead of ostensibly different races divided by culture.
Of more immediate importance is the fact that Turkey will have to abide
by the rules of the EU fostering a freer, more secular, more democratic
Turkey. How can this not be force for improvement in the world?
Well afther read all the comments, i just says that really
that who says no to turkey is because are hidding the reality that EU
is just a christian club, if they really think that in Europ there is
a freedong regarding religion, i think yes but...always you are christian
(whatever denomination it be). Some people says turks are rude, uneducate
and so...well i invite to visit France or England to see who is already
rude, snobish and arrogant, I dont understand why Turks with all they
richness in culture wants to be member of EU, Turks can works to be better
and reach the goal of a Country with Quality in all their aspects, but
there is not need to be begging Europeans to be one of their members,
westernization of Turkey would break thousands of millenarian culture,
i am latinoamerican and i dont think Turks deserve to be treated as second
class people, economy can grown not at expenses of being member of EU,
cause at the end, the only advantege turks will have is that they will
be able to go and come free from Europ, but i dont think there will be
more beneficts for Turkey.
Some french supporters of kurds put this topic as a pretext to not accept
turks, but i would like them to know that Kurds are not a "gold coin"
they are double standar people, when Saddam Husseim kill them in irak
most of them run away to Turkey and Turkey open their border to protect
them, no what turks are doing is destroying the lands of turks in iraq,
of course with the support of USA, why cause they now that the lands in
iraq with population turkish has the main petrol resourses. So what, to
me kurdish are pets of USA and jewish, and a good pretext to make turkey
away from EU.
I hope Turkish goverment and turkish people understand someday that to
be Europeans member is not the best for them, they can be better country
with out be part of that "arrogant club", becuase i just would
like to know what are the sources of EU members? Petrol? gold? technology?,
as far as i know just few countrys members can say yes we have our own
resourses, the rest are just like the pets of USA, they are well feeding
by them just to make them happy and support america.
Dear Friends in Europe;
A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of Turkey.
With Turkey‚s candidacy, the EU project, with its solid ethical
base comprising the concepts of human rights, freedom and egalitarianism,
is now undergoing a serious trial. The questions posed are not that easy:
1. Will Europe succeed in becoming a pioneer in the quest for a pluralistic
and colourful future ˆ at this specific instance where, in the aftermath
of 9/11 and the occupation of Iraq, balances have turned upside down and
we are all steadily heading towards a world of violence?
2. Will Europe succeed in safeguarding its basic values ˆ humanism,
universalism and egalitarianism ˆ despite all?
3. Will Europe succeed in daring to propose to the world a brand new set
of concepts in approaching the never-ending conflict between east and
Let us provide you with some clues to facilitate your work:
4. We are not interested in your jobs, or in your money. We believe ours
is the most fascinating country on earth, and accordingly, all our plans
for the future are directed towards this piece of territory. Indeed -
we are always delighted to host you in our beautiful country.
5. What we are interested in, is the deep and far-reaching effect which
such a meaningful combination could produce in the creation of a turning
point in world history, and in the achievement of peace in its broadest
6. We stand up for Turkey‚s EU membership, with the purpose of defying
the steadily increasing, alarming antidemocratic tendencies, and making
the world a better place for all of us to live in.
Europe currently appears to be in a state of confusion. Some of the recent
releases and announcements from Europe are unfortunately causing a suspension
in Turkey‚s efforts to become a state of governance and rule of
law in its true sense; these announcements also have an extremely demotivating
influence on Turkey‚s democratic and civilian powers.
We are aware that you may have many reasons to oppose Turkey‚s EU
candidacy. However, it is in your hands to transform the „clash
of civilizations‰ nightmare into a „dialogue of civilizations‰.
This, and this alone, should by itself be seen as a sufficiently convincing
argument in favor of our membership.
