Turkey and the EU

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thanatoast, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #1
    more at the New York Times

    I agree with Mr. Erdogan, the EU should be running towards Turkey full speed. What better way to create ties with the Muslim world, and make progress towards unity rather than division? Are you guys gonna trust *Bush's* plan?

    Could any of our interantional members give us an idea of what the mode of thought is over there? Why all the half-measures?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    i agree. turkey is in the position to play a huge role in future euro / middle-east et. al. relations.

    i've encountered a decent amount of anti-turk sentiment in europe, simliar to how a lot of americans feel about illegals from mexico.

    can any europeans here explain this?
     
  3. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #3
    Over here, in the UK, I don't think anyone cares one way or the other. I am certain it would be an excellent idea, and the sooner the better. In Germany and Austria, where there are already large populations of Turks, Takao could probably enlighten us as to the reaction, but I note that in France there is considerable opposition, and Chirac is threatening to use Turkey as a political football. Maybe the size of the Muslim population in France makes the French fear absorption by hordes of immigrant Turks?
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #4
    hm i think it's not only a cultural issue but a money thing as well

    more than 30% of all turks are in agriculture
    europe average: 5,something%

    if turkey would join now and they would get treated the same as the recently joined eastern countries,they would get 48 billion euros in the first 3 years

    turkey would be the 2. biggest country in the EU ... only germany would have more votes

    the laws which turkey recently discussed don't go together with european values ..(for example there is a law which punish speaking about the 1905 (? not sure) 'mistreatment of the armenian minority' (in short: ethnical cleaning) with 20 years of prison)..there was a report on arte where they crawled through the laws which got proposed: in short: lot of laws which sound very fishy or contrary to european values

    the torture-thing...yeah it's banned but still common practice


    i'm absolutly for turkey to join the EU, but only if the values mr. erdogan talks about are _really_ accepted
    and not talking great about values on the one side and introducing different laws on the other side
    and of course it should be a financially well planned long time agenda... perhaps over the next decade...
    untill then the eastern countries will have catched up more and it should be easier to make a EU budget where turkey can fit in ;)

    (and after all there are a lot of european countries which aren't members of the EU yet who want to join especially on the balcan)
     
  5. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #5
    hm here in austria about 60% oppose turkey joining the EU but i don't know how if this means 'at the moment' or 'ever'

    as posted in the 'swedish thread' sometimes it comes to problems with the turkish minoritiy especially their children who are de-facto asutrians because of their passport (frustrations etc. ...check out the other thread for my long response)
    the public feeling is still tense but it seems to get better slowly (we have already a 'turkish political party',turkish shopping malls/supermarkets,lots of turkish children in schools,..you just have to ride the bus or listen around on the street, most popular fast food: dönner kebap etc.,islam 2. biggest church after the catholics,a complete turkish speaking unit in the army, a turkish tv show ..at night but still)
    many 'joe average' are perhaps overwhelmed with that (especially older ones)

    in my opinion it's pointless because vienna was 'the melting pot' of the k.u.k empire with it's many languages ..austria always was a immigrant country before the two world wars.. it shouldn't be a problem to get used to it...theoretically.. but somehow the historic rivalry between austria and 'the turks' is still in the heads of the people ...(more than 9 lastingm ultipel decades spanning over more a few centuries ... and all more or less won my austria and it's allies)

    even the political parties here are splitted about it inside of the parties...and for the newspapers it's headline news/discussion (even after the US election debate or the current local crisis in the catholic church ;) )

    i would be interested how's the feeling in other countries in central europe

    the EU report about turkey will be released wednesday ... according to rumours it will be very critical about turkey ...

    let's see
     
  6. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    I agree with takao that Turkey's only chance of being granted membership in the EU is if they clean up their laws and enforce them correctly. The Kurds also need to be granted equal rights.

    I disagree with the idea that Turkey could be a bridge between Europe and the ME. Turkey's focus ever since Attaturk has been on the West not the East. That's where the big money is, that's where the people emigrate. Something like 60% of Turkey's economic base is in and immediately around Istanbul which puts more of the focus on the west. The roads leading to Iran, Iraq and Syria are poor and other than oil little more than local border trading occurs. When Turkey is accepted into the EU, the ME will view Turkey as having sold out to the west, not unlike it is viewed now with it's western ways. What Turkey can help with is the Kurds. That is an ethnic conflict just waiting to happen.

    The immigrant Turks in Europe would be much better off when Turkey joins, much of their second class status would disappear.

    Although France and Germany are voicing doubts about Turkey's readiness to join, I think it is equally important to look at the countries that will lose financially. Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Greece and the ten new members who joined this year. The subsidies go to the weakest members and Turkey Romania and Bulgaria are definitely at the bottom of the barrel. Poland, SLovakia, the Baltic states are likely to get the short end of the stick when it comes to financial assistance raising even more dissent in the ranks. It could be really, really messy.

