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The Turkey And The European Union Economics Essay

Why it takes too long for Turkey to join European Union ? From the very beginning of the creation of the European Union, Turkey has shown a keen interest in integration process in European Union, ( Arikan H, 2006:1), Turkey’s application to become a full EU member was made on April 1987. The process even to start negotiations took too long. Akcapar (2007:11) argues Many of the leaders who have put Turkey on the road to EU membership have long been decreased. Indeed, Turkey and the EU officially started negotiations after more than two decades from the date it first applied for the EU membership. On the other hand, the negotiations sent a strong message even beyond Turkey’s borders, that there is no breach between the people who follow the Christian roots and those who see the world through the eyes of Islam ( Akcapar B, 2007:12). In fact, Turkey’s membership to the EU will lead Europe to a cosmopolitan image.

All though the main issue between EU and Turkey is not Cyprus, but it is up to EU to decides on its future and this is up to Europeans to decides whether they really want this new Europe for the future.( Muftuler-BAC M, Stivachtis Y, 2008:93). This also depends on Turks if they are ready for the drastic change in their domestic structure. EU and Turkey relations have experienced serious difficulties on the way to start negotiations, In particular EU is concerned of the recognition of Republic of Cyprus by Turkey, Freedom of Expression and the rights of the Kurdish Minority in Turkey, therefore, it’s proving to be difficult to embrace Turkey wholeheartedly due to number of factors and It’s arguable that Turkey’s is different from any of the other applicants for the EU membership due to its geographical location as only parts of its territory is in Europe.

The empirical research shows that Turkey is not significantly different from other European Countries ( Semih A, 2010:7). As the number of the EU countries increased to twenty seven, this also suggests that some of the EU countries do not share the same common values. Therefore, this makes it obvious for Turkey’s secular society to join EU. All though the progress is being made through negotiations but at very slow pace. According to (Arikan H, 2006:1) the subject of Turkish bid to join EU will most likely be one of the most controversial agenda of the EU on the years to come. In particular, the EU want Turkey for a drastic change in its domestic social order, for Turkey stepping up change on a state level will indeed take time, according to McCrary and Ernest (2000) EU politicians visits Ankara and Istanbul, they lecture their host on the need for more progress on human right front to speed up negotiations for Turkey to join EU. In fact, This is certain that Turkey will join EU in foreseeable future, but it’s difficult to estimate how long exactly will it take for Turkey get into EU. According to Mcrary and Ernest (2000) Metin Ar President of the investment bank Garanti securities argues that Turkey doesn’t seem to get into EU in less than five to ten years, Metin continues to argue that “these things take time, we will improve our misbehaviours and the EU will improve their intolerances. On the other hand, the Turkish economy is another issue which is an obstacle and would require time to step up as EU standards. The Turkish economy has seen up and downs in the recent years. Schultz and Siegfried ( 2003) argue that the closer examination of the EU documents about Turkish economy reveals that there are still significant deficits, in which Turkey needs to deal with it. In fact, improving economy will benefit Turkey whether or not it will join EU.

The hypothetical answers will range different issues being an obstacle for Turkey to join EU. In particular, Turkey’s new neo-ottoman foreign policy in the region, its demographic, geographic, culture and religion, the issue of Cyprus have been key controversial issues for Turkey’s entry to EU. These hypothetical answers will discuss the details of the issues and will conclude why it takes time for Turkey to join EU;

Turkey’s Accession to EU have surrounded by series of issues ranging from demographic to geographic, culture, and religion and as well as its human right. If Turkey join EU, it becomes one of EU’s most populous member, Turkey has an estimated population of 72 million and it is predicted that it will rise to 80-85 millions in the next 20 years, which will also lead to its more seats in the EU parliament, in which opponents are not optimistic about it, on the other hand, Turkey’s geographical location is another key issue among some of EU members state, in particular France. This is cause Turkey’s accession to EU will also establish the foundation of modified EU borders. This will also lead to EU’s border with countries such Iran and Syria. Furthermore, the most sensitive issue is the Cultural and religious differences. The EU is the association of Christian Countries, the accession of Turkey to EU “ Christian Union” with its large Muslim population will change the demography of the Europe Union, all though Turkey as secular society, does not have an official religion, similarly EU describe itself as a multicultural society which respect diversity, therefore, as long as Turkey and EU have the same common vision toward religion and cultural differences, Turkey’s accession would be not far away to be achieved by both parties. Another key issues among the EU member states are the Turkey’s human right record, domestic security issues including PKK “ Kurdish Workers Party”, which the Turkish state has classified them as terrorist organization, therefore, some of the EU member states are concern about the social security within the Turkish state and the treatment of the terrorism offences which could also apply to very young teenagers. All these key issues Between Turkey and EU has led to slow pace of progress for the accession of the Turkey to EU.

