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European Union Should Accept Turkish Membership

European Union Should Accept Turkish Membership

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Published by Menezes Chilongo
Turkey has been trying for EU membership since the 1950s and now Turkey’s relations with the EU entered a new era With the start of accession negotiations. European Union should accept Turkish membership taking account of its remarkable progress in economy and Turkish’s strategic localization
Turkey has been trying for EU membership since the 1950s and now Turkey’s relations with the EU entered a new era With the start of accession negotiations. European Union should accept Turkish membership taking account of its remarkable progress in economy and Turkish’s strategic localization

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Published by: Menezes Chilongo on May 31, 2010
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European Union Should Accept Turkish Membership

By Menezes Bandumba Enfraim Chilongo May 2010

Turkey has been trying for EU membership since the 1950s and now Turkey’s relations with the EU entered a new era With the start of accession negotiations. European Union should accept Turkish membership taking account of its remarkable progress in economy and Turkish’s strategic localization. Those opposed to Turkish membership in the European Union point out several issue. First, they claim that Turkey is large in terms of population and small in economic size. Hughes (2004) claims that Turkey is a country with a huge population and very small in economic terms with political and economic implications. He further states that in economic terms, Turkey will have a small impact on the European Union Market. Hughes might have a point; however, the reality is very different from what he states. Turkey’s population is not adults now, most of them are children. This means that they will contribute to the progress of Turkish economy in the near future. What is more, Turkey’s economy has been growing significantly if we compare with some other countries which are already members of European Union. Domaniç (2007) claims that 20% of the Turkish population is children now but as some studies show, by 2020 they will reach their working age and will contribute to the development of the country. Furthermore, he states that Turkish economy has been growing at any significant rate and this has contributed to the stability of the macro-economy as well. As a result of this, not only the inflation but also the public sector deficit and debt have reduced.

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Second, those opposed to Turkish membership to the EU claim that there is not a good relation between Turkey and its neighbors and EU security will be in danger. Gasparini (2007) claims that Turkish accession to the EU will bring negative impacts as it will increase the area and the border of the EU touching areas with a lot of conflicts such as Caucasus and the Middle East. Apart from this, he further states that Turkey has been involved in conflicts with its neighbors so they need to resolve and take control of it in order to maintain its border safe. Gasparini may have a point, but Turkey has solved most of the problems with its neighbors, in fact, Turkey has now a good relationship with countries like Greece and Armenia that used to be enemy. Ünluhisarciklı (2010) claims that although Turkey has some unsolved problems with its neighbors, Turkey has given an important step to resolve those conflicts. Turkey improved their relation with Greece, they are no longer adversaries. Apart from this, Turkey and Armenia have established a diplomatic relation. He further states that Turkey has a new foreign policy and with this policy, Turkey will better improve the relationship with its neighborhood and will play the role of mediator in regional conflicts contributing to the peace and stability between them. In security terms, Turkey has already a good experience in this area. Domaniç (2007) claim that in 1952, Turkey joined NATO and since then Turkey has been contributing to the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) so EU can take this advantage and Turkey’s strategic localization to stabilize the highly volatile regions. The Opponents also mention the Cyprus problem. Gasparini (2007) claims that the Cyprus problem is a big issue and has serious implications for the negotiations between the EU and Turkey, the possibility of any integration is out of question if the Cyprus question is not answered. Yet, this idea cannot be more than just a claim, because Turkey actually voted for the reunification and it was the Greek Cypriots who did not accept it. ABHaber (2008) claims that the current situation between these countries is the result of EU’s faulty strategy when they accept Southern Cyprus as a member representing the
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whole of the island. In addition to this, Hannay (2006) states that Greek Cypriots voted against by rejecting the reunification of the island in April 2004, in fact it was the Turkish Cypriots who voted in favor. The last claim of those opposed to Turkish membership in the EU is that Turkish culture and value are different. Rosenberg (2008) claims that Muslim and Christian culture are not alike. He further states that Turkish population is 99% Muslim and the Europe population is based in Christianity. However, he might get it wrong because the integration of Turkey in the EU not only will strengthen the dialogue between Christian and Muslim but also bring democracy between them, That is, their integration would enrich religious freedoms in the EU. Domaniç (2007) says that Turkey will contribute positively to the unification and the intercultural dialogue between the Christian and the Muslim population. Moreover, it would strengthen Turkish Democracy and shows that Islam and democracy can coexist. The number of Muslim living within the borders of EU has been increasing daily so it is safe to say that Islam is already a part of the European Culture. The integration of Turkey would show that Muslim culture is accepted in the EU. In addition to this, İnaç (2003) claims that Turkish’s accession to the EU will enrich religious freedoms bringing Muslim and Christian together. All in all, the proponents of Turkish accession to the European Union should rethink their points and claims, taking account of Turkish remarkable progress in economy and Turkish strategic localization, without any biased and subjective thoughts. On the other hand, Turkish authority should convince the opponents of their integration to the EU that their integration to the EU will provide valuable benefits to the organization. Once they do this, the opponents will understand the importance of the Turkish membership in the EU and start to support their integration to the organization.
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REFERENCE LIST ABHaber (2008). European Turkey in the EU! EU-Turkey News Network. Economic Development Foundation Istanbul, TURKEY. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from http://www.abhaber.com/english/haber.php?id=3769 Domaniç, S. (2007) The Turkish Accession to the European Union: Mutually beneficial? Mutually possible? Institute of Public Affair. Research Reports-Policy Papers. Retrieved April 29, 2010, from
http://www.isp.org.pl/files/18444490470897409001169459097.pdf

Gasparini, G. (2007). Turkey And European Securıty.IAI-TESEV. Retrieved May 01, 2010, from http://www.iai.it/pdf/Quaderni/Quaderni_E_08.pdf Hannay, D. (2006). Cyprus, Turkey and the EU: Time for a sense of proportion and compromise. Center for European Reform. Retrieved from
http://www.cer.org.uk/pdf/policybrief_cyprus_hannay_july06.pdf

Hughes, K. (2004). Turkey And The European Union: Just Another Enlargement? Exploring the Impacts of Turkish Accession. Les amis de l’Europe. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from http://www.cdu.de/en/doc/Friends_of_Europe_Turkey.pdf İnaç, H. (2003). Identity Problems of Turkey during the European Union Integration Process. Journal of Economic and Social Research 6 (2), 33-62. Retrieved April 28, 2010, from
http://www.fatihun.edu.tr/~jesr/jesr.inac.pdf

Rosenberg, M. (2008). Will Turkey Be Accepted for Membership in the EU? Turkey in the European Union. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from about.com

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Ünlühisarcıklı, Ö. (2010). EU, Turkey And Neighborhood Policies. Turkish Policy Quarterly. Volume 8 Number 3,73-82. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from
http://www.turkishpolicy.com/images/stories/2009-03-tpq/OZGUR_UNLUHISARCIKLI.pdf

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