Posted by: bklunk | November 5, 2006

Turkey in the EU

sdminky comments on the question of whether Turkey should be allowed to join the EU.  How “European” does Turkey have to be to fit into the EU?
Still Molding Turkey

As the time when Turkey should be admitted into the EU steps closer, more and more has been done to check on the country and make sure that it is living up the ohe EU standard. As I had mentioned before, it is vital that the EU have a certain standard amongst all of its nations in terms of rights and quality of life. The most recent issue that the EU is looking over is the human rights in Turkey, a potential problem as expressed in CNN’s article that announces the EU has been alarmed by current Turkey reform woes.

Currently, the EU is trying hard to encourage Turkey to give freedom of expression throughout the country, a very difficult task for this country where several past experiences with individuals has taught that disagreeing often means getting in trouble. Several people such as “Orhan Pamuk, the winner of the Nobel prize for literature, and other Turkish intellectuals have been taken to court for their political views.” Because of instances such as these, the EU commission intends to continue monitoring, and potentially suspend, Turkey. The EU hopes that this will keep freedom and human rights in check for Turkey. Alongside the freedom of expression is a serious EU concern for the current state of the treatment of “Kurds, women, religious groups and trade unions.” So, while the EU attempts to continue monitoring Turkey, the world awaits to see if Turkey can meet up to the standards set by the EU so that they can join next year.

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  1. This whole battle between Turkey and the EU has been going on for some time now. It seems like there is always a new issue that had come up about the plausibility of Turkey joining the EU, which makes me wonder if the EU really wants Turkey to join or if Turkey itself really wants join the EU. There are reasons on both sides as to the positives and negatives for joining and not joining the EU. When I studied abroad I took a class on the European Union and we discussed this very issue in class. I sort of came to the conclusion that the EU has a lot of problems that it is currently dealing with in regards to having everyone participate in the EU 100%. Take for instance the United Kingdom, they retain their Sterling silver currency the pound, where as most other countries are now on the Euro. There are other instances, like this one, taking place in the EU. So I think that EU is trying as best it can to make this a system that everyone participates in 100% and Turkey is just one of those countries, which poses a threat. I think that it is also hard because Turkey is quite different from the other EU participating countries. But I think that some level of uniformity is good when it comes to allowing new members to join, but I have yet to decide where to draw the line as to how European Turkey had to be in order to be accepted.

  2. I also am split on the issue of whether or not Turkey should be allowed a member of the EU. On the one hand it would be great having a muslim country in the mix of EU countries to help deverisfy it’s representation. Turkish integration would also help the country itself in bringing a more stable view of the country to the outside world, in the process helping increase trade, and tourism. However one cannot overlook the fact that Turkey is a huge violater of human rights, both now, and in the past. Turkey’s lack of acknowlegment in regards to it’s past genocide of Armenians, along with it’s current, often violent persecution of kurds in the country are big detractors to letting Turkey join the EU. Also the countries countinuing presense on Cyprus should be noted as a problem that needs to be fixed before it can enter the EU. Turkey it seems to me should only be brought into the EU if it is willing to rid itself of these issues, without which Turkey should remain a side note on future votes on which new countries should be added.

  3. Both sides clearly seem to be halfhearted in pursuing the admission of Turkey into the EU. It seems that in order to join the EU, a nation must be completely committed to the notion of membership, even at the expense of a great deal of sovereignty. This has proved to be a deal breaker in the past with countries such as Norway. As A Lance points out, there is definitely a gap in the EU regarding the level of commitment required from countries. As Turkey is quite a bit different from the EU’s current membership, the EU seems to be standing firm on its stances regarding human rights, freedom of expression and trade.

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