Politics Should Turkey Join The EU?

One can rationalise this issue on a political level or listen to the people. I know - that's a radical concept, given the paternalistic 'government knows best' nature of modern democracy. Give the issue to referenda in each EU country. I know - it's radical, but I know what the result would be, and this debate would become irrelavent.
 
I think that Turkey is important for Europe for a number of reasons. Security, energy and trade are some important issues. It's a neighbor country along the important Black Sea, the gate to middle-east and through it goes some of the very important pipelines to Europe.
I don't think the argument that Turkey is not a European culture is correct as it is both European and middle-eastern in it's character, and the Geographical Criteria - even as meaningless as it is - doesn't exclude Turkey either.
But for yet a number of reasons I don't see that this country qualifies to membership, and it doesn't seem like they will in the close future. We need good relations with Turkey, and with a status of Privileged Partner I think the benefits would be mutual. I think compromising the values of the European Union to squeeze in another member, however important, would be detrimental.
One problem with Turkey is that it has since long clearly stated sine qua non regarding relations with EU and membership. I don't know about the likelihood of Turkey distancing itself from Europe in case of failed accession, but that is not in the interest of Europe either. As I've said, I think the future holds other solutions than full membership, and I think the negotiations should turn in that direction. If Turkey don't make significant improvement and make concessions regarding the Cyprus issue, my guess is that is what will happen.
 
I voted yes, however I think the religious issues within the country would have to be resolved before hand. I have no issue with muslims or a predominantly muslim culture if certain issues are resolved. I do think that the expansion of the EU is perhaps moving to quickly and more time should be given to allow greater stability between the various countries.

One point I think we all have to get over is this idea of us and them, the idea that the arab world is to be shunted and diregarded, and that if Turkey has ties to a different culture it should stick with them because they are not "one of us". In this day and age I find that a remarkable backward idea.

I agree any arguements based on genetic or geographic reasoning are ridiculous. In the modern world ideas of nationality are being redefined, so just because your ancestors are from one nation doesnt mean a second generation african immigrant residing in your country is any less part of your culture. If genetic heritage was the only consideration the entire French national side (football/soccer) should be disqualified from their right to play under the french flag.
 
But for yet a number of reasons I don't see that this country qualifies to membership, and it doesn't seem like they will in the close future. We need good relations with Turkey, and with a status of Privileged Partner I think the benefits would be mutual. I think compromising the values of the European Union to squeeze in another member, however important, would be detrimental.

what are these "numbers of reasons", Michael? Please be specific so that they can be addressed.

As I've said, I think the future holds other solutions than full membership, and I think the negotiations should turn in that direction. If Turkey don't make significant improvement and make concessions regarding the Cyprus issue, my guess is that is what will happen.

The Cyprus issue is a difficult one but the entire burden of concessions does not fall upon Turkey. Had the Greek Cypriots accepted the Annan Plan in the referendum, as the Turkish Cypriots did, then the issue would have been resolved. Why should Turkey be penalised for the behaviour of an EU member over which they have no control?
 
@Andalublue

Well, there are many issues with Turkey. These are some.

Yes, the Cyprus issue does not fall on Turkey alone, though Turkey must be forthcoming in that respect, accepting greek cypriot rights and work for unification of Cyprus from the Turkish side.

Furthermore cultural, democratic and representative rights for the Kurds, Armenians and other minorities.

Reverse and refrain from banning minority parties and representatives in parliament, and the lowering the 10 % electoral threshold making it hard or impossible for minority representation.

A Strengthened status of Christian and other religious minorities.

Stalling. With only one chapter closed out of 33 there seems to be a lack of political will in the acquis reform process. How many years will they stay in process?

Full disclosure and commitment to combat Grey Wolves activity in Turkey and Europe.

Human trafficking. Turkey is a significant destination and transit country of human trafficking. This must be addressed and significantly combated.

The indications of Turkey as a "deep state".

Removing or dampening outspoken anti-semite propaganda from tv and other media and resumed relations with Israel.

Lack of support. The approval number of membership in Turkey is 45 % and falling and in Europe it is 31 %.

Enlargement fatigue. There has been a rapid and impressive enlargement of EU in a few years. I think that the EU needs time to consolidate as a Union, deal with current issues and fluctuating support. There is risk for failure of legitimacy of EU policy and institution with a lack of support for further enlargement of the magnitude of Turkish membership.

---

Let me ask you this in turn, why are you against a "Privilieged Partner" status? Why do you want to let a strong pseudo-democracy into the EU? Becoming a Privileged Partner does not exclude future membership, but it does not condone faltering democracy either. Why should we compromise with European democratic values for yet another member, a member that could become a member when they show that they can live up to European values. They are being shoe horned into the Copenhagen political criteria. Why would we accept less of Turkey than demanded of previous candidates?

The plus of Turkish membership

- They have a large market, strong production and economy.
- A Muslim nation. A strengthened international credibility of EU and influence for cooperation in Great Middle-East and the muslim world.
 
