2002 December 14 Saturday
Should Turkey Join The European Union?
Writing in The Guardian Martin Woollacott asks Is it in Turkey's interests to join this Christian club?
Skilfully combining these positions with a continuing Islamist message and with not unjustified charges of corruption and economic mismanagement against the secular parties, gave the AKP a stunning victory. But that takes us to the heart of the Turkish problem now for Europe, which is that the Islamists have used Europe to take power for what we must still assume are Islamist purposes. The secular parties, meanwhile, and much of the Turkish middle class, see in that same Europe an antidote to Islamism, as well as to the military authoritarianism of the past. Turkish liberals are sure that democratisation in Turkey would be far less advanced had there not been the spur of Europe's requirements for entry.
Perhaps the Islamists have really changed. The party and the movement certainly include various currents of opinion, and both Gul and Erdogan are from its moderate wing. Yet it seems probable that two very different projects are still under way in Turkey, the one to make the country more Islamic, and the other to make it less so, and that both have now seized on Europe as a means to their ends.
Woollacott mentions the growth of the imam hatip schools in Turkey as a means that the Islamists have used to expand their ranks. They apparently seek to teach a new generation of Turks to be fundamentalist Muslims. This brings up an important question: Is there a higher percentage of Turkish school children attending Islamist schools than was the case 10 or 20 years ago? Is that percentage rising or falling? Will the AKP government increase funding for Islamist schools? Will the desire to achieve EU membership cause the military to hold back from blocking this move?
There is a very basic question that should be asked: Is the Islamist influence in Turkey growing or declining? A follow-up question: If Turkey joins the EU will the Islamist influence be more likely to grow or decline? Many in the pro-membership camp assume that EU membership will increase the power of the secular faction in Turkey. But it is by no means obvious that Turkey's membership in the EU will help ensure the secularization of Turkish government and society. If EU demands for greater religious freedom translate into greater latitude for the Islamists to get control of cultural and education institutions it is quite possible that EU membership will have the opposite effect. A Turkey outside of the EU is a Turkey whose military will be free to stomp down on the Islamists when Islamist influence begins to grow too strong. A Turkey inside the EU will be one whose historical protector of its secular character - the Turkish military - will no longer be able to perform that function.
Jonny Dymond finds young Turks in Istanbul cafes who doubt Turkey's suitability for EU membership.
It is not the grand clash of civilisations that disturbs, said Verda, it is that being Muslim means you embrace change more slowly, that you are culturally different. 'Muslims have a lot of traditions; they are not leaving their traditions, they are keeping them. A lot of my Muslim friends, despite being highly educated, think that they are not suitable for the EU.
'The reason is that they are Muslim, they have their own culture, their own lifestyle, and it is too hard to change it.'
Istanbul, said Verda, is different - not really Turkey at all, the cosmopolitan city has a history of European civilisation and intermingling of cultures. All the same, she says, it is not Europe either. 'It's like the combination of East and West together - one day you feel you are very European, very modern, the next you wake up and find out that you are from the Middle East.'
The EU is demanding greater civilian control over the Turkish military.
The EU has so far refused to start membership talks with Turkey until the government meets minimum requirements on human rights and democracy. But Mr Erdogan argued that tougher standards were being applied to Ankara than to other nations vying to join the EU. Although Turkey has passed laws banning the death penalty and granting more rights to its Kurdish minority, the EU has noted shortcomings in human rights, including restrictions on freedom of expression, the torture of prisoners and insufficient civilian control over its military.
Is that wise? The one institution that is most loved and respected by the Turkish people is their military. The Turkish military has protected the secular state and Turkey would be nowhere near ready to join the EU in the first place if the Turkish military hadn't played its role of constitutional protector for about 80 years. If Islamism grows as a force in Turkey and Turkey is admitted to the EU then what will the EU be able to do to stop the growth of a religious state within its borders?
German opposition leader Edmund Stoiber predicts EU membership for Turkey will destroy the political union.
“Membership for Turkey would spell the end of political union in Europe. We do not have that kind of integrative strength,” Herr Stoiber, the Christian Democratic opposition leader, said. “We want a proper political union, not just a free trade zone, yet that is what we would end up with if we let in Turkey.”
Germany and France agreed a “conditional rendezvous clause”, allowing the start of entry talks with Turkey in July 2005, providing Ankara satisfied the EU that it had met standards on minority rights, judicial and prison reform, institutional democracy and market economics. “If you set 2005 as a possible date for talks, as Chancellor Schröder has done, then you will not be able to hold up the process,” Herr Stoiber said yesterday.
When he talks about a political union versus a free trade zone he's making an important point: In order to achieve a political union one needs a lot of common values. The EU already faces enormous obstacles brought about lack of a common language, differences in historical experiences and differences in cultures between the existing EU members. There are large differences in living standards, levels of corruption, and the strength of civil society among the EU members. The addition of Turkey as a member would make the differences even greater and the number of issues on which a consensus can be formed would be reduced.
Dr. John Casey, a fellow of Gonville & Caius, Cambridge, believes that there are cultural differences that make Turkey incompatible with the EU.
The Turkish question is a much more acute version of a problem that could in the long run bring to nought the dreams of those who seek "ever closer union" in Europe itself. How can there be a European "state" - how can there be a common sense of allegiance among citizens of the EU - where there is no common language, where there is such cultural diversity, and where the political and legal traditions of at least one important European country - the United Kingdom - differ so radically from those of many of the others? Yet the European idealists can point to two great facts to oppose the sceptics. Almost all of Europe has a Christian inheritance, which means that the great majority of us, whether believers or not, are profoundly shaped by up to two millennia of Christian culture. You can only think this does not matter profoundly if you fail to see how culture overwhelmingly makes us what we are, and does help give us a sense of European identity despite the manifold differences.
John O'Farrell says the Europeans really need to figure out what they want to accomplish.
Turkish Muslims want the same things as European Christians: to get together in one happy internationalist family so we can all slag off the Americans. But try asking our leaders if we really want what was once a small common market to be expanded into a huge European superstate stretching from the Atlantic to Asia. Most politicians will say it is high time we had a full and frank debate about the whole issue. Which is their way of saying they haven't the faintest bloody idea.