Turkey‚s candidacy presents a golden opportunity to re-establish
peace in the world, in a time of conflict. This opportunity has occurred
after centuries of war and hostility. Let‚s not blow our chance
Ramiz Kaan, Turkey
Turkish occupation in Cyprus? What are you talking about.Who
are the reject UN Peace Plan for cyprus last year in referanda? And Who
are the except? Please refresh your knowledge about cyprus!
What is the EU reaction to their members who are the join the occupation
and destoriatiın in Iraq?
What's abuout human right abusments in Iraq by UK?
What's about France radical secularism destroyed to all basic human rights?
Please be fair!
Alcan, Hue, UK
I really can not understand how on earth the Cypriots
are in the EU. Greece just blackmailed EU to accept Cypiots as a member
and the Union did not resist to the detriment of Turkish cypriots and
I dont want joining of turkey because if we do whatever
they want us to do,we will never be a europEan,we always feel like foreigner
even if we are 100%Europen by the laws of the EU.
Talhan Ahmad, UK
Interesting debate. I have come across this site via an
article on Gurdian.Reading the comments around Turkey's entry to Europe
has been a good one. Turkey's entry to EU is not an option, it a must.
It is essential for global security and stability.
Turkey, with all problems it may have, is a great country that can offer
huge benifits to our current, very volatile world. Especially, at wake
of 9/11. the rise of neo-cons, it is becomng increasingly a possibility
that a great civilisational clash may occur. In such circumstance, institutions
like EU has great responsibilities to diffuse the sitution. The way to
do it is by creating conditions in which civilisations an interact with
each other in a meaningful manner. Turkey's entry into EU provides just
that. What else can we, the peace loving people of this planet, hope for?
Esin, Istanbul, Turkey
Turkey is a country that manufacturers many diverse goods
and services. It is a net exporter of light machinery, automobile (yes,
Renaults, Mercedes buses, Toyotas, Fiats etc.), white goods, and cheap
labor. From an economical point of view, YES definitely Turkey not should
be but MUST BE a member of the EU for the benefit of Turkish stability
and European power in the world.
Many out there who are ignorant of Turkey, and make assumption on this
country based on their observations of Turkish immigrant population in
western European countries and oppose the Turkish entry into EU. Turkey
has a dynamic, well educated, and progressive population that has been
arising from its urban centers for last three decades.
Remember! A full membership of Turkey had been promised to Turks in early
Besides, from technical and legal point of view Turkey has been integrated
into a common European system long before ex-Soviet satellite had even
been considered for membership.
Furthermore, a lengthy and discriminatory handling of Turkish membership
may result in the post-WW2 Germany like social change in that country.
That my friends, I can assure you, is something that entire European continent
should be worry of.
Humiliation is something that no nation with a formidable military power
and history should be subjected to.
Europeans can neither afford nor able to fight a military conflict with
Turkey without American support.
we do not want to enter EU so much.IT IS NOT IMPORTANT
WHETHER WE ARE A MEMBERSHIP OF EU OR NOT
Turkey, Definatley should not join the EU, with one of
the most important facts, It's Borders! Turkery is an Asian country with
Greek Borders that is the only relationship it has with Europe. If we
invite and accept Turkey then why not Sudan or South Africa or even cuba.
Not to mention the fact that Turkey spent SO MANY years trying to erase
greece from this earth and now they want to put that behind them and join
them in neighborly fun! Turkey is in Asia and it should start the Aisan
Union with the other Asian Countries and it has nothing to do with Religion!
Michel Bastian, France
Phew, this is a tough one. Now, being half french and half
german (and living in Cologne, one of the main centers of turkish immigration
in Germany besides Berlin) I suppose everybody expects me to refuse Turkey´s
entry into the EU. Well, I´ll surprise you all: I´m not against
it. The reason for that is that I see real progress being made in Turkey
when it comes to democratic reform. There is a far better basic understanding
of democratic principles and, more importantly, of the necessity of separating
church and state, than in most other countries with a strong islamic culture.