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@Andalublue

Well, there are many issues with Turkey. These are some.

Yes, the Cyprus issue does not fall on Turkey alone, though Turkey must be forthcoming in that respect, accepting greek cypriot rights and work for unification of Cyprus from the Turkish side.

Furthermore cultural, democratic and representative rights for the Kurds, Armenians and other minorities.

Reverse and refrain from banning minority parties and representatives in parliament, and the lowering the 10 % electoral threshold making it hard or impossible for minority representation.

A Strengthened status of Christian and other religious minorities.

Stalling. With only one chapter closed out of 33 there seems to be a lack of political will in the acquis reform process. How many years will they stay in process?

Full disclosure and commitment to combat Grey Wolves activity in Turkey and Europe.

Human trafficking. Turkey is a significant destination and transit country of human trafficking. This must be addressed and significantly combated.

The indications of Turkey as a "deep state".

Removing or dampening outspoken anti-semite propaganda from tv and other media and resumed relations with Israel.

Lack of support. The approval number of membership in Turkey is 45 % and falling and in Europe it is 31 %.

Enlargement fatigue. There has been a rapid and impressive enlargement of EU in a few years. I think that the EU needs time to consolidate as a Union, deal with current issues and fluctuating support. There is risk for failure of legitimacy of EU policy and institution with a lack of support for further enlargement of the magnitude of Turkish membership.

---

Let me ask you this in turn, why are you against a "Privilieged Partner" status? Why do you want to let a strong pseudo-democracy into the EU? Becoming a Privileged Partner does not exclude future membership, but it does not condone faltering democracy either. Why should we compromise with European democratic values for yet another member, a member that could become a member when they show that they can live up to European values. They are being shoe horned into the Copenhagen political criteria. Why would we accept less of Turkey than demanded of previous candidates?

The plus of Turkish membership

- They have a large market, strong production and economy.
- A Muslim nation. A strengthened international credibility of EU and influence for cooperation in Great Middle-East and the muslim world.

Okay, that was specific. Thanks for taking the time to go into detail.

You make a few good points and a few very poor ones.

Firstly, let me say that I am not Turkish but spend a month or two there each year. I am English and live in Spain. I support the EU and wish to see it strong and successful. There are some types who argue for Turkish EU membership from a point of view of simply attacking the European project, these types often come from a Euro-sceptic or Atlanticist perspective. I'm not one of those.

I would like to see Turkish accession to full EU membership for a number of reasons.

  1. We are building a Europe based on neighbourliness and shared goals and ambitions for prosperity, peace and development. Turkish membership would greatly enhance the prospects of fulfilling these ambitions.
  2. Geographically Turkey has as good a claim to being European as many EU members and better than several such as Cyprus and Malta. It's certainly a better claim than candidate nations like Iceland.
  3. Some arguments for preventing Turkish accession are based on arguments that have no basis in the EU constitution, such as cultural or religious differences.
Now to your points:


  • Cyprus. As I said previously, had Cyprus reunited via the Annan Plan all these issues would have been resolved. Turkey is not blocking negotiations on reunification, quite the reverse, it has attempted to support the process. What it cannot do is unilaterally accede to all Greek Cypriot demands without ensuring the safety and fair treatment of the Turkish Cypriot population. Reciprocity is the key to a resolution of the Cyprus situation.
  • Cultural and democratic rights for minority communities. All Turkish citizens have the right to vote and seek election. Neither Kurds nor Armenians are prevented from participating in the democratic process. Do you mean by your point that the Kurdish secessionist movement should be allowed freedom to campaign for a separate state? If so, I agree, provided such campaigning is peaceful. There are several EU members who have such secessionist movements but none have negotiated with violent, insurgent groups (think of the IRA and ETA). Please be more specific about what you would like Turkey to do.
  • Human trafficking. Yes, Turkey needs to be serious about this. It also needs help because it is being used as a transit country for trafficking into the EU. The EU has failed equally lamentably to tackle the end market for human traffickers. Several states e.g. Italy and Spain, deliberately fail to clamp down because of the effect of ending the trade would have on their agricultural sector.
  • Deep state. Are you referring to the strong role of the military in the Turkish state? If so, you are right, it is an issue. The establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 accorded the military with an important role in safe-guarding the secular nature of the republic. It is seen as one of the checks-and-balances that prevents Turkey from becoming a theocracy or oligarchy. Not all EU states have the same checks-and-balances. Some have established churches which perform a similar function. Again, what would you have Turkey do?
  • Israel. This is a non-issue. The Turkish relationship with Israel has been one of the strongest and most important in maintaining some kind of Moslem-Jewish dialogue. The bonds of friendship are very strong. The Turkish Jewish population is large and well integrated into Turkish society. The current situation was created by the Gaza invasion and by the current Israeli government's aggressive defence of its actions. Turkish responses to this have been considerably more diplomatic and non-confrontational than a number of EU members.
  • Lack of support. Domestically support for EU membership is falling, no doubt. This is happening because of what the Turkish population sees as discriminatory and prejudiced behaviour on behalf of the EU. Turkey is being called upon to fulfil demands that no other candidate nations have been asked to fulfil, especially in economic terms. You can't treat a candidate unfairly and then use the disenchantment that this causes as another stick with which to beat it.

