Wariness over Turkey's EU Bid ; but Wednesday, the European Commission Is Expected to Recommend That Turkey Begin Membership Process

By Peter Ford Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

Wariness over Turkey's EU Bid ; but Wednesday, the European Commission Is Expected to Recommend That Turkey Begin Membership Process


Peter Ford Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


As the European Union approaches a contentious decision - whether to let Turkey join the club - the Continent's rulers seem to have left their citizens behind.

The European Commission is expected to recommend Wednesday that Turkey be invited to negotiate its membership in the union, 42 years after Ankara first applied.

But almost everywhere across Europe, the public is opposed to EU membership for Turkey. There is a widespread feeling that Turkey is too big, too poor, too distant - and, perhaps most salient, too Muslim to make a proper member of the European Union.

Proponents of the idea say that voters will catch up to their leaders by the time Turkey has finished negotiating the terms of its entry into the EU, which won't be for another 10 to 15 years.

"Popular hostility is a question of ignorance, prejudice, and misunderstanding", says Albert Rohan, a former top Austrian diplomat who joined a blue-ribbon Independent Commission on Turkey, which last month urged talks with Turkey.

That hostility is real, however, and "we cannot afford to ignore public opinion, leaving European construction to the diplomats," argued Franz Fischler, the EU's agriculture commissioner, in a recent letter to his fellow commissioners. A recent poll found 56 percent of the French opposed to Turkish accession, compared to 36 percent in favor.

Those figures appear to jibe with feelings elsewhere in Europe: the last EU-wide poll on the subject, two years ago, found 49 percent of Europeans against, and 32 percent for, Turkish aspirations.

Among the French, the biggest worry was that migrant Turkish workers would flood Europe. To meet that fear, the Commission was expected to suggest limits to Turks' freedom of movement within the EU - restrictions that apply to no other member state.

Behind most people's misgivings, says Francois Heisbourg, head of the Foundation for Strategic Research, a think tank in Paris, lies religion. "It is more or less spoken or more or less hidden, but the major component in popular rejection of Turkey's admission is Islam," he argues.

Some public figures have the same reservations.. The Wall Street Journal recorded French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin as pondering whether "we want the river of Islam to enter the riverbed of secularism."

The EU commissioner for internal markets, Fritz Bolkestein, worried that Turkey's entry, which would bring 82 million Muslims into the club, could lead to the Islamization of Europe.

Such an outcome, he said in a speech last month, would mean "the deliverance of Vienna in 1683 will have been in vain," referring to a Catholic Polish army's defeat of the Turkish army outside Vienna more than 300 years ago.

Supporters say that welcoming Turkey into the EU would offer an important example of a modern, democratic Muslim country respecting human rights, which could help take the sting out of a potential "clash of civilizations."

"We all say we want to support democracy in the Muslim and Arab world, and here we have a chance to do that," says Emma Bonino, a former EU commissioner for humanitarian affairs. …

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

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Wariness over Turkey's EU Bid ; but Wednesday, the European Commission Is Expected to Recommend That Turkey Begin Membership Process
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.