Turkey is strong and influential country in the region, Over the last few years, Turkey have increasingly been active on its role in Middle East and Central Asia, Turkey has built strong relations with its neighbours, including Iran, Syria. Turkey has always had strong ties with west and it’s soldiers are serving alongside the NATO allies in Afghanistan but the cooperation between Turkey and the West has seen a decline since AKP Party took office in 2002 elections, Meanwhile, recent statement from Turkey’s Prime minister calling Mohmud Ahmadinejad “a friend” has been controversial in the EU member states and the west. Some Critics have concluded that Turkey is turning back to EU and is following the neo-ottoman foreign policy considered as restoring Turkey’s image as regional power and peace maker in the region. Critics have also argued that for Turkey; EU accession is not a priority anymore, and is concentrating to build relations its neighbours and former Soviet Union, The changed in Turkey’s foreign policy have worried many EU member countries, and this has led Some EU countries to block or make a slow pace of progress for the Turkey’s membership to EU .

The negotiation for Turkey accession to EU speed up in 2005, but was later suspended cause of the Cyprus issues, the recognition of the republic of Cyprus by Turkey is the key issue for Turkey’s accession to EU. EU has consistently urged Turkey to start negotiations on the issue of Cyprus. The EU in particular want Turkey to open its airports and ports to traffic from Cyprus, an EU member state, in which Turkey has refused to do until the EU takes steps to end sanctions on the Northern Turkish Cypriot, therefore, the EU has decided to suspend the talks on some of the policy areas, in fact, the Cyprus issue for Turkey has became an obstacle for its entry to EU. Furthermore, both Turkey and EU were heading for well for the negotiations, in which the twenty seven EU member states backed the negotiations process in 2004, with the aim for Turkey to gain full EU membership. The fact is that political leaders such Angela Merkel and Nicola Sarkozy who are dominant powers of the EU states; offers “privileged partnership” for Turkey, this has resulted for Turks not to trust EU comprehensively. Therefore, Critics argue that Turkey is turning its back to EU and working on neo-ottoman foreign policy for the Middle East and Central Asia. Ultimately, all these issues between Turkey and the EU has been for years and this has led to a slow pace of progress for negotiations.