He's wrong about what the Turkish Muslims want. They want to be as affluent as the most advanced European countries. Part of the motivation for creating the EU was to make a state that is as powerful as America. That is not going to happen for decades if ever. The newer applicants are driven by a desire for a better living standard. But as the EU has enlarged, lowered internal barriers, and adopted a common currency across most of its members the growth rate of the EU as a whole has not caught up with that of America let alone surpassed it. The EU's leaders and intellectual supporters should realize that the hopes and expectations for what the EU can accomplish have gotten so far ahead of what is realistically possible that a backlash against the EU may form.
Update: The economic disparity between the existing and new EU members is already taxing the limits of the generosity of the taxpayers of the richer EU states. Martin Walker reports that the new EU members together produce less than the 16 million people in the Netherlands.
The 10 new members have a combined population of 75 million, but a combined GDP of just $338 billion -- less than that of Holland. The EU is increasing its population by almost a quarter, but increasing its wealth by just 4 percent.
The EU's GDP per head last week was around $25,000, close to that of the United States. The new, enlarged EU's GDP per head next week will be just $20,000 -- uncomfortably close to that of South Korea.
According to the chart at the bottom of this article Turkey has a per capita GDP that is lower than that of all the 10 new EU members. While Turkey is ahead of Bulgaria and Romania they weren't let into the EU in the latest round either. Therefore money is a big obstacle to the acceptance of Turkey as an EU member. When West Germany merged with East Germany it was in a far better position to fund the reconstruction of East Germany than the EU is to fund the new Eastern European EU members, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Yet, as Martin Walker points out, in spite of the large amount of money spent on East Germany East Germany still lags West Germany by a large margin and there is a brain drain and youth brain of the brighter and more capable East Germans toward West Germany. Imagine what would happen with a much larger income gradient between Turkey and Western Europe if Turkey was allowed into the EU with full labor mobility.
Randall, I am somewhat stunned by the last sentence in this post. If what is going on in Europe now does not constitute a backlash, I don't know what then would be the criteria. The German majority now wants to revert back to the deutschmark and the rhetorical riot on the EU has reached a high pitch in Britain, to name just two examples. With the constitutional circus occurring in Belgium, I predict a very tumultuous future for the EU, if it survives in any form recognizable to us today.
Kimmon, I see your point. Let me clarify: By backlash I mean a popular movement that will be big enough to override the desires of the Euro elite. So far the leaders in Europe have been able to do what they wanted to do in spite of popular opposition. To take your first example: That the German majority wants to revert back to the deutschmark so far does not matter. The anger of the majority is not yet large enough to force the leaders to do the bidding of the majority.
What I see as one of the biggest differences between Europe and the United States is the degree of responsiveness of leaders to the desires of the populace. Certainly you can cite examples in the US where the leaders do not do what the populace want (eg on immigration where the elites want more and the elites gets their way in the face of a majority of the populace who want less). But the gap between what the people want and what the government does is not as wide as it is in Europe.
A real backlash in Europe would involve a populace so angry that it would force some country's leaders to, say, exit the EU or abandon the Euro or to take back some piece of sovereignty on a domestic issue.
Even where an EU member government has allowed a referendum on an EU issue it is not always the case that the leaders accept the result. When the Irish people voted against some EU constitutional change the Irish leaders changed the rules for having a referendum so that they could run the referendum again with far more money being spent in favor than against. Then the referendum passed on the second attempt. In most EU countries these sorts of changes don't even get put to a popular vote in the first place. Big changes will be made to the EU in the future without any ability of the populaces to veto. Do you think the existing EU peoples will get to vote on whether Turkey will be made a member? Of course not. I'll believe there is a real significant backlash when decisions of such monumental importance get taken to the voters.
My criteria for a backlash: a popular movement large enough and strong enough to prevent the EU elites from doing something they want to do or that would force the EU elites to undo something that they have already done.
Turkey is a country that has a history of attrocities and oppression. They continue to oppress the kurdish minority and only in the past century, they were occupying and killing europeans namely in greece, serbia, bosnia and other eastern european countries. Their recent history is filled with rape, torture and opression. As recent as 1974 they violated international law by invading Cyprus and continue to occupy the north illegally. There have been incidences of Greek Cypriots being murdered to this day and in the past decade the kidnapping of a greek official. Not to mention that fundamentalist islamics decree that there could never be peace or co-existence between Islamic and non-islamic institutions. It is frightening to think how Turkey would use it's power if it was ever as strong as the US. Their human injustices stem from their Military state and until this changes, it would be impossible to guarantee that their government will no longer violate basic human rights and attempt to intimidate or use aggression for their own personal gain.
dont let turkey in. we're christians, they're muslims - it wouldn't work.
what about the human rights abuses in downtown staines?
I do not think Turkey should join the E.U. I do not think Turkey should join the E.U. because they are all muslims. We do not need muslims in the E.U. Christians and Muslims just do not get along. Besides Turkey's economy is very weak and the Turks are not very good friends to neighboring countries like Greece over the Cyprus argument. Turkey should NOT join the E.U.
I think europe will never let turkey in ; because they afraid of turkey , they afraid of turkish population . If turkey join E.U. , Turkey will the most powerfull country in E.U. because of its population ; and in turkey young generation is bigger that elders , it is oposite in europe . Europeans are Christians , and they will never dare to live with muslims . But in turkey is it like that ? In turkey for hundreads of years , there are lots of people from different religion , they live happily . is it same in europe ? No , never ? what about human rights ?
I don't believe to some european politicians who say "turkey will join EU" . If I were them I would do the same thing because they live hundreds of year under turk's pressure they afraid of them and they can't say this directly and they are finding some silly excuses and lies not to let turkey in like "they torture us" "they invade cyprus""there isn't any human rights . they will do it to the forever.
