1. TURKEY-EU REALTIONS AN OVERVIEW
2. THE MAIN CHALLENGES OF TURKEY FOR THE FULL MEMBERSHIP OF THE UNION. 3.1. UNRESOLVED DISPUTE OVER CYPRUS
3.2. DOES TURKEY GEOGRAPHICALLY BELONG TO EUROPE
3.3. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES, RELIGIOUS AND EUROPEAN IDENTITY 3. THE VIEW OF THE MEMBER STATES FOR TURKEY’S ACCESSION TO THE UNION. 4. CONCLUSION.
Should or can Turkey join the European Union or other question should be asked Is European Union ready to accept Turkey as a membership? This paper investigates the unique position of Turkey among the others candidate countries in terms of different cultural dynamics and analyzes Turkey’s crucial problems which block Turkey’s accession of the EU. In order to tackle these challenges, Turkey must come up a sustainable solution over Cyprus dispute, and fulfill the Copenhagen criteria. This paper analyzes three most important obstacles that are Cyprus issue, hostile bilateral relations with Greece, and the identity problems which explain the main reason of Turkey’s negative image to EU countries as a too Islamic, too poor and non-European society, and last but not least, the arguments focus on Turkey’s geographical position that means If Turkey are located in Europe or Asia. The article also gives some overview about the ideas of the member states to Turkey’s accession to the Union. Obviously the member states are not supportive for Turkey’s membership with the exception of Britain, France and Germany are favour of a “privileged partnership” instead of full membership, because they believe that Turkey has a lots of challenges must tackle in terms of humanitarian and economic issues, so even though both sides seem so willing to pursue the Turkey’s membership. There is a big possibility for Turkey’s full membership but It will not happen in a short terms, it will be long, difficult and tortuous process.
1. TURKEY-EU RELATIONS AN OVERVIEW.
Turkey’s close relations with the EU track back to the Association Agreement signed in Ankara in 1963 between Turkey and European Economic Community when the agreement was signed the President of the EEC Commission announced that “Turkey is part of Europe”. The common idea at that time was that Turkey was an invaluable partner in Western security against the Soviet Block and therefore must be integrated in the Western System as tightly as possible among the EEC mechanism. More or less three decades later as the Cold War came to on abrupt end in 1989, the EU re-assessed the relative ‘value’ of Turkey for Europe from central to secondary importance, relating Turkey to the margins of the ‘new’ and ‘united’ Europe. The culmination of the stipulations of the Ankara Agreement into a Customs Union between the EU and Turkey in 1995. Turkey’s bid for full membership in 1987 was rejected by the EU in terms of political reasons including the human rights, In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The EU felt urgent need to reconsider its place in the new global security environment. Therefore, the EU started to strengthen its relations with Turkey after plainly excluding Turkey from its future enlargement plans at the 1997 Luxemburg Summit due to its lower human rights standards and other practices compare to those in force in the EU, as well as to unsatisfactory relations with Greece. Being the only rejected aspirant country, Turkey interpreted the EU’s Luxembourg decision as discrimination on grounds of differences between the “civilizations.” The EU authorities welcomed Turkey as a candidate country for full membership at the Helsinki Summit in December 1999. The decision stipulated that Turkey would start the membership with the EU. One of the former completed its domestic reforms to satisfy the political requirements of Copenhagen Criteria in terms of political stability, guaranteeing democracy, fundamental human rights, the rule of law, respect for and protect...