The hypothetical answers will be tested through different methods, including politicians speeches, media and the public opinions about Turkey’s bid to join EU. Politicians play crucial part on both side, Politicians are also the decision makers and their perspectives could also influence the individuals idea about Turkey’s bid. Some EU politicians do support for the Turkey’s bid to join EU, such as David Cameron, who visited Turkey recently, according to BBC (2010) “David Cameron promised to fight for Turkey’s membership to EU”, Cameron also mentioned (BBC 2010) he was angry about the slow pace of progress made so far into Turkey’s bid to become EU member. Turkey’s bid is not only supported by ruling party in Britain but also by opposition party. David Miliband, ( BBC 2010) made it clear that “Turkish accession to the EU is important and will be of huge benefits to both Turkey and the EU”. Although sometimes politicians decision do not go hand by hand together with general public well, A recent Yougov survey shows that only 14% of Britain population would like to see Turkey as EU member state. General public opinion in Britain contradicts Cameron decision for Turkey’s bid to become EU member. On the other hand, Nicola Sarkozy unlike his predecessor, opposes the Turkey’s bid to become EU member. According to Turquie Eruopeene (2008) Sarkozy has said that Turkey does not believe to be in Europe, this is for a simple reason because it is in Asian Minor. Sarkozy has also mentioned about the true partnership but not integration into Europe. Public opinion in France agrees with Sarkozy decision for blocking Turkey’s bid to become EU member, only 20% of the France general population want to see Turkey as EU member state. Similar as Nicola Sarkozy; German Chancellor Angela Merkel also opposes Turkey’s membership, according to Guardian (2010) she has offered privileged partnership instead of full membership with EU. Merkel( Spiegel Online 2010 ) views “ Turkey would be in deep, deep trouble when it comes to aspiration to join EU, regarding its refusal to open ports to EU member Cyprus.” According to Europoll-report reveals that 70% in Germany are against the Turkey’s bid to join EU, and pointed out that this is because of the cultural differences between Turkey and EU member states. On the other hand, Turkey’s political leaders have expressed concern about “privileged partnership” and has called this a breach of terms agreed; when both parties started negotiations in 2005. According to BBC (2010) Turkey’s minster for European Affairs called this as insult for offering something have not been agreed on. Turkey’s bid to join EU is not only EU’s domestic or regional issue but it has now become a global political issue. Barak Obama strongly supported Turkey’s bid to become a member of the EU. According to BBC (2010) He said that “Europe gains diversity of ethnicity, tradition and faith- it is not diminished” he continued to view Turkey’s membership will strengthen European foundation.

Ultimately, public opinions has decreased since the enlargement of the EU to twenty seven member states. This is because of the many key issues mentioned above including Turkey’s new neo-ottoman foreign policy. The changing nature of Turkey policies have led EU member states to put the negotiations on a slow pace. It’s taking too long for Turkey to join EU, this is also because Critics argue that Turkey is a Muslim country and is not compatible with Christian values.

Annotated Bibliography

Arikan H, 2006,Turkey and the EU: an awkward candidate for EU membership, Hampshire, Ashgate Publishing Limited ( An alternative approach to Traditional perspectives of EU-Turkish relations)

Akcapar B, 2007, Turkey’s new European Era, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ( Turkey’s cultural and religious differences and Turkey’s bid to join EU from a historical prospective)

BBC News, 2006 ( 29 Nov) EU urged to freeze Turkey talks, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6194492.stm accessed on 21 Nov 2010 ( the negotiations frozen between EU and the Turkey cause of the Cyprus issue)

BBC News, 2006 ( 29 Nov) EU urged to freeze Turkey talks, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6194492.stm accessed on 21 Nov 2010 ( the negotiations frozen between EU and the Turkey cause of the Cyprus issue)

Mortz Orendt, 2010 ( 16 Feb) Wise Men Centre for Strategic Studies, Bilgesam, http://www.bilgesam.org/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=233:germanys-role-in-turkeys-eu-accession-process&catid=70:ab-analizler&Itemid=131 accessed on 22 Nov 2010, Germany’s Policy concerning Turkey and the opinion polls in Germany about Turkey’s bid to join EU)

Meltem Muftuler-BAC, Yannis A. Stivachtis, 2008, Turkey-European Union Relations, Lexington Books( the need for the drastic change in Turkey’s domestic order)

McCrary and Ernest S, 2000, Turkey Rises to the EU Challenge, (14) ( Turkey’s determination to join the European union and Turkey’s strong economic growth)

Turkey is determined to join the European Union, counting on its strong economic growth, progress in containing inflation, and continued political stability.

Repa M, 2005 (30 Sep), EU views on Turkish Bid, BBC New, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4298408.stm, Accessed on 7 Nov 2010 ( the analysis of Turkish membership and EU member states opinion polls)

Schultz and Siegfried, 2003, Turkey’s Accession to the EU: Economic Criteria still out of reach (40) 239-246 ( the characteristic of Turkey’s economic stability)

Semih A, Differences between EU and Turkey greatly exaggerated, United Nations University, http://www.merit.unu.edu/archive/docs/hl/200610_200610_akcomak.pdf, Accessed on 7 Nov 2010 ( Turkey’s accession to the European Union have greatly been exaggerated by cultural differences and the Empirical research on Turkey’s cultural differences with European Union member state)

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