"they were occupying and killing europeans namely in greece, serbia, bosnia and other eastern european countries."
ok maybe they were, but the latest atrocities in the balkans were committed by christians. And what about germany in the second world war? The EU was born as a mechanism to prevent war between Germany and France. Now it is bringing together 25 countries.
Also, the argument that "We do not need muslims in the E.U. Christians and Muslims just do not get along." is absurd.
There is already an important Muslim community living in Europe and we have no choice but to get along, because the alternative is unimaginable.
I think that if we deny Turkey entry in the EU it should not be on religious or historical grounds.
If they can meet all the economic and political requirements, they should be let in.
Turkey has asked to join for the first time in 1987. Since then, 13 new members have joined. We can't slam the door on them after having repeatedly encouraged them to meet the economic and political criteria.
I tend to agree with David. Saying that Turkey is a muslim country and therefore won't get along with Christian europeans is a fallacy. It is definitely something to be addressed and challenged.And atrocities have been occuring all over the world by many other countries long before Turkey.
But We do have to bear in mind that in some ways Turkey is stricter than France in its extent of secularism and it even surpresses basic human rights, not european but muslim and kurdish human rights. If anything, Turkey should not be allowed to join on that basis. its economic status, although lower than the more well-of countries, is more than that of Rumania and Bulgaria and is growing. If Turkey is able to sort out its human rights issues and join, it could perhaps act as a buffer and maybe even deter fundamentalism by showing how the 'multi-faith' EU is able to get along and interact? If only we could support each other and ensure better standards and human rights instead of denouncing other countries without helping them improve.
One question though; why are the US apparently in favour of Turkey joinng the EU, is it to purposely cause trouble and create suspicion or is it because they genuinely believe that turkish membership will hinder the EU?
I don't think Turkey should join the EU. As a turk, I don't think europe, with its declining population and economy is the right choice. Have you been to far east lately? China especially? They are rebuilding their whole country and it surely will be the power to be aligned with in this century. It's about time turkey start thinking about alternatives since european dinosaurs are still fearing the turkish wrath. They are making up all kinds of excuses to get out of it.
Sun is rising in the east!!!
hi from turkey i wrote to make relax all the eurapen dont woorry we never take place in europen union because we dont need it but i can honestlysay that once upon a time yes we wanted to join EU but we changed the possibilities and improve lots of alternative as EU will not be powerfull as you see EU population is getting older per a day but we dont i ts our politics we make our opulation younger and we are getting ready to show the new and the most powwrfull country to you and all the world because we always became the only nation who directs the world.up to the last century we were directing world be carefull please up to now lots of turkish countries founded and callopsed but intention please we never live as slave!!!!!only we change our countries name and we refound our country because if we disappeared the god's religion disappeared too wait the real turkey
Turkey will suit perfectally in the eu right now its economy is one of the fastest in the world and as a european i find it insultive that we be afraid of turkey becomming one of the strongest, wealthiest nations here all it means is more power to europe over the us and rising power china if turkey or eu wants to see it self as a power we would have to let turkey in as there population is needed by the time turkey joins which it is estimated to be around 2010 there economy will be much bettar than that of most of eastern europe and competing with that of western europe turkey is a very strategic partner to the eu an there military is great all of there flors are being repared there human rights freedom of press etc.When turkey joins some problems that once occured will desolve such as the greek cypot issue and the greek issue being muslim and us christian is stupid to prevent them from comming into the eu.. on the other hand turkey has a different kind of religion than that of being muslim thay have great realations with irael,with europe,US there economy there drive there motives there thinking makes them seem more christian than muslim...
HEY LOOK! You don't know anything.
E.U doesn't have any religion!!!
Turkey have more population than other E.U countries.
Turkey have a powerful army.
Turkey is going to join E.U in few years..and you will see...
Europe is under pressur of TURKS for HUNDRED YEARS(OTTOMAN EMPIRE)
At that time all people from every religion live together and live happy.
That doesn't change any thing.
You will see the RIGHTS in the future.
Aleady Germany, Holland ,and UK are suffering from the influx and unruliness of the islamic populations. If European Union really wants to flourish in the future, it should encourage its citizens to produce more babies. I dont think they are not capable of it- the only drawback is 1. long and hard work hours. This makes no time to lookafter their chrildren. People get afraid to hae more children. 2. Churches should encourage more chilren per family,by opening childcare centers so that mothers can go nd work. Government can also take up the task. 3,Govenment should suitably reward those real chirzens who have more than five chilren. 4. Bringing into country people of chinese ,or hindus or buddhists,who will not pose any problem and merge with the native socity micably.
I think Turkey has all the right to enter the European Union, doesn't matter their culture or religion, as my experience while a Catholic Portuguese citizen and what I have learned with our history, there are lots of good points in enriching our culture and traditions, that's how big countries like Brazil emerge.
I think that the uk goverment is full of racicm , that you judge tings and person with any excuse . You Uk have to change you actitude becouse if not the world would be a shit. Bye , change you actitude plis!
Turkey does not belong in the EU. It's a massive 3rd world country, turing away from secularism, has too human rights problems, wishes it was still an empire, is nationalistic bordering on fascism, and treats its minorities in a horrid manner.
salute for everybody.İ hope Turkey will not join eu.because Turkey is not colonist nad Turkey have very strong army İ am from greece and i love Turkey and i am disagree kimon david and the other Turkey is europan but only they are muslem.My mother is live in İstanbul and many Turk make help in first world war.Sorry Turkey but you must set up eurasian union with Russia,japan,china,Norway.if you will set up euroasin unuin i am sure many europan country will beg Turkey.please join to my union.you are not colonist.You are join to eu in 2015 but please say we dont need eu and we dont want join.Because if Turkey will join eu will make verry strong becouse europan economist says "Turkey will be like İtalia in 2012 at the latest 2015"italian populasion will 65 oder 70 milion but turkishpopulasion will 100 milion in 2015 and you will have developed nation public in 2015.Everybody will watch and see.(TURKEY please vote my country in eurovision.i will send too)
i am agree helena saterizu.İ am from Turkey and i am student in high school.i hope Turkey will not join eu.i am sure we set up euroasian union and i heared explanation about Turkey too.WE will be like italy in 2015
and dont bored i love greece and i hope two country will not make war.
ok i will vote greece in eurovision please send you too.
