Europeans Having Second Thoughts about Turkey
News/Comment; Posted on: 2004-09-24 19:52:01
Europeans get cold feet about letting Turkey in the European Union -- but give every reason in the book for their reluctance, except the most significant one: race.
Ted O'Keefe reports for the Occidental Herald:
PREDICTIONS THAT TURKEY would be admitted to the European Union swiftly and smoothly after satisfying EU objections to a few points of legal and political punctilio are fortunately proving unfounded. Although Turkey’s Islamist premier, R. T. Erdogan, recently placated some of his critics by shelving plans to make adultery a crime, other European leaders are waking up to the fact that, despite the alleged potential of its 70 million strong “market,” Turkey—Asian, Muslim, precariously balanced between autocratic generals and increasingly Islamist masses, and with a long tradition of ruthlessly suppressing its minorities—is a poorly qualified candidate for inclusion in Europe.
Jose Barroso, president of the European Commission, has recently stated that Turkey has so far failed to fulfill the conditions necessary even to begin EU negotiations. France’s Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has questioned whether Turkish society is European enough, given its failure to separate church and state (despite the efforts of Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, and his successors).
EUBusiness reports that although most EU nations still welcome talks with Turkey on EU membership, sentiment is cooling:
[German] Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer, quoted in New York by Spiegel Online, said he hoped for a positive decision but warned that the talks for eventual Turkish accession would be "a very long process, (lasting) 10 to 15 years."
Frits Bolkestein, EU Internal Market Commissioner, has warned that letting in Turkey could “implode” the European Union, while the heads of all of Denmarks’s major parties are demanding that there be no rush to admit Turkey to the EU. No doubt recent polls that show Germans, Austrians, Danes, and other Europeans strongly opposed to Turkish membership have helped the politicians focus more clearly on the real issues.
Deustche Welle report
Copenhagen post article
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