Turkey's Entry into the EU: Asset or Liability?

By Moustakis, Fotis | Contemporary Review, September 1998 | Go to article overview

Turkey's Entry into the EU: Asset or Liability?


Moustakis, Fotis, Contemporary Review


In the light of Turkey's recent rejection for entry into the European Union (EU) it will be appropriate to assess the validity of Turkish application by analysing the potential costs and benefits for the EU and Turkey.

Of the many current applicants for EU membership Turkey has been waiting the longest since 1963, but is potentially the last country expected to gain membership. Since the accession agreement signed in 1963, Turkey's declared goal has been full EU membership and in 1987 she applied for this. The wording of the 1963 agreement explicitly gives Turkey the legal right to expect to become a full member; that she has not done so is perhaps a result of doubt within the EU of whether Turkey is really European. The EU claims economic and political reasons why Turkey remains outside, but the reality may be that the EU does not agree with Ozlem Sanberk, Turkey's permanent delegate to the EU, whose opinion of the 1987 application was: 'Turkey confirms its traditional goal which is to align itself with Europe that is politically plural, economically liberal, rich in cultural diversity and strategically necessary to the defence and security of the West'.

Whilst, the EU views Turkey as a primarily Asian nation, Turkey views herself as an estranged European one. History in many ways backs her up. If Europe were to be defined purely by geography then Turkey, who lies southeast of the traditional borderline of the Dardanelles-Bosphorus ribbon of water linking the Aegean and Black Seas, would not be included. Turkey is however part of the Europe of ideas. Brian Beedham points out in The Economist that for two-thirds of the last 2500 years Turkey has been a political, economic and cultural extension of Europe. After 1453 contacts with Europe continued, often in the form of clashes between European states and the Ottoman Empire. In 1856 Turkey was welcomed as a European Power when it fought alongside Britain and France in the Crimean War, and was brought into the Concert of Europe. So even if in this period Turkey was domestically Asian, her foreign policy was directed at Europe.

The greatest change occurred in the 1920s with the westernisation of Turkey as a formal and fundamental policy under Kemal Attaturk. From this point on Turkey has directed her energies towards 'Europeanisation' of which membership of the EU would be the climax. Attaturk's reforms were widespread, the Latin alphabet was adopted as was the European calendar and the Christian Sunday as the day of rest. The fez and other headgear was banned and woman discouraged from wearing the chador and were given the right of suffrage not long after British women were (1922). The penal code was adopted from that of Italy and the civil code from Switzerland. Highly important was the removing of the political power of Islam by the abolition of the religious court and the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Turkey thus became a secular state just like any other European country, the difference being the population is predominantly Islamic rather than Christian. Despite Turkey being secular and the Treaty of Rome not saying anything about members being Christian, this seems to be one reason why Turkey is excluded from full membership. The fact that it is the ruling class of Turkey, the educated elite, who push for European integration and not the Islamic masses is not a reason to decline Turkey's membership, but one for its acceptance. As one Turkish diplomat stated 'the policy of economic re-orientation and political and social modernisation might succeed so that the Turkish people might know in what direction the efforts demanded of them were leading'.

After World War II Turkey was welcomed into the West due to her strategic importance at the cross-roads of three continents. She was an early member of the Council of Europe in 1949, a significant and important NATO member since 1952 and an associate EC member since 1963. Now after the end of the Cold War it is easy to claim that Turkey's strategic importance instead of declining has increased.

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.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
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.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Turkey's Entry into the EU: Asset or Liability?
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?

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.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

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.