J. Kanellakos on April 9, 2004 04:36 AM
Bob on January 6, 2004 12:20 PM (for those who have such prejudices that made me shocked)
I suggest you to ask yourself, what is religion? For a Christian and Muslim or Jewish isn’t it such a concept that sent to people for their peaces? Personally I respect all the religions and all the people whatever their religion choices are and I guess everyone should do so. I cannot understand how something (religion) aimed at unifying people can be used in the purpose of separating people. Moreover classifying people according to their choices is unbelievable for me. If Christians does not get along with Muslims as you said, then so do Muslims and this vicious cycle leads the world to a chaos. “Should Turkey join or not”, put it aside for a moment, is it ethically right for anyone to judge people for their choices. If religion is something to bring people peace, how come you can use it for discrimination and political issues? Forgive me, but I cannot understand you and your biased thoughts being aware that we are in the year 2006!
I do not think that religions exist to cause world peace.
People in different religions do not get along because their religions teach different values and the believers clash over the question of what is right and what is wrong.
You may be right to some extent that people may conflict on religions, something right for a religion may totally be wrong for another, BUT within the same religion, within the same country, even within the same house two people's values, right-wrong perceptions may differ. Although personally I do not prefer to convert this argument to a "conflicts of religions" issue (and even I am not such a religious person), my point is that religion can never be used for such purposes. What my two friends(one of 'em is Greek I guess) made me think once about the West's civilization.
MY PERSONAL IDEA IS THAT: Turkey’s participation could have proved that the West is not solely a Christian Club and that the West could have had a genuine cooperation with the Muslim world. That's why many Muslim states declared their full support for Turkey's EU membership, I can provide those statements if you want.
Whatever my idea is and their ideas are, those extremely biased statements made me shocked and if I were a Christian or a Jewish, does not matter; I would again be surprised for such thoughts. We, as Turkey, had many reforms and accomplishments in the near history and if you look deeper for a second, you can see how Turkey and ATATÜRK tried to erase the effects of religion on politics. We had those accomplishments not because we are muslims, but because we are Turks. If those my friends want to judge Turkey, ok, but not our religion, and in a smarter way. Religion has nothing to do with it because STATES DO NOT HAVE RELIGIONS....
Your thoughts, "they are all muslims. We do not need muslims in the E.U", Forgive me, but I do not UNDERSTAND.
Turkey has made progress? I know Turks believe this. But did you know that the Catholic Church in Turkey exists as an annex of foreign embassies? We allow mosques to get constructed in any city in America. They exist around Washington DC, in Atlanta, and many other American cities. Mosques can be found throughout Europe - including mosques whose preachers preach a very hostile view toward non-Muslims. But Turkey allows very few churches to exist for any Christian denomination. Many Turkish Christians have no place to worship. This shows yet again that Islam is intolerant of other faiths. The same pattern holds in Egypt where the Copts have a hard time getting permission to build a church. In some Arab countries churches are totally banned.
It is not my desire to prove to Muslims that we are tolerant. The evidence is obvious. That Muslims do not see this obvious truth shows that the Muslims have a big double standard. They are intolerant while demanding we go out of our way to show that we are tolerant.
(there has been mistakes here is the adjusted one)
There has been significant changes, and still continuing to happen. Do you know that before Papa's visit to Turkey, one of the conservative political parties organized meeting which were expecting 250-300.000 people to protest throughout Turkey..The population is about 73 million, you know, and what about the result? Fewer than 10.000 people all around Turkey.... Things change... You cannot see this from your seats and your computers 'cos you are not in it, you don't live it. . I don't have comments about other Islamic countries, but Turkey can be the star and an example throughout the Muslim countries. If we can change, they can either, and you can too. Do you know anything about our diplomats murdered all around the world in an anti_muslim and anti_Turk movement since 60s by Armenians? Not only them but also their wives, sons, daughters, can you guess the number? And what do you know about 1.5 million Algerians? Don't tell me anything 'cos the history is full of mistakes from both sides. We even proposed to organize a conference (about the genocide issue) calling all the historians around the world to review the documents and you rejected it, what tolerance and what biase can you mention here? Do you know that in the WW1 in the ÇANAKKALE that tolerant people bombed the hospital which was curing both our and your soldiers. Personally I know 'cos I went there and could not stand without crying. I've seen those people's graves at the ages of 13-14 that have been dead. I don't suugest you to talk about tolerance. All I want to say is, things change, even you see or not, even you accept or not. We are not in the shapes of our RELIGIONS that's all the issue that I don't understand..I'd rather prefer opening new schools for uneducated people in Turkey instead of mosques, but why is religion so important to you and how come can you accuse us of becoming intolerant according to the topics (and I can talk about many many more) I mentioned above?
( before and right after ) Rumania was accepted in the ECM, hundred of thousands of Rumanians have practically invaded Spain. Let's consider, then, what would happen if Turkey would join the club...I know Turkey deeply well. I truly love such a passionate and proud people and culture ( and the land of Turkey!). Nonetheless, I know first hand that Turkey's ( Islamic) burocracy asfixiate other religions, that Christians are having a hard time in what is suppossedly to be the most occidentalized Muslim country in the world. West Europe's landscaped is full of minarets now. Just wait when the Turks spread its passionate mantle in, for example, Spain ( a country that they are crazy for).No. Turkey cannot be allowed to enter the ECM. They need to do their truly democratic ( gender inclusive) homework, first. And spread it to the Middle East. Turkey needs to stop using that hidden ( theocratic) agenda that using democracy as a Troyan horse paid by Wahabis transvestites as Turks...
Turkey will never be a part of Europe.
It always has been, and always will be, a systemically and structurally Arab nation!
Cultural deficits aside, there are absolutely no economic benefits to the larger EU from Turkey's accession! The only benefit being a strategic geographical one!