  • Pseudo-democracy. What do you mean by this? Turkish democratic institutions do require updating and improving. Certainly issues of free speech need to be tackled. Banning peaceful political parties using spurious references to the constitution is not acceptable. You will find that much of this kind of activity still goes on in a number of EU members too. Spain, the UK, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece have all seen comparable democratic failings whilst maintaining or gaining EU membership.
Turkish patience with EU double standards may not last forever. Who could blame them for beginning to forge stronger links with Middle Eastern neighbours in preference to European neighbours when it seems that for the EU neighbourliness only seems to work one way.

I have nothing against privileged partner status for Turkey, it would be an excellent solution for those Europeans who want the benefits of Turkish membership without any of them returning to benefit the Turkish people. I asked a few people about this when I was in Turkey during December and January. Most people I spoke to told me that the EU could, in more or less similar terms, shove it up its arse! They see the suggestion as an insult, something to try to disguise Europe's inherent anti-Turkish, Islamophobic prejudice.
 
I am not sure what you mean by Turkey is more European than Iceland. I can only gather that Turkey is more in agreement with who you are as a person. It sure is more sprawling, with the gigantic metrolpol that is Istanbul, Europe's biggest city. I think that you didn't mean to imply that Scandinavia is less European than other parts of Europe, but to illustrate how much more European than Asian Turkey is.

• I would have them not banning parties that is elected into the parliament, like the Kurdish Democratic Society Party with thin evidence from what I can tell, when they push for reform.

• I was talking about that political parties have to win 10 percent of overall votes to join the parliament in a general election in Turkey. This can prove difficult or impossible for a minority to get representation in that parliament. I just read a statement that they "might" drop that after pressure from EU. If that happens it is good.

• Are you saying that a huge portion of the work in the agrucultural sector in Spain and Italy depends on victims of trafficking from the east? I think you are talking about clandestines. I was referring to Turkish sex slave trade. They kept or sold further to the Middle-East and further into Europe. From what I have read, this is not insignificant and the "natashas" are not uncommon. Of course, Turkey is not alone in this a trade that it has in common with most of the f. eastern bloc; Romania, Albania, the Balkans et al. A problem is that the sex trade - which is legal with registration - is used to "recruit" these women without their consent. I am aware that there are eastern women who work willingly and that you cannot easily see on a person if she has been raped and beaten into submission or has made a consensual choice. It is a problem the police have to deal with. As Turkey is a major country in this trade, they have to take the responsibility for it. They are actually doing a lot, and the trade is of course international, which is a problem by itself. Maybe you can agree that a persistent problem like that, if it's not significantly combated, might just surge with open borders.

• Yes. They are the diplomats of the muslim world. But their squabble over who has the highest chair in the room was not their proudest moment. I am not sure it is a non-issue though. As it seems like turks have increasingly turned to Islamic extremism, in travels to and association with extremists and training in pakistan, as well as rising anti-semitism I think it's more important than ever to have a good relationship with Israel. This is my impression from news. I could be wrong. I do know that Turkey has increased islamification and is the source and center of the Muslim version of Intelligent Design. I could only speculate that with such a young population, nationalism and an Islamic identity might appeal. It usually does. One need only look at youth in Europe, with parties like BNP shooting up. With that I mean to say that there is a radicalization that we in that case have in common, as there is a rise of extreme right support all over Europe.

• Ok. What are the demands that are more than normal? Troop withdrawal from Cyprus? Implementing the Ankara Protocol? Is that what you mean? Why would that be uncalled for?

• I think one also have to consider - regarding Enlargement Fatigue -that the admission of Romania and Bulgaria was less than a win-win, and people are less excited by enlargement even further east at the moment. Little support for this makes it's possible that there is disturbance to the negotiations from EU's part. It is no secret that - for one - France is not in favor. Of course, that is pure speculation.

• Yes. Pseudo-democracy was a bit much I agree. Iran is a pseudo-democracy. Although, I still have the impression of a country with democratic problems. Like the article 301 insulting Turkey etc., banning gay rights organisations for "violating morality". Even though the ban was revoked, it speaks of a problematic attitude.

__________​

I do read that Turkey is making improvements. Probably more than I know about. The Honor killings in Turkey is a problem, as they are predominantly recurring due to Kurdish honor culture and in that area. As far as I know, Turkey does work to change that. Though I understand that this is hard to influence directly, and little is stopped.

I think it would help though, if they were to address and make up with the past and the Armenian genocide. And consider the Grey Wolves and nationalism a societal problem.

