|TO: |Jacques Santer – President of the EU Commission |
|From: |Joseph Donyo |
|Re: |Turkey's admission in the EU |
|Date: |6 May 1998 |
In December 1997, members of the European Union (EU) met in Luxembourg, for a European Council summit, to talk about countries being ...view middle of the document...
Those who support admission into the EU argue that it would prevent Turkey from religious extremism, which can be seen in Iran or Afghanistan. Thus, the question of the integration into the EU has never been so important.
Turkey's case is a complicated one, and therefore it needs to be given more attention than the other applicants. Turkey is actually the oldest applicant among the group of countries that are now willing to join the EU. Moreover, it has a strong historical background with the EU, and is tightly linked to it in trade relationships. Besides, Turkey is the major ally (together with Israel) of the West in the Middle East area. Because of its location, it has a tremendous strategic importance.
I understand that my research costs money to the Commission, and I am aware that the members of the EU already want to reduce the Commission's budget. In spite of that, I would like to point out that delaying this project might only increase the gap already existing between the EU and Turkey.
Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. Do not hesitate to contact me concerning any aspect of this project.
"We are not forming coalitions between States, but union among people." (Jean Monnet)
This statement was made more than 50 years ago, by one of the "fathers of Europe", and set the goal of a Community of European countries: to link people together, and help the States to provide their citizens the conditions for economical and social development.
Turkey is still looking forward to joining this community. It has been now 33 years since Turkey signed an association agreement with the EU. However, since 1987, three countries preceded Turkey in joining the European Community (Finland, Austria, and Sweden) and the Turks now find themselves behind a queue of 10 states in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus.
Today, Turkey feels excluded and has partially frozen its relations with the EU. The question of its admission seems to be as much political as economic. The real issue for the EU is not whether Turkey's economy is able to fit with the requirements of the EU. The main problem is the series of political troubles related to Turkey. The poor human rights record, the weaknesses of democracy, the war with Kurdish terrorists, the problems with Greece regarding territorial disputes, and so forth, do not even give Turkey the chance to focus on improving its dynamic economy.
The issue of admitting Turkey in the EU raises several questions. How is Turkey’s economy doing in relation to other applicants or members of the EU? Is it possible to accept a new member according to only economical data, regardless of political considerations? And is Europe ready to welcome a non-Christian country?
To understand the current situation between the EU and Turkey, one has to take into consideration a small amount of history. Modern Turkish politics have been shaped by two major events: the...