At any rate, even if the politicians have reached an agreement on Turkey's accession, a referendum on the issue will be called in the majority of the EU's heavyweights (France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy). There is not a chance in hell that these nations will pass and agree to the inclusion of Turkey on European maps!
If Turkey can claim EU membership, shouldn't South American countries also be allowed membership? They have stronger political, cultural, religious and economical ties with the EU!
For now, I'm just going to lay back and observe as Turkey pulls her weight in the direction of liberalism and democracy in a vain attempt at gaining EU membership. Emphasis on the word "vain", because Turkey will never (so long as the fabric of European politics and culture remains entwined with Christian values), ever see her flag fluttering with those of other EU nations, under a united EU banner! Never!
hi,I'm From Turkey-Istanbul.and i don't want to join EU.I think,Turkey musn't join the Eu
Asian Union must be. That is good idea. there is good countries in Asia like (part of) Turkey,(part of)Russia,Japan,China,Iran,north and south Korea etc. and i believe , If this idea'll be,Asian union will better than Eu.so, we don't need u
that's all for now.
The EU is a secular body with no formal connections to any religion and no mention of religion in any current or proposed treaty.
go learn it!
I found this article very one-sided. The author only talks about the negavtive sides allowing Turkey as a member. How about the positive sides? georgraphical, cultural and economical roles?
I wonder if Europe is gold-plated. I seriously don't understand why my country is after this non-sense dream. I am a Turkish woman and I would like to see my country united with Turanian lands, not with Europeans. If Turkey ever becomes a part of EU then we must adopt seperatist values as the title suggest "Christian club". At the beginning European nations were calling EU as an economic union. I guess now it has become Christian. Secondly we Turks never call ourselves "Turkish moslems". This is how you European call us. We are TURKS and we dont need any other adjective. This also shows your bias and prejeduce; calling Turks "Moslem Turks" instead of simply Turks. I also think we dont need to sign any kind of aggreement to be part of Europe. After all we are in Europe. Unlike barren European women, our women are more fertile and sooner or later we will be in Europe. How are u gonna defend your boundaries? With your aged population of elders???
For your information majority of Turks oppose European Union because they are extremely proud of their ancestrol roots. They dont want to get rid off their nation-state, their flags which represent the blood of their fathers and mothers martyred during the independence war, their national song. EU means "bye bye" to all of these and become a community of dull people with no sense of identity. We are coming from a race that told us "liberty or death!". Joining EU means "bye bye to our liberty". Our government might persuade with ways to join EU but for sure we will not give up our values because we are free people and no way we want to be a part of some nonsense community that tells us "nation-state is dead". You Europeans are an excellent example of giving up your national identities and becoming a part of a community under the roof of a religion. How can you say that you are secular? You dont even own a currency of your own with a symbol of your nation. Even your flags are losing their strength and value. You have given up and you are losers. Good news is that we will never give up our identity. And as again we will come up as winners.
Let's keep our fingers crossed all together.
"The Turkish Nation consists of the valiant descendants of a people that has lived independently and has considered independence the sole condition of existence. This nation has never lived without freedom, cannot and never will. " Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Turkey does not have a european culture and its people are not european genetically.... I honestly don't see why they would have any buisness joining the EU.
1. To the people commenting on religon, im sorry but christianity is a HUGE part of european culture. If a country is not christian, it is not considerd european.... Islam is a middleastern religon...
2. I agree I do not see ANY benefit for turkey when it comes to joining the EU. Alot of educated and middleclass people will LEAVE turkey and go to western european countries to further their families future. This is very BAD for turkey, and only good for the rich fat cats in germany who will profit off of immigrants. The majority of euro population is racist FACT. SO there will be alot of conflict, and Turkey will suffer (having its talented people pouched) and only the rich will benifit. FUCK THIS
3.Turkey will only join the EU if it invests in serious border control with muslim countries. Muslim people are just like anyone else, but its always the few bad apples that ruin it for everyone.....
I am European, and I really don't care whether they join the EU or not. It is quite absurd to think that Christians and Muslims don't get along. Everywhere you go in the world, especially Europe and North America, you can see mosques, churches, synagogues side by side. This is nothing new and exciting. Muslims would like to think that Christians hate them.
I must admit that is was very hard to comment on some of these posts, as it was difficult to decode, due to bad English command, but if Turkey wants to EU, let them. I think people are scarred they will start marching everywhere in Western Europe, but EU union had the same fears over Czech Republic and Poland, and Bulgaria.
One thing is for sure, and Turkey will have to admit this one. They don't look European, their culture is eastern, and they will always feel different among others. Turkey is not Europe. ONly 4% of their landmass is on European continent, but if they believe in this, and want to be Europeans, hey, why not?
I am all for the benefits of mankind.
Stop bringing up Ottoman Empire. You were killing innocent people to conquer the land. If I were you, I wouldn't be so proud of that.
The base texts of Christianity, the New Testament, tell Christians not to hate anybody. Matthew 5 in particular. The base texts of Islam, the Qu'ran in particular, tell Muslims to hate, kill and subjugate everyone else.
Some Christians go through all sorts of mental gyrations to justify hatred, but the base texts overall guide them back to ecumenism. Some Muslim go through all sorts of mental gyrations to justify loving ecumenism, but the base texts will always lead their children or grandchildren back to hatred, murder and subjugation.
Turkey should not enter the E.U. because it's not a reliable state.It's a state giving only promises to E.U and building its image on lies.
1.Turkey is still occupying the northern part of Cyprus(a member state of E.U.)and never respected the U.N. resolutions for Cyprus.Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974.The turkish army displaced 200.000 Greekcypriots(almost the half population of the island)from their houses,killed 8000 people and raped many women.1500 people are still missing due to invasion.Turkey is responsible for the isolation of the Turkishcypriots in the northern occupied part of the Repuplic of Cyprus,using them for its own political and strategical interest,keeping there 45000 troops.
2.Turkey never respected the Greeks of Constantinoupolis.Forced them to give up their properties and displaced many thousands of Greeks from their homes.
3.Turkey never recognised the genocides that executed against Armenians and Greeks.