Yes, all or nothing, I know. Though, I feel like you have the impression of a Turkey that is being victimized, that they are very complying but is worked against during the negotiations, and that there is little or nothing for Europe to be concerned about in Turkish society, at least nothing that would be a cause for reconsidering or delaying their admission. Is this so?
 
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Gentlemen, I stand enlightened, great discussion. I learned more through 15 minutes of reading here about Turkey, than 20 years of watching Canadian TV, lol.
 
I'm originally from Baghdad, Iraq and am what is called an "Iraqi Turkmen/Turk" and have spent most of my life in Ankara, Turkey. For those of you who don't know, the Iraqi Turkmens are the descendants of the Turkic tribes that migrated to Anatolia/Asia Minor, Southeastern Europe (specifically the Balkans) and Middle East from their original homeland in the Altai Mountains (where China, Russia, Mongolia and Central Asia, most specifically Kazakhstan connect and is considered the birthplace of Turks and Turkic culture and heritage as well as history of it's people). They are descendants of the Oghuz Turks who in turn come from the Ak (white) and Kara (black) Koyunlu (sheep) Turcomans or Turkmens. Anyway to sum it up, I consider myself a pure Turk. Now to the issue of Turkey's accession into EU. I understand that many Europeans are worried and do not want this to become true due to several reasons that they provide. I believe that the religious and cultural issues are nonsense as it seems like a second degree treatment leading to racism for the Turks because there are already predominantly Muslim countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania in EU already. Also Turkey is a uniquely constructed Muslim country as it is perhaps the only real secular democracy in the Muslim world despite it's population being 99% Muslim. Turkey has been part of Europe since the beginnings and conquests of the previous Ottoman Turkish Empire (1299-1923) and has shared and integrated its culture into European culture especially with the Greeks and other Balkan peoples. It was perhaps the only empire during it's time to have been known where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived and coexisted peacefully for the most part despite some problems between these religions at certain times. Like someone already mentioned here before Turkey (and especially the former Ottoman Empire) is considered a Muslim successor to the Roman and Byzantine Greek Empires. Today in Turkey you can see evidence of this as many Turks especially in the Central and Western parts of the country look "white and European" as they have features like blue/green eyes, brown or even some blond haired people, etc. Also these people in those parts of the country also have Western and European behavior as well as they are not very religious and often drink, smoke, go to clubs, dress in t-shirt, jeans, skirts, shorts, etc. However the people in the Eastern parts of the country especially in the areas where the Kurds make up the majority are very religious and might I say backward thinking. But despite everything most of the Turks do not want to be part of EU as they don't want European laws to apply to them and for several other reasons as they still respect their somewhat Islamic and Turkish way of life. Now economically and especially militarily Turkey would make an excellent addition to EU as it is a rapidly growing economy (17th in GDP nominal and 15th in GDP PPP - Purchasing Power Parity), and the largest and richest Islamic economy/country, is also between the 6th-8th biggest military spender/budget of the world with over $40 billion dollars. It is also ranked between the 8th-10th most powerful militaries in the world according to many sources and are considered the most powerful Islamic as well as Middle Eastern, Central and Western Asian military power. I live in Canada and am studying in my second year in university in a double major in political science and history and have done my own research on militaries, economies, etc. on Turkey and many other nations of the world so I speak from my studies as well as my own personal research from many sources with these statistics. The Kurdish problem is often misunderstood in the Western and European world as it is not a Kurdish problem but a problem with a separatist/terrorist/communist organization called PKK (Partiye Karkeriye Kurdistan or Kurdistan Workers' Party) as they have been fighting in a civil war against the Turkish Army and Armed Forces overall for 25+ years since 1984 in southeastern parts of Turkey. This organization does not represent the Kurdish people in Turkey as I personally know many Kurds in and outside of Turkey as well as having Kurdish blood in me that they don't agree or support this group (my father is half Kurd and half Turkmen while my mother is full Turkmen making me 75% Turkmen or Turk and 25% Kurdish ethnically). This is due to the attacks on Kurds themselves from PKK on grounds that they are helping the Turkish military. The population of Turkey is 76 million people according the latest results from 2010, which consists of 50 million Turks, 15-18 million Kurds and 5-7 million Laz, Circassian, Chechens, Armenian, Greek, Bosniac, and other non-Turkish mainly Balkan and Caucasus even Central Asian people. So the Kurds are not really a minority but a large group of people inhabiting mostly southeastern but even some small parts of central as well as western Turkey. I do agree that the Kurds should be given some rights perhaps political or more open cultural representation rather than geographical like the PKK is pursuing to achieve from the Turkish government. The Kurds also inhabit neighbouring Iraq (where they consist 7-8 million or 20% of the population), Iran (another 7-8 million or about 10% of the population) and to a small extent Syria (about 1-2 million or 10% of the population) and along with the Kurdish diaspora around Europe, North America and other parts of the world make up about 45+ million Kurds in total. So a geographical recognition and the establishment of Kurdistan is out of the question as none of these nations I listed above will allow this to happen because parts of all 4 of these countries would have to be ceded to the Kurds, which is an unrealistic solution as it would lead to more problems and hostility between everyone in the region. The Armenian dispute should be looked more into and the Turkish government has invited Armenia and everyone else willing to work on it to open up archives and documents from both Turkey and Armenia to look into details of the issue and the tragic events that happened during WWI with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and actions of both Armenians and Turks against each other. Turkey has also opened its border with Armenia and the governments are willing to resume diplomatic relations and resolve the issues between them. The Cyprus dispute should be agreed upon both by Greece and Turkey as the island consists of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Unification should be achieved under mutually benefitial and fair agreements between the Turks, Greeks and the Cypriots as a whole. I know this was a very long response but hope I was clear enough and tried to back up my opinions and facts as well as I could. Greetings to everyone.
 