    WHile I support wholeheartedly Turkey's membership, I think that the EU has taken on too many countries too soon but then again if they hadn't it could have been equally disastrous. I think Turkish membership shouldn't take place until 2010. The EU needs to digest what it has already swallowed before taking another bite.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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  8. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #8
    Ugg, while I tentatively agree with your analysis, there is another side to consider..

    While it is true that since Ataturk's time, Turkey has been "aimed" towards the West, adopting Western governmental structure and joining NATO in the early 50's. It is also true that since the 80's, Turkey has been trying to gain EU membership. It has thus far been denied this opportunity.

    The reasons for this stem from those listed in this thread ( thuggish laws, less developed economy, human-rights violations) as well as the possibility of some sort of Cultural snobbery by Europe towards Turkey. Greece in particular does not seem to relish Turkey joining the club, and many wonder if their is an incompatibility between a Muslim Culture (even westernized) and a European Christian one. It should be noted that Bosnia, another Muslim country has also been waiting for EU membership w/o success. This is all merely educated speculation, however.

    Anyway, in the early 90's, Turkey, unable to gain entrance to the EU, and having distanced itself from Islam, looked towards the caucasus, the -stans of the former Soviet Union to bring together the "turks" from throughout the new republics. Considerable money was spent in loans and relief-aid to these republics. This strategy both fufilled a "dream" of leading the Turkic community and served to counter the influence of Islam, particularily Iran and Saudi Arabia. Sandwiched between Russia and the ME, Turkey also hoped it's promotion of secular democracy and a market economy to the region might win it points in the West.

    At the same time however, Turkey, it's people suffering from the displacement and migrations to the cities that the market economy induced,
    went looking for identification. Religion (Islam) began a resurgance, and the Government co-opted many of the practices to deny support to any Islamic opposition. Islamic law and tradition permeated both the government and the educational system as well as cultural mores. The resurgance of Islam to an extent activated anti-western sentiments in the public and put(s) the Government in an awkward position. In recent times, particularily under Ozal, Turkey has made increasing efforts to identify with and establish relationships with the Arab world.

    It is possible, that under the right set of circumstances, Turkey may orient itself towards Islam and reject the West. The level of development and sophistication of Turkey make it an ideal candidate to lead the Islamic world, not to mention it's unique position of having experienced both the good and bad of Western Culture.

    sorry, a little rambling, I was out in the sun too long...
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    I found an interesting analysis on Turkey and its relations with the world at the website of the German foreign office.

    blackfox, I don't believe that Turkey will become a hotbed of fundamentalism. The rights of women are too great and the imams don't have near the degree of influence in Turkey that they do in other countries. ALthough the huge divide between the secular society of Istanbul and the more religious nature of the rest of the country could be a problem in the future if the economic divide isn't addressed.

    Turkey must be admitted into the EU in my mind, if it's not it would force Turkey to look eastward and that could proved to be a tipping point in relations between the west and the ME.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    You may well have, but the link doesn't work.

    I agree, highly unlikely. Not only Istanbul, but Ankara and much of the SW is pretty secular, too.

    It must be admitted, sure, but not by fudging on the real issues which debar it at present: political prisoners, the Kurds, Cyprus. The Greeks, incidentally, may well feel less worried about Turkey now, having had such a confidence booster with the Games. As for competition for EU funds, anything which threatens the CAP gravy train must be a good thing. Europe shouldn't be run on behalf of subsidized peasant farmers.
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  12. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #13
    Ugg, I didn't mean to imply Turkey would become a hotbed of fundamentalism. I merely meant to stress the possibility of such a scenario to reflect the importance of your final paragraph (ie EU membership).

    The fact is that despite any situation in Turkey now, with regards to Government and society, could change easier than one might think under the correct circumstances. I would think that those of us living in the US understand this all too well.
     
  13. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #14
    hm erdogan said in an interview this sunday that joining the EU might take 10 to 15 years... fine that mr. erdogan agrees with me ;)

    edit: just saw some statistics as well
    if turkey joined tommorow the 10 poorest regions of the EU would be _all_ in east-turkey ..the average income there is around 9% of the average income of the EU-25 (compared to some countries like slovenia which just joined with 80%)

    just another number for the economical scale of this
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    So what happens if Iraq spirals into civil war, with the worst case scenario being independant Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish states? Does Turkey become destabilized? Much more focused on their own Kurdish problem? Can the EU risk it?

    I know the Turkish price for any assistance in Dubya Dubya II was that whatever else happened Iraq would remain intact.
     

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