4.Turkey doesn't respect and violates the human righs of the Kurds keeping their leader Abdullah Ocalan in prison.
5.Turkey doesnt respect the recently singed treaty with Armenia.
6 Turkey doesnt respect the European Parliament's and E.U decisions for Greece and Cyprus.
7.Some years ago even Erdogan was convicted in its country for his beliefs.Turkey is still imprisoned in Kemal Ataturk's ghost having a political system controlled by the army closing political parties and Tv stations whenever the
secularism is threatened.
8.When Erdogan blames Israel for Palestinians' situation it's good to blame and his countrey for the situation in Cyprus.
9 So Turkey is not a trustworthy nation throughout the century.It's not even a power because none of their neighbours trust this country.
I would rather not comment on a bias post as this, but I want to make some things clear for the ignorants'. You should note that most Turks do not want to be part of the EU union, we would prefer not to taint our heritage with the rottenness of some EU member states such as Germany, France and Austria. I will condense my arguments because I know the average European citizen does not have the brain capacity to read longer than a sentence. [snap].
Definition of 'Europe'
Geographic: if you do your research and be less ignorant, you will know that countries such as Ireland, Northern Island, Scotland, England, Wales, Iceland are not part of the European continent (unlike Turkey), and some countries part of the European continent are not part of the EU.
Religion: Although predominantly Christian, there are millions of non Christians in Europe, including non Christian MEPs' [member of European parliament]. You should note that most of the powerful position within the European Union is held by Jews. [snap]
Culture: THERE ARE SO MANY DENOMINATIONS OF CULTURE WITHIN EUROPE I DONT SEE HOW THIS EVEN COMES INTO THE WHOLE EQUATION BUT PEOPLE STILL USE IT. EXAMPLE SOME ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS ARE AGAINST ALCOHOL, WHILST OTHER CHRISTIAN DRINK IT EVERY OTHER DAY.
To cut a long story short, Europe is on the decline so WE DONT WANT TO BE A PART OF IT. IF THERE EVER WAS A VOTE IN TURKEY I WOULD VOTE AGAINST BECAUSE TURKEY HAS MUCH MORE TO GAIN FROM MIDDLE EAST, CENTRAL EAST, CHINA, AND JAPAN.
In conclusion, European leaders are exposing their ignorant racism but it will be their end. Why? Because we will dominate Europe like the Ottoman Empire did for over 600 years. [snap]
THE VEIL IS BACK..AND TURKEY IS FAR AWAY FROM EUROPE.
Decades ago Kemal Ataturk abolished veils and fezzes so that Turks look like europeans.Few things have changed since then.The veil is back and it seems more european than the military regime.The problem is not the veil nor the fez.
Is Turkey ready to accept and adopt european and democratic values?Is Turkey ready to accept a democraric, viable and fair solution in Cyprus?Is Turkey ready to recognize human rights for the Kurds and the minorities?
The so called 'zero problems'policy with its neighbours of Davutoglu is just a fiasco.Very often turkish aircrafts violate the FIR of Greece.
The agreement with Armenia remains on papers.Turkey is not willing to take steps for Cyprus problem.
Anan plan gave temporarily an alibi to Turkey.A terrible plan for every democratic and free people which was supported mainly by the illegal turkish settlers that they are the majority in the northern occupied( by Turkey) part of the Republic of Cyprus.
Even Rauf Denktas admitted two months ago in an illegal TV channel in occupied Cyprus that Anan plan was a manoeuvre of Turkey in order to get rid of its responsibilities in Cyprus.Anan plan could be a perfect solution for Kurdish problem.A Kurd could share the presidency with a Turk and Kurds could have the majority of land and population in their constituent state in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey is responsible for war crimes against Cyprus and it has to pay the cost.What kind of civilization is that which occupies the land of other people and turn their churches into mosques,stables,discos and galleries?
As soon as Turkey realizes what Europe means it will give up its european dream and it will choose to remain in its ottoman dream..
Besides Turkey is the champion in violation of human rights in the European Court of Human Rights.
E.U with a GDP larger than this of the USA is not going to collapse.For E.U., countries like Iceland,Serbia and Croatia are more important than Turkey.
TURKEY MUST NOT ENTER THE E.U. IT'S NOT A EUROPEAN COYNTRY.
IT BEHAVES LIKE A TERRORIST.
TURKEY HASN'T REGRETTED YET FOR THE CRIMES AGAINST ARMENIANS,GREEKS OF CONSTANTINOUPOLIS,ASIA MINOR,PONTUS AND GREEKS OF CYPRUS
FOR INSTANCE GERMANY HAS REGRETTED FOR ITS IMPERIALISTIC POLICY AND FOR THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY DECADES AGO AND TODAY IT'S A LEADING POWER IN THE E.U.
TURKEY IS STILL THE SAME TRYING TO REVIVE ITS OTTOMAN PAST.OTTOMAN EMPIRE DOES NOT EXIST.ONLY IN HISTORY.
TURKEY MUST TAKE ITS BARBARIC TURKISH TROOPS OUT OF CYPRUS AND RETURN THE OCCUPIED LAND TO THE LEGAL OWNERS.
We spent last summer in Protara,Cyprus.We visited Dherynia village and we saw Famagusta.
FAMAGUSTA-AMMOHOSTOS IS THE ONLY GHOST CITY ALL OVER THE WORLD BECAUSE OF TURKEY'S BLOODY INVASION.
MANY BUILDINGS ARE GOING TO COLLAPSE.
IT'S HUMILIATING FOR EUROPE AND EVERY CIVILIZED COUNTRY.
FOR GOD'S SAKE IT'S 21ST CENTURY AND TURKEY HOLDS SUCH A CITY AS A HOSTAGE AND ITS CITIZENS DEPRIVED OF THEIR HOMES.
SHAME ON YOU TURKEY.......SHAME..............SHAME..............
LOOK WHO'S TALKING!!!AND THE OSCAR OF HYPOCRICY GOES TO....TURKEY..
Turkey blames Israel for crimes against Palestinians.
What about the crimes of Turkey against Cypriots?