Yeah I agree with Lebrok a very decent discussion.

I was pro Turkey joining the EU before and nothing here has changed my mind, but I tell you what, to sweeten the deal give us back Constantinople and your a shoe in.:grin:
 
I'm originally from Baghdad, Iraq and am what is called an "Iraqi Turkmen/Turk" and have spent most of my life in Ankara, Turkey. For those of you who don't know, the Iraqi Turkmens are the descendants of the Turkic tribes that migrated to Anatolia/Asia Minor, Southeastern Europe (specifically the Balkans) and Middle East from their original homeland in the Altai Mountains (where China, Russia, Mongolia and Central Asia, most specifically Kazakhstan connect and is considered the birthplace of Turks and Turkic culture and heritage as well as history of it's people). They are descendants of the Oghuz Turks who in turn come from the Ak (white) and Kara (black) Koyunlu (sheep) Turcomans or Turkmens. Anyway to sum it up, I consider myself a pure Turk. Now to the issue of Turkey's accession into EU. I understand that many Europeans are worried and do not want this to become true due to several reasons that they provide. I believe that the religious and cultural issues are nonsense as it seems like a second degree treatment leading to racism for the Turks because there are already predominantly Muslim countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania in EU already. Also Turkey is a uniquely constructed Muslim country as it is perhaps the only real secular democracy in the Muslim world despite it's population being 99% Muslim. Turkey has been part of Europe since the beginnings and conquests of the previous Ottoman Turkish Empire (1299-1923) and has shared and integrated its culture into European culture especially with the Greeks and other Balkan peoples. It was perhaps the only empire during it's time to have been known where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived and coexisted peacefully for the most part despite some problems between these religions at certain times. Like someone already mentioned here before Turkey (and especially the former Ottoman Empire) is considered a Muslim successor to the Roman and Byzantine Greek Empires. Today in Turkey you can see evidence of this as many Turks especially in the Central and Western parts of the country look "white and European" as they have features like blue/green eyes, brown or even some blond haired people, etc. Also these people in those parts of the country also have Western and European behavior as well as they are not very religious and often drink, smoke, go to clubs, dress in t-shirt, jeans, skirts, shorts, etc. However the people in the Eastern parts of the country especially in the areas where the Kurds make up the majority are very religious and might I say backward thinking. But despite everything most of the Turks do not want to be part of EU as they don't want European laws to apply to them and for several other reasons as they still respect their somewhat Islamic and Turkish way of life. Now economically and especially militarily Turkey would make an excellent addition to EU as it is a rapidly growing economy (17th in GDP nominal and 15th in GDP PPP - Purchasing Power Parity), and the largest and richest Islamic economy/country, is also between the 6th-8th biggest military spender/budget of the world with over $40 billion dollars. It is also ranked between the 8th-10th most powerful militaries in the world according to many sources and are considered the most powerful Islamic as well as Middle Eastern, Central and Western Asian military power. I live in Canada and am studying in my second year in university in a double major in political science and history and have done my own research on militaries, economies, etc. on Turkey and many other nations of the world so I speak from my studies as well as my own personal research from many sources with these statistics. The Kurdish problem is often misunderstood in the Western and European world as it is not a Kurdish problem but a problem with a separatist/terrorist/communist organization called PKK (Partiye Karkeriye Kurdistan or Kurdistan Workers' Party) as they have been fighting in a civil war against the Turkish Army and Armed Forces overall for 25+ years since 1984 in southeastern parts of Turkey. This organization does not represent the Kurdish people in Turkey as I personally know many Kurds in and outside of Turkey as well as having Kurdish blood in me that they don't agree or support this group (my father is half Kurd and half Turkmen while my mother is full Turkmen making me 75% Turkmen or Turk and 25% Kurdish ethnically). This is due to the attacks on Kurds themselves from PKK on grounds that they are helping the Turkish military. The population of Turkey is 76 million people according the latest results from 2010, which consists of 50 million Turks, 15-18 million Kurds and 5-7 million Laz, Circassian, Chechens, Armenian, Greek, Bosniac, and other non-Turkish mainly Balkan and Caucasus even Central Asian people. So the Kurds are not really a minority but a large group of people inhabiting mostly southeastern but even some small parts of central as well as western Turkey. I do agree that the Kurds should be given some rights perhaps political or more open cultural representation rather than geographical like the PKK is pursuing to achieve from the Turkish government. The Kurds also inhabit neighbouring Iraq (where they consist 7-8 million or 20% of the population), Iran (another 7-8 million or about 10% of the population) and to a small extent Syria (about 1-2 million or 10% of the population) and along with the Kurdish diaspora around Europe, North America and other parts of the world make up about 45+ million Kurds in total. So a geographical recognition and the establishment of Kurdistan is out of the question as none of these nations I listed above will allow this to happen because parts of all 4 of these countries would have to be ceded to the Kurds, which is an unrealistic solution as it would lead to more problems and hostility between everyone in the region. The Armenian dispute should be looked more into and the Turkish government has invited Armenia and everyone else willing to work on it to open up archives and documents from both Turkey and Armenia to look into details of the issue and the tragic events that happened during WWI with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and actions of both Armenians and Turks against each other. Turkey has also opened its border with Armenia and the governments are willing to resume diplomatic relations and resolve the issues between them. The Cyprus dispute should be agreed upon both by Greece and Turkey as the island consists of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Unification should be achieved under mutually benefitial and fair agreements between the Turks, Greeks and the Cypriots as a whole. I know this was a very long response but hope I was clear enough and tried to back up my opinions and facts as well as I could. Greetings to everyone.