So, in my opinion, there is actually a chance that this might work.
BUT(and this is where the frenchman in me comes out) there are massive
problems that have to be tackled first:
a. Until now, Europe has been a "christian club", as TGA very
aptly put it in his question. Turkey, even if it is more or less secular
now, has never been a "christian" state. It has had a muslim
dominated culture for a long, long time. Now before all you turks start
screaming at me and labeling me a racist: I don´t think that cultural
and religious difference, as great as it may be, is necessarily undesirable
or even an obstacle to joining. Europe should not be a purely christian
club (as it is at the moment, let´s not kid ourselves).
The problem, however, is that a lot of the european population has a different
view. We shouldn´t delude ourselves: many europeans are xenophobes
in this respect. Many europeans fear what might happen if a nation that´s
supposedly dominated by an islamic, apparently non-european society gets
any kind of power over our own states. This xenophobia runs particularly
high in states where there are big muslim populations, notably in Germany,
France and Spain. If the average german sees people like Mehtin Kaplan
preaching a "god state" in the middle of Cologne and issuing
death fatwas against people, or if you see honor killings of young women
in Berlin, small wonder many germans start to have misgivings about Turkey
joining up. Now I know people like Kaplan are not necessarily representative
of the situation in Turkey, nor even of the turkish population in Germany,
but we can´t just ignore the fears of the european population. We
have to iron out any xenophobic prejudice before Turkey actually joins
up, otherwise the resentment in the non-turkish european population will
grow to the point of racism and hatred. How can we prevent that: first
of all, there has to be an integration of muslim populations that are
already in the european states. This has not been pushed enough in the
past. We´re not asking them to give up their religion or culture,
but they have to adhere to basic tenets of democracy, i.e. strict separation
of church and state, adherence to the democratic rules of the state they
live in and adherence to basic human rights. Oh, and learning the local
language would help as well. No more death fatwas, honor killings or forced
marriages. Furthemore, we can work through education on our side of the
bargain. Education means in the literal sense: children have to be taught
that just because somebody has a different religion, he isn´t necessarily
bad. They have to be taught the basics of islam, just like they have to
be taught the basics of christianity, judaism, buddhism, atheism, agnosticism
etc.. Grown-ups should be better informed about Turkey and the turkish
culture. Information is the best weapon against racism and prejudice.
Governments will actually have to take steps to insure that this is done.
The turks on their side have to open up to european political culture
(like I said, strict separation of state and religion, democracy, rule
of law, human rights etc.) and they still have a ways to go in that respect,
eventhough they have made progress.
Needless to say this will take an enormously long time. The ten years
projected will barely be enough.
b. The greek-turkish problem and Cyprus:
This is the other great hitch. As some greek and turkish posters on this
site demonstrated, resentment is still running high on both sides. Both
governments are making efforts in this respect, but don´t forget
that this dispute has been going on, oh well, I suppose since antiquity.
As Stephania put it, one can´t expect the two states to suddenly
join in neighbourly fun. Plus, the greek population are mostly greek orthodox
christians. That´s about as hard-line christian as you can get (except
if you´re the new pope in Rome, of course ;-)). Cultural and historical
differences are very, very pronounced between the two states, and that´s
a massive problem, since they share a border. Cyprus is just another aspect
of this problem, albeit a particularly virulent one. I don´t know
how yet, but before Turkey joins, this will have to be cleared up. A lot
of work for EU diplomatic mediators, I should think.
c. Economics: always a favorite of those against having new states join
the EU: cheap labor, supposedly siphoning off jobs from central european
states, and probably european subsidies in several sectors of the economy.
Well, I´m no economist, but from what I hear, time is the crucial
element again in this instance: Turkey has to be brought up to speed economically.
I think this is workable, though. Turkey has ten years to get up to speed,
and it worked for the baltic states, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
No reason why it shouldn´t work for Turkey.