250,000 Greekcypriots are still refugees because of Turkey's invasion.
They were violently displaced from their land by turkish army.
37% of the Republic of Cyprus is still occupied by Turkey.
8000 people were killed.Aged people,pregnant women,even infants were brutally killed by Turks.
1500 people are still missing.
About 1000 women aborted embryos because they were raped by turk soldiers.
SURE THAT'S NOT A PEACEMAKING OPERATION MR.. ERDOGAN.THIS IS CALLED BLOODY INVASION.
Concerning the recent incident with Marmara ship.According to members of European Parliament there were agents of turkish secret services on the ship.WHY?
I wonder why "activists" wearing masks attacked israeli soldiers hitting them with crowbars and knives,and throwing a soldier from one deck to the other.
Sure we condemn the killing of innocent people and the fact that israeli soldiers embarked on the ship illegally but
we all know very well that if you attack an israeli soldier in a way like that sure he will shoot you.
Let's not be so naive.
Turkey is playing games to gain points and sympathy from the Arab and Muslim world.
Turkey hasn't cared about Palestinians for decades.
Turkey is expert in provocations.But it has lost its virtuosity.It is sellings its image with an oldfashioned anatolian bazaar way.
In the past Turkey didn't hesitate to encourage the killing of Turkishcypriots by turkish terrorist groups in order to accuse Greekcypriots and find a ground to invade Cyprus.
Rauf Denktash admitted that he placed a bomb in a mosque in order to blame Greekcypriots.
The same happened when a Turk placed a bomb out of the house of Kemal Ataturk in Salonica and Turkey displaced thousands of Greeks from Constantinoupolis.
Why is everybody asking whether EU citizens want Turkey in EU or not without taking into a consideration what we, Turks, think about this. The majority of Turks and over 80% people in Turkey oppose EU membership.
Some answers to commentors:
1)Some say we occupy Cyprus...Turks never occupy...We are by nature the conquerors...We don't occupy but we conquer;)We conquered IStanbul in 1453 and look it is still ours...We conquered Izmir a thousand years ago and it is still ours. We conquered Cyprus and it will remain ours forever. Occupiers leave the countries they occupy such as US and UK in Iraq. We came to remain buddies and we are going nowhere whether you like it or not.
2)If Turkey is not in Europe geographically, where exactly Cyprus is located?
3)Turks are Arabs???? Are French people British or Italians Swedish??? What do you study in schools?
5)IS Europe a Christian club? No, It is the synagoge of Satan. Read the Bible:))
6)Should Turkey join EU? No...Turkey must form the Great Turan Republic and expand to Central Asia and strength her ties with Russian Federation, India, China and other Asian countries.
7)Turkey must break the custom union agreement with EU, pass visas for all EU citizens, control their access to natural gas and oil resources in Asia, never open ports in Cyprus, never let ecumenism of Greek Orthodox (we can't even attain our religious leaders to mosques in Greece and they talk about democracy)...We (all Turks)dont want any of these and our governments can not do anything about this if Turkish population opposes it.
In the past Turkut Ozal dreamed of a union among former states of USSR like Turkmenistan.
This dream failed because of Russia's interests in this area.
Today Davutoglu is dreaming of newottomanism.
This dream will also fail because neighbouring states have had nightmaring experienses from ottomanism.
Besides Kemal Ataturk established the Republic of Turkey in 1923 based on a principle "Turkey only for Turks".
Ottoman empire was multicultural.Whereas Turkey violently displaced every sign of cultural diversity.
Cyprus has a history of 7000 years(3500 greek history).In Republic of Cyprus live minorities of Armenians,Latins,Maronites and turkishcypriots.That's why has a european culture instead of Turkey that can't stand up with any other culture.
Visiting Nicosia,Cyprus you can see a huge stony flag of shame on Pentadaktylos mountain.Turks if they are prouds of stealing the land,looting the fortunes and massacring civilians and infants(even disabled children in Kerynia)sure don't belong in Europe.Turks can establish a union with some tribes in Africa..
We re glad to hear that Turks don't want to join the E.U. That's good news.Turkey can be the 51 state of USA but not E.U.
Turkey forced hundreds of thousands of Greeks of Konstantinoupolis to abandon their land.Only 2000 Greeks live there today with limited rights whereas in Thrace,Greece live 500,000 muslims with the rights of E.U citizen.
Only 80.000 turkishcypriots live in occupied areas of Cyprus due to migration caused by settlers brought there by Turkey.Almost all turkishcypriots have the citizenship of the Republic Of Cyprus and they are E.U citizens.
According to recent secret researches in USA Turkey is the first state( on a list of states) that is in danger to split due to Kurdish problem.
The flow of history and circumstances change.For instance Greece conquered half territory of Turkey in 1922 because conditions helped that.
Turkey invaded Cyprus because conditions helped it.USA didn't react,Greece was governed by a group of insane officers and the army in cyprus was disarmed.
TURKEY KEEP SLEEPING IN YOUR OTTOMAN DREAMS NOT EUROPEAN.
The comments posted back in December, 2002 under my name do not belong to me and they need to be removed from the site. Those comments and views posted by another user using my name do not represent my view on the matter.
How do you know that there isn't another guy named Sadi Abali who commented in 2004?
TURKEY IN E.U?
TURKEY INVADED CYPRUS AND STILL OCCUPIES THE LAND OF GREEKCYPRIOTS.
SHAME ON YOU TURKEY
GET YOUR BLOODY TROOPS OUT OF CYPRUS
TURKEY IS DANGEROUS FOR EUROPE.LOOK WHAT THEY DID IN CYPRUS.THEY NAMED A SMALL MINORITY OF MUSLIMS TURKS IN ORDER TO FIND A REASON TO INVADE CYPRUS.
THEY ESTABLISHED A MILITARY ILLEGAL REGIME IN THE NORTH PART OF CYPRUS WHICH HOSTS THE TOP CRIMINALS OF EUROPE.A REGIME THAT OCCUPIES THE LAND OF GREEKCYPRIOTS.