Thank you for the information. At best, Turkish E.U. membership is highly problematic. In my opinion, the E.U. has expanded far too fast and it would actually be much better off with fewer members, not more.

BTW, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania are NOT part of the E.U.
 
I am not sure what you mean by Turkey is more European than Iceland. I can only gather that Turkey is more in agreement with who you are as a person. It sure is more sprawling, with the gigantic metrolpol that is Istanbul, Europe's biggest city. I think that you didn't mean to imply that Scandinavia is less European than other parts of Europe, but to illustrate how much more European than Asian Turkey is.

I didn't mention Scandinavia. I was talking about so-called "geographical" criteria. Turkey is contiguously European. It is a part of the European continental land-mass. It's a slightly daft criterion but if you are using it off-shore islands such as the British Isles, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus are geographically less European than Turkey.


• I would have them not banning parties that is elected into the parliament, like the Kurdish Democratic Society Party with thin evidence from what I can tell, when they push for reform.
Not thin, but certainly dubious and contentious. My whole point, however, is that Turkey must be judged by the same criteria that are applied to current EU members and other candidate states. Spain and the UK have both banned political parties represented in parliament on almost identical justifications as those used by the Turkish Constitutional Court.

• I was talking about that political parties have to win 10 percent of overall votes to join the parliament in a general election in Turkey. This can prove difficult or impossible for a minority to get representation in that parliament. I just read a statement that they "might" drop that after pressure from EU. If that happens it is good.
Normally candidate countries need to implement a whole raft of constitutional changes, usually approved by plebiscite, in order to meet EU regulations. Turkish accession would require the same, I'm sure. Have they indicated that they reject constitutional changes?
• Are you saying that a huge portion of the work in the agrucultural sector in Spain and Italy depends on victims of trafficking from the east? I think you are talking about clandestines. I was referring to Turkish sex slave trade. They kept or sold further to the Middle-East and further into Europe. From what I have read, this is not insignificant and the "natashas" are not uncommon. Of course, Turkey is not alone in this a trade that it has in common with most of the f. eastern bloc; Romania, Albania, the Balkans et al. A problem is that the sex trade - which is legal with registration - is used to "recruit" these women without their consent. I am aware that there are eastern women who work willingly and that you cannot easily see on a person if she has been raped and beaten into submission or has made a consensual choice. It is a problem the police have to deal with. As Turkey is a major country in this trade, they have to take the responsibility for it. They are actually doing a lot, and the trade is of course international, which is a problem by itself. Maybe you can agree that a persistent problem like that, if it's not significantly combated, might just surge with open borders.
International sex trafficking is a problem for the whole of Europe. You admit Turkey is doing a lot to combat it. What is the difference between Turkish efforts and those of existing EU members? What makes this a stumbling block to accession?

• Yes. They are the diplomats of the muslim world. But their squabble over who has the highest chair in the room was not their proudest moment. I am not sure it is a non-issue though. As it seems like turks have increasingly turned to Islamic extremism, in travels to and association with extremists and training in pakistan, as well as rising anti-semitism I think it's more important than ever to have a good relationship with Israel. This is my impression from news. I could be wrong. I do know that Turkey has increased islamification and is the source and center of the Muslim version of Intelligent Design. I could only speculate that with such a young population, nationalism and an Islamic identity might appeal. It usually does. One need only look at youth in Europe, with parties like BNP shooting up. With that I mean to say that there is a radicalization that we in that case have in common, as there is a rise of extreme right support all over Europe.
The "highest chair" issue was nothing to do with Turkey. It was entirely the invention of an extremist, right-wing Israeli minister. He was the one hosting the meeting, placing the Turkish ambassador in a subservient position and then having it pointed out by the media present. Had this happened to a Swedish diplomat you would have been rightfully outraged too. It was extremely undiplomatic behaviour on Israel's part - an act of revenge for Turkey expressing its disapproval of Israel's invasion of Gaza, something the EU protested too.

