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US Blames EU For Turkey Foreign Policy 'drift'  
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5684 posts, RR: 19
Posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4784 times:

BRUSSELS – US defence minister Robert Gates said that the EU's refusal to accept Turkey as a member is partly to blame for Ankara's deteriorating relations with Israel and for pushing the country into the arms of Islamic states, a suggestion firmly rejected by Brussels.
...
"I personally think that if there is anything to the notion that Turkey is, if you will, moving eastward, it is, in my view, in no small part because it was pushed, and pushed by some in Europe refusing to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought," he argued.


http://euobserver.com/9/30246

Thoughts? There is probably some causal link between reluctance to accept Turkey to the EU and its reevaluation of foreign policy priorities, but imho it only highlights how easily the EU could become hostage of unpredictable Turkey when it comes to the Middle East mess.

133 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejanmnastami From Italy, joined Apr 2008, 827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4750 times:

The EU hasn't "refused to accept Turkey as a member": one day Turkey will join the EU, but this will take years and years (at least 20 or 30 years, in my opinion). The EU isn't just an economical club, it's also a political one.

If Gates wants "to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought", he could propose them to join the USA.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8792 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4702 times:

Quoting janmnastami (Reply 1):
The EU hasn't "refused to accept Turkey as a member": one day Turkey will join the EU, but this will take years and years (at least 20 or 30 years, in my opinion). The EU isn't just an economical club, it's also a political one.

Here are the facts.

- Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Turkey tried very hard to get accepted into the EU, and were basically told, "not now". The main concern was that 80 million Turks would suddenly flood into the rest of the EU looking for work.

- The modern Turkish state was established by Ataturk in the 20s, and his boldest and clearest thinking reform was to exterminate Islam from the political landscape in Turkey. i.e., he supported Islam as a religion, but rejected Islamism as an encroachment of religion into politics and civil law.

- The Turkish military would step in and remove any government that started to reject Ataturk's principles, and has done just that several times. That concept raises the hairs on the necks of any supporter of democratic principles, but history has shown that Turkey needed that safety net in order to preserve their secular democracy.

- Over the past decade, Islamism has been on the rise in Turkey, and the military has become more de-politicized (possibly due to reforms demanded by the EU). Turkey's secular democracy is now in serious danger.

My question is whether the EU inadvertently screwed up Turkey. They pushed Turkey to reform the military and de-politicize it, based on Western ideals that reject such intervention by the military, but France and Germany do not face a religion constantly trying to impose itself on the government. Also, did the EU's rejection of Turkish membership spur a backlash, driving secular (Europeanized) Turks into the arms of the Islamists? I think it's possible. Islamism has always been present in Turkey, but I know from personal experience (I spent a lot of time in Turkey in the 90s until around 2001) that the EU's rejection of Turkey seriously pissed them off. I can see how they might think "We tried westernization, but the West rejected us, so we'll go the other way."



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinejanmnastami From Italy, joined Apr 2008, 827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4680 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Turkey tried very hard to get accepted into the EU, and were basically told, "not now".

It's correct: before joining the EU, Turkey has to comply with EU's laws and principles.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4656 times:

While Turkey might not be best pleased with the EU, Israel and the US have really really pissed them off. Why did they suddenly withdraw permission to invade Iraq through Turkey? A much more major issue. This change has been coming for years.

Gates needs a reality check. Well, no, I misspoke, he needs a few reality checks, not least about Afghanistan. Why not listen to your generals matey. They are telling you your political position is not helping one little bit.

http://warincontext.org/2010/03/16/i...mpowering-al-qaeda-petraeus-warns/

Do you suppose if that problem is affecting Afghanistan it is not a major factor with Turkey? Not bleeding likely. Sounds to me as if Gates is duck shovelling the problem onto a favourite whipping boy.

I had heard that Repayable Launch Investment was also a major cause of the Turkish discontent, that and the Euro and a lack of appreciation for Kemal Attaturk and support for Armenia. Anything but the real cause.