Well, to sum it up, it´ll take a long time before Turkey can actually
join up, but I think we should give them a chance. No guarantees, though;
before the problems named above are not solved, Turkey should not be allowed
Ali Ozturk, Turkey
Many anti-Turkish comments here are totaly funny. If you
guys really oppose turkish membership, you need to offer geniune reasons.
I trully respects those who oppose Turkish membership. But let's do it
in an "educated and scientific" manner. Like not use our hateful
I see that today Europe is treating Turkey the way Germany was treated
post WW1. Unlike Germany of that time Turkey did not even start and lost
a war today.
If an "Middle Age like Christian mentality" controls European
decision making in EU (and the memeber countries), EU has much more to
loose in this game than Turkey, mainly its integrity as a secular institution.
If Turks are to be denied the membership for so called "culturel"
and "religious" reasons, shame on EU then.
on that subject...shall we ask the opinion of political
prisoners and opponents that have perished in the hands of their tormentors
or would the survivors of that abominably oppressive regime be able to
speak when their tongues have been cut off in order to feed the dogs?
it's NO...not for a million years.
Tom Cole, UK/Luxembourg
Turkey should not join the EU. Omly 1% of Turkey is geographically
in Europe. 90% of Turkey's population live in the asian part of the country
too. We wouldn't be having this debate if this weren't the case.
I'm sure most citizens of the current EU of 25 would have no problem with
Bosnia joining the EU and Bosnia is a Muslim country but guess what, Bosnia
is actually in Europe, whereas Turkey isn't!!!
The Union is called the "EUROPEAN Union" for a good reason as
it was and only is intended for EUROPEAN countries.
Would the EU allow Israel to join? No!
Why? Because none of the above, like Turkey, is geographically or populationwise
I am a Turkish guy and I am not depends to any religion. I visited most
of the European countries for many times and I have many relations with
European people. I have not any problem with any of them. But I didn‚t
like to walk on the street, because of disturbed looks. I never think
to live these countries. Most of the Turkish people have same thinking
with me. Also I can not see any advantage to Turkey‚s entering to
1) I have only one wife; also all of the people who I know have one wife.
Polygamy is not common in Turkey. Do you know that how often polygamy
in France, might be more than Turkey. So polygamy is not an issue for
entering to EU.
2) Suppose that all of the members will agree.
3) This is the rule of democracy. Don‚t think that members of Europe
Parliament of a country are not a block. There will be some groups from
every country and these groups take the decision.
4) I don‚t know who saw on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul more
than 70% of women have their scarfs on their heads, there is more less
and why are you against the scarfs?
5) EU should decide the size of the union. Why speaking French is an advantage?
This is a French nationalism.
6) Turkey stayed with EU against USA in the Iraq war.
7) You can not protect yourself against terror by refusing Turkey this
si sickness mind.
8) Turks already installed in Europe departed from Turkey 30-40 years
ago. Most of them from far villages, average Turkish people preferred
to stay in Turkey. Immigrants have faced with cultural shock. They have
need social education unfortunately neither Turkey nor France made this.
I think you are still live in history. If ottomans wanted to convert Islam,
you can not find any Christian in Balkanise.
Why Turks should assimilated. EU is not consisting of French or French
spoken people. Every country should keep their culture.
Europeans thinks that if Turkey entered to EU, 70 million Turks will move
to Europe. May be 2-3 million people will move to Europe at the beginning
but most of them will turn to Turkey.
There is not any friendship between countries. There is some partnership
relations between countries if this creates benefit to both countries.
Some countries are thinking that EU will be powerful with Turkey. This
is why of supporting Turkey‚s membership. If you look the demography
of the 2025 and 2050, Europe will be country of old people. Number of
retired people will too much more than number of working people. Europe
need well educated young people to working force. 20 years later, young
Turkish people will working for old European people‚s salary or
join army to save them. Why will Turkey do this if EU is not agree to
enter Turkey now?
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