• Ok. What are the demands that are more than normal? Troop withdrawal from Cyprus? Implementing the Ankara Protocol? Is that what you mean? Why would that be uncalled for?
No, I'm talking about the fact that the solution to the Cypriot issue was not held up as a block to Greek Cypriot accession to the EU and yet it IS being used as a block to Turkish accession. This is clearly unfair and prejudicial treatment. It imposes conditions on Turkey that are over and above those imposed on Cyprus.

The issue of the Ankara Protocols is simple. The Turks are demanding that the reciprocal agreement to open ports and airports should happen simultaneously. Greek Cyprus, and thereby the EU, is refusing. It demands that Turkey accedes to open ports without the EU doing likewise.

• I think one also have to consider - regarding Enlargement Fatigue -that the admission of Romania and Bulgaria was less than a win-win, and people are less excited by enlargement even further east at the moment. Little support for this makes it's possible that there is disturbance to the negotiations from EU's part. It is no secret that - for one - France is not in favor. Of course, that is pure speculation.
Well, this is where we get into muddy water. You can hardly blame the Turks for smelling something rotten when suddenly, after decades of rapid enlargement, the EU decides it's tired of enlargement, that the EU is too big. What? You mean just as the first Moslem state is poised to join, you decide you don't want any more members? Hmmm?
• Yes. Pseudo-democracy was a bit much I agree. Iran is a pseudo-democracy. Although, I still have the impression of a country with democratic problems. Like the article 301 insulting Turkey etc., banning gay rights organisations for "violating morality". Even though the ban was revoked, it speaks of a problematic attitude.
Turkey will have some hard political pills to swallow if it does join. It especially has problems in regard to free speech and the rights of minorities. But if it is prepared to sign up to EU regulations it will have a major liberalising impact on the country. You talk about the culture of honour killings (although I think many EU countries are not unfamiliar with this problem) and nationalism and yet want to push Turkey away from closer cultural ties with its liberal democratic EU neighbours. That makes no sense.

As far as the Grey Wolves issue (that's a very outdated name, btw), you mean militarist nationalism undermining democratic process, no? Well Turkey couldn't be giving you a better signal by the ongoing inquiries and arrests and trials of right-wing coup plotters. They are taking a much stronger line than did Spain after the 1981 coup attempt or did Greece with the Colonels.

The Armenian Genocide is not really a matter for debate in this context. It took place before Turkey existed as nation and must be seen as something that the Turkish people have to sort out for themselves. The EU did not demand Spain implement the law of historical memory in order to gain EU accession. It did not demand the UK apologise for the concentration camps of the Boer War, the genocide of Australian aborigines, or the massacres of the Indian mutiny. Spain did not have to accept, explain or make reparations for the genocide of the pre-Colombian populations of Latin America. Again, it is operating double standards to suggest that this should have bearing on Turkish accession.

Is Turkey being victimised? No. Is it having double standards applied to it's accession negotiations? Most certainly, yes.
 
Yeah no problem my friend. Yes I agree it is a problematic issue for both Turkey and EU but it will eventually have to be acknowledged and although I don't fully support their accession into the union, I do believe that they will eventually be allowed to be let in as Turkey's is pursuing projects that are vital to Europe and EU's needs such as the deals that Turkey has signed with Azerbaijan and Russia that will bring gas and oil to Europe through Turkey, also like I mentioned earlier Turkey's rapid economic growth as well as their growing military power will also make the idea of letting them in more attractive as it will make the EU more powerful. However I do agree that it has its pros and cons for both Turkey and EU if this happens but I guess we will all just have to wait and see what happens in the next 5 or so years when time is up and a decision has to be made. Oh yeah and I'm sorry about mentioning Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania as members of EU when they weren't I forgot about that after you said that they weren't I checked and sorry about my mistake. Greetings.
 
In my opinion it shouldn't. In fact I think it should give up some of its European, such as Istanbul and the lands West of it.
What do you think?


:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:Of couurseeee... Why didn't we think of it before???
One morning, Prime Minister of Turkey wakes up and makes an anouncement to the Turkish public: "Ok guys, What about a kind donation to our European buddies who love us sooooo much? Let's give up the western part of our country. The pieces of it will be distributed by lottery to the EU members... What do you say? Are you in?" And the Turkish public will applaud.....
:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:
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Hey, what about a piece of Greece given to America? Are you in???(y)(y)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you come from outer space, man, or what?????
I don't think that there's an intelligent person somewhere in this world who would make such a suggestion!!!
:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:
 
Why all this discussion about adding Turkey to the E.U.? Very unlikely it will happen anyway, for reasons already presented repeatedly. The last thing the E.U. needs is more expansion, given its many problems.
 