WE WOULD'NT LIKE TO SEE THAT HAPPENS ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE WHERE MUSLIM MINORITIES LIVE..
ERDOGAN SAYS THAT TURKISH CYPRIOTS VOTED YES FOR ANAN PLAN.
THAT'S A HUGE LIE.
THE MAJORITY IN OCCUPIED CYPRUS ARE ILLEGAL SETTLERS FROM TURKEY THAT VOTED YES FOR ANAN PLAN.
AS AMERICAN OFFICIALS SAID DAVUTOGLU AND HIS UTOPIC NEWOTTOMANISM IS DANGEROUS.
TURKS MUST CHOOSE WHAT THEY ARE OTTOMANS OR TURKS..
even y-tube is forbidden in turkey....
TURKEY YOU CAN'T NO LONGER COVER YOUR CRIMES IN CYPRUS.....
YOU CAN'T ERASE THE GREEK HISTORY OF 4000 YEARS IN OCCUPIED PART OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
MAY THE SOULS OF OUR ANCESTORS,BURRIED THERE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS,HAUNT YOUR EUROPEAN DREAMS....AND YOUR ILLUSION TO CALL YOUR SELF A CIVILEZED STATE...
TURKEY REMINDS ME THE STORY OF THE CYCLOP...(KIKLOP)
TURKEY DOESN'T RECOGNISE THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS(ONE OF THE 27 E.U. MEMBERS)DESPITE ITS WILL TO ENTER E.U.
THEN CAN BLAME "NOBODY"...FOR NOT JOINING E.U. LIKE CYCLOP DID..
why is turkey always bluffing?
turkey bluffs e.u when it says that it's not giving up cyprus for the sake of e.u.
turkey needs e.u membership much more than ever although it knows that the most it can earn it's a priviledged status of connection with e.u.
1 turkey is seeking to play a leading role in the muslim world and to be a model country for the muslim countries.
2 turkey is not the largest economy among the muslim countries nor the most populous muslim state.
3 so the advantage that turkey could have is e.u membership in order to play this role.
TURKEY DOESN'T RECOGNIZE THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS.
BUT TURKEY IS WELL RECOGNIZED BY WHOLE WORLD FOR ITS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.
1.GENOCIDE AGAINST ARMENIANS,1,5OO,OOO VICTIMS
TURKEY STILL OCCUPIES PROVINCES OF ARMENIANS
2 GENOCIDE AGAINST GREEKS OF ASIA MINOR AND PONTUS 1,400,000 VICTIMS
TURKEY VIOLENTLY DISPLACED 1,200,000 GREEKS FROM THEIR LAND.SMYRNI,CONSTANTINOUPOLI.EASTERN THRACE AND PONTUS.
3 TURKEY OPPRESSES 12000000 KURDS IN THEIR LAND CAUSE THEY DEMAND AUTONOMY
4.TURKISH INVASION IN CYPRUS
250.000 REFUGEES STILL PREVENTED BY TURKEY FROM RETURNING HOME
SUCH STATES BUILT ON SUCH AMOUNTS OF BLOOD ARE DESTINED TO DIE...
WE DON'T NEED TURKEYS... IN E.U.
THEIR PLACE IS THE ZOO.....
turkey will never join e.u
it's a state with many risks to collapse
see what happened in egypt or libya.
wherever peoples are opppressed they demand democracy
and turkey has a fake democracy,controlled by the army and the kemal's laws.
kurds and alevites have not all the human rights in turkey.
AS LONG AS TURKEY OCCUPIES CYPRUS NO
DAVUTOGLU TAKE YOUR OTTOMAN DREAMS AND GO HOME
U CAN'T TAKE AN INCH FROM THE SEA OF GREECE..
GO THERE WHERE MAY CROWN U A SULTAN SOMEDAY,TO THE PAST
to true color
u r not by nature conquerors but looters of other peoples'land
ur fascist military regime took advantage of the cease fire to occupy the northern part of cyprus.
sure that's not gonna last forever
sooner or later even ur people won't put up with ur regime
E.U. PARLIAMENT MEMBERS WERE ARRESTED TODAY BY TURKISH ARMY IN OCCUPIED CYPRUS
AND TURKEY WANTS TO JOIN E.U?
THAT'S REALLY A JOKE...
EU PARLIAMENT'S MEMBERS VISITED THE OCCUPIED BY TURKEY NORTHERN PART OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
TO EXAMINE THE HUGE DESTRUCTION OF THE CULTURAL HERITAGE DUE TO THE CONTINUING TURKISH OCCUPATION
AND THE LOOTING OF CHURCHES AND ANCIENT SITES OF HELLENISTIC PERIOD.
ALMOST ALL THE CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN THE OCCUPIED NORTH HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO STABLES,DISCOS.THEATRES OR MOSQUES.
MANY ANTIQUITIES AND BYZANTINE ICONS HAVE BEEN LOOTED AND SOLD ABROAD IN ILLEGAL AUCTIONS.
THIS HAS BEEN ENCOURAGED BY THE ILLEGAL REGIME SUPPORTED BY TURKEY IN THE OCCUPIED NORTH SINCE TURKEY HOSTS THERE SOME OF THE TOP CRIMINALS OF EUROPE(FR TV).
RECENTLY EVEN THE FAMOUS POP SINGER BOY GEORGE OWNED A VALUABLE BYZANTINE ICON AND WILLINGLY RETURNED IT TO THE CHURCH OF CYPRUS AS LONG AS HE REALISED THAT IT WAS STOLEN.
BUT LET'S NOT FORGET TURKEY STILL OCCUPIES THE LAND AND HOMES OF 250.000 GREEKCYPRIOTS IN THE OCCUPIED NORTH
(THE 85%OF PROPERTIES IN OCCUPIED NORTH BELONGS TO THE GREEKCYPRIOTS)
SUCH A STATE...WANTS TO JOIN E.U.
BUT 37 YEARS OF OCCUPATION WILL NOT ERASE THE GREEK HISTORY OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
TURKEY'S FLAG IS DYED WITH BLOOD.....
THAT'S WHY IS RED...