European Union and Turkey

Topics: European Union, United Kingdom, Enlargement of the European Union Pages: 9 (2173 words) Published: October 18, 2014


Turkey and the European Union

The European Union is political and economic union that consists of 28 member states located primarily on the European continent. The process of forming the European Union has a long history. Through the history, the European Union has to undergone some expansions which were each of them, separately, discussed and also followed by some policies. While the European Union still expanding its borders, there is a question, about the size of the union, which has arose. At the beginning, the crucial idea of the EU was not to cross the borders of the Europe. This idea was connected with evidence that there are slight, somewhere major cultural, political and economical differences between countries located in the Europe, and those countries which are located outside the Europe. These days there are some negotiations about accepting some countries which are not primarily located in Europe. Turkey is a country located at Near East which applied for membership in the past, and is still waiting for the approval of the European Union in terms of membership. By accepting the Turkey as a member, it could have huge political, cultural and finally also economical influence over the union. For that reason, there are still some hesitations whether Turkey should join the European Union, or not. Before letting the Turkey to join the EU, all potential political, cultural, economical and geographical consequences must be discussed in depth. Turkey is a democratic country which is still connected to the West. Turkey is a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) since 1952 (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). Also it is a member of other organizations like OECD and Western European Union (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). In September 1959, Turkey applied for EEC membership and a few years after, in 1987, became a fully accepted member (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). By that time in 1963, Ankara Association Agreement was signed by Turkey (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). However, there was a freeze in Turkish-EEC relations which was a due to the military intervention in Turkey (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). Further in 1997, Turkey was declared as eligible for becoming the EU member and in 1999 Turkey was recognized by Helsinki Council as a potential EU candidate country (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). In the next years, Turkey began to work on fulfilling Copenhagen criteria and in 2005 signed Ankara Agreement (EU- Turkey Chambers Forum, n.d.). There are still some issues which need to be fulfilled by Turkey in order to become a member of the EU. For that reason, there are still some questions that arise in terms of accepting Turkey as EU member. Between one of the most discussed topics in terms of acceptance Turkey as EU member is the geographical location of the country. There are still some speculations whether the Turkey is European country, or not. Turkey borders with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Georgia together with Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Sea. The only connection of Turkey to Europe is through Bosporus canal in Istanbul. In fact, only 3% of Turkey’s area is located in the Europe, where 10% of the population lives (Geography of Turkey, n.d.). It means that the vast majority of the area, 97%, is located in Asia. On the one hand, this fact can be seen as benefit because Turkey can be considered as strategic area. Turkey itself has a “large and powerful military presence and would offer the EU a stronger presence in a geo-politically vital region” (Lamb, 2004). On the other hand, there can be a thread of creating a “bridge” to other nations like Iraq and Iran that can put in danger the security of the EU (Lamb, 2004). As Mr. Bolkestein, a former commissioner said: “Once again, I am against the accession of Turkey, the problem is we can't manage it” (Hylarides, 2007). In addition, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said that it is...

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