Turkey is not geografically European.
Turkey is not ethnically European, generally speaking.
Turkey is an old enemy of Europe.
Turkey is Muslim - and, contrary to what many people think, is leaving secularism behind and returning to Islamism.
Turkey does not respect human rights in Kurdistan, it does not respect Cyprus and, above all, it did not recognize the Armenian genocide, and it even tries to avoid the world recognition of such massacre (now imagine the German State refusing to admit the Holocaust, or Austria being ruled by some new Haider who dare to doubt the holocaust, how many international boycotts would then take place against this Central European Nation...)

Indeed, there is absolutely no reason to accept Turkey in EU. And all the reasons are against it.
 
Turkey is not geografically European.
Turkey is not ethnically European, generally speaking.
Turkey is an old enemy of Europe.
Turkey is Muslim - and, contrary to what many people think, is leaving secularism behind and returning to Islamism.
Turkey does not respect human rights in Kurdistan, it does not respect Cyprus and, above all, it did not recognize the Armenian genocide, and it even tries to avoid the world recognition of such massacre (now imagine the German State refusing to admit the Holocaust, or Austria being ruled by some new Haider who dare to doubt the holocaust, how many international boycotts would then take place against this Central European Nation...)

Indeed, there is absolutely no reason to accept Turkey in EU. And all the reasons are against it.

This is quite an ignorant and prejudiced contribution.
*Ignorant because Turkey is geographically contiguous with the rest of Europe (unlike Malta, Cyprus, the UK; Ireland).
*Ignorant because you cannot define what "Ethnically European" means.
*Ignorant because since when was Turkey an old enemy of "Europe"? Turkey as a nation did not exist before 1923. What are you talking about?
*Turkey is a secular, Muslim country. Portugal is a secular, catholic country. Britain is a secular, Protestant country. So what? You want a crusade to rid Europe of its historical religious diversity? You want it to be 100% Christian... as it has NEVER been before?
*Tell us, what do you know of the human rights situation of Turkish Kurds? What is your fact-based assessment of the events of 1910-1915 in relation to the deaths of the Anatolian-Armenians under the last days of the Ottoman Empire. If you want to use historical events to attack a modern country you should be able to demonstrate that you understand those events. Do you?
 
This is quite an ignorant and prejudiced contribution.

That's quite an imbecile opinion.


*Ignorant because Turkey is geographically contiguous with the rest of Europe

Contiguous does not mean part of - it means contiguous, i.e., neighbour. Now, if it is neighbour, it is not ours. It's neighbour. It's the other placed nearby us. By your «reasoning», Turkey would be a part of the EU because «it's contiguous» to Europe. Now, Lebanon is contiguous to Turkey, and Israel is contiguous to Lebanon, and Egypt is contiguous to Israel, and Sudan is contiguous to Egypt, and so on... within one year, South Africa would be a part of the EU because «it's contiguous».

So, the above objection is futile.


(unlike Malta, Cyprus, the UK; Ireland).

Malta and Cyprus, and UK and Ireland, and Iceland, belong to another area, entirely European - they are islands, but not pieces of another continent.
So, the above objection is futile and dishonest.


*Ignorant because you cannot define what "Ethnically European" means.

Yes, I can - Ethnically European is Indo-European, or pre-indo-european, like the Basque. Turkey is foreign to that.
So, the above objection is futile and dishonest.


*Ignorant because since when was Turkey an old enemy of "Europe"? Turkey as a nation did not exist before 1923. What are you talking about?

Oh, really. So, Attaturk created an entire new nation, perhaps with aliens from Mars... the entire Turkish past was erased, I see. Funny that still today the oh so modern Turkish State considers as a major offense that someone, in any part of the world, recognizes the genocide against the Armenians, which ocurred before 1923. Now, which could be the reason for that, since Turkey did not exist before 1923? :innocent:


*Turkey is a secular, Muslim country.

First of all, any secular Muslim country is easily turned into a radical Islamic country. Secondly, today's Turkey is getting more and more Islamist by the day. Erdogan is not really secular. Turkey is not acting in a secular way and is against Freedom of Speech in Europe, the very essence of the European spirit.


Portugal is a secular, catholic country. Britain is a secular, Protestant country. So what? You want a crusade to rid Europe of its historical religious diversity? You want it to be 100% Christian...

No. In fact, I want no Christianity at all. But Muslim is even worst.


*Tell us, what do you know of the human rights situation of Turkish Kurds?

They are being oppressed in their own territory. Now, what do YOU know that can deny that?

Not to mention the situation in Cyprus, of course...

What is your fact-based assessment of the events of 1910-1915 in relation to the deaths of the Anatolian-Armenians under the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

The fact-based assessment that nearly one million Armenians were chased and murdered by Turks. And many had to run away, like the Greeks. Again, what do YOU know that denies that?
 

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