Turkey, a country of over 71 million people1, located what can be referred to as the southern boundary of Europe has been fiercely trying to make its way into the European Union. 1963 was the year the Turkey first bid for its entrance into what was then called the European Economic Community, but due to weak economics was not allowed to join at that moment, however it met all other conditions, including geographic, set for entrance into the EEC. In 1987, Turkey was once again rejected from joining the EU, however this time based on both economic and political grounds. Today, the debate is mostly on basis of religion. Turkey is a muslim country, something that is not common with any other european country part of the EU. Even though Turkey's accession into the EU will come with its share of challenges, the outcome will be much more positive for both Turkey, the EU and the rest of the world.
Even though the religion part of the debate in Turkey's accession is the least talked about in the media and on the forefront, it is the biggest issue that politicians from countries that are part of the EU face. Public figures have gone to say that Turkey's accession would be the end of the Union. However, some other figure-heads see it a bit differently. Germany's Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, acknowledging that he had once had some doubts about Turkish membership,is now in favor, arguing that to modernize an Islamic country based on the shared values of Europe would almost be a D- Day for Europe in the war against terror, [because it] would provide real proof that Islam and modernity, Islam and the rule of law . . . [and] this great cultural tradition and human rights are after all compatible. Tony Blair added that the accession of Turkey would be proof that Europe is "committed not just in word but in deed to a Europe of diverse races, cultures, and religions all bound together by common rules and a sense of human solidarity and... [continues]
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