Crossing over? Turkey and the European Union

By Clarke, Killian | Harvard International Review, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Crossing over? Turkey and the European Union


Clarke, Killian, Harvard International Review


In its quest for full membership in the European Union, the Republic of Turkey has traveled a long and arduous road. Having been an associate member of the European Union since 1963, Turkey became a candidate to be a full EU member in 1999. Finally, on October 3, 2005, the European Union started accession talks with Turkey. Despite much headway, however, the end of the road has not yet come. Indeed, it may still be far too early for Turks to begin celebrating.

Such skepticism is warranted by long-standing resistance within the European Union to a Turkish member state. Points of contention include Turkey's geographic boundaries, economic instability, cultural and religious differences with the rest of Europe, questionable human rights record, and high population growth (by approximately 2015 Turkey, if made an EU member, would be the largest EU state). The overwhelming majority of European citizens oppose membership, according to a European Commission poll two years ago, which showed that only 35 percent of Europeans support Turkey's bid.

The most outspoken critic on a state level, and the only country in the European Union to take a firm stance against membership, is Austria, which has long advocated a "privileged partnership" status for Turkey rather than full membership. It was Austria's continuing opposition that seemed likely to stall the opening of accession talks past the scheduled date, Austria recently took over control of the EU presidency from Great Britain and might use the office to influence the outcome of the talks.

Several other key voices in the European community oppose membership. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a likely candidate for the French presidency in 2007, has opposed a Turkish member state. So has Angela Merkel, who took over as German chancellor in November 2005 and believes that "Turkey does not fit into the EU because it is culturally different." With current and future leaders of Europe standing in stark opposition to the inclusion of Turkey in the European Union, it seems unlikely that the accession talks will proceed either smoothly or quickly.

The issue of Turkey's EU membership is a contentious one within Turkey itself, albeit not to the degree it is in other European countries. While Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to work toward the ultimate goal of EU membership, conflict between various feuding parties has hindered his efforts.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Crossing over? Turkey and the European Union
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?