User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12411 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4598 times:

Does Turkey still want to join the EU? I always interpreted the response "not now" as a polite way of saying "never". Times have changed, Turkey has a different government, with different priorities, which sees itself - and Turkey - as more Islamic than European. I see Turkey manoeuvring itself to be a leader of the Islamic world and I guess that its stance on the Israel issue (particularly the flotilla business) has given it an opportunity to do this.

It cannot be good for the Turkish psyche to get rejection after rejection from the EU and understandably, this has led not just to a hardening of attitudes, but a reappraisal of how Turkey positions itself geopolitically. I don't think this reassessment is limited to the Islamists, but across the political spectrum (I don't know this for a fact, obviously, but it would be my guess!). Turkey can get a lot of the benefit from being associated with the EU, through trade and open skies agreements (and similar associations), without having to row in on other issues. Turkey seems to be doing quite well at the moment economically (well, better than its traditional rival anyway - but that's not hard!) and it probably feels that the disadvantages of being part of the EU outweigh the advantages, particularly if it can get many of those advantages without actually being a member.

So, in summary, I don't see Turkey being pushed into the arms of Islamists due to EU rejection; I just see it reassessing its objectives and priorities and deciding that EU membership really wasn't all it's cracked up to be. Better be a leader in the Islamic World than a barely tolerated "also ran" in Europe?


User currently offlinembmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4585 times:

As far as I can tell, Gates' comments represent a diversion from what has really happened: Israel attacked a Turkish ship in international waters and killed nine people in the process.

Turkey has every reason to be outraged as should the rest of the world.


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3623 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4582 times:

Turkey is trying to play an important role in the ME and has the potential to become a good mediator between the east and the west. The Israel incident and the lack of support for their initiative with Iran is not helping.

There are a lot of issues that need to be settled before Turkey is admitted in the EU. A privileged relationship is what they now get but there can still be improvements. A lot of Turks I know don't like the fact that they need a visa to visit the Greek islands since Schengen was implemented. It used to be much easier for them to take day trips from their coast.

I doubt most Turks still want to join the EU with the same passion as they did a few years ago. At least that is the idea I got when talking about it with friends.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 5):
Turkey seems to be doing quite well at the moment economically (well, better than its traditional rival anyway - but that's not hard!

Well of course they are! They have been working with the IMF for almost a decade, have cut a few 0s from their currency and are now having a stronger economy than before. Without being locked in a single currency, most countries can do that and were doing exactly that for decades. Underneath though, the same problems exist for both countries, unorganized and inefficient government, corruption and ridiculous spending on the military. The Turkish economy still has a significant manufacturing sector, it helps a lot.


User currently onlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3001 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4472 times:

Quoting janmnastami (Reply 1):
but this will take years and years (at least 20 or 30 years, in my opinion).

It has been decades already. The only issue that the EU can use to oppose Turkey is the Cyprus division. Once that's solved, there should be no objection to EU membership. My question is why do France and Germany oppose Turkey, a member of NATO and a proven ally in the Middle East?

Quoting kaitak (Reply 5):
Does Turkey still want to join the EU? I always interpreted the response "not now" as a polite way of saying "never". Times have changed, Turkey has a different government, with different priorities, which sees itself - and Turkey - as more Islamic than European. I see Turkey manoeuvring itself to be a leader of the Islamic world and I guess that its stance on the Israel issue (particularly the flotilla business) has given it an opportunity to do this.

And you can bet anything that when Turkey becomes a regional power, the EU will be begging for them to join. It would be foolish for Turkey to accept when they have been knocking for entry into the EU for decades. Opposing Turkey would confirm that the EU is a Christian club (we all know that, but with Turkey there we can't say for real) and would harm relations with Arab states.

I think that for a political union with 27 states (29 when Croatia and Iceland join soon), the fact of having one NAY vote that stops all procedures is a bit dictatorial and hypocritical especially when they ask from member states DEMOCRACY (as in majority rules, not unanimous or no go).



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8792 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4453 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):

It has been decades already. The only issue that the EU can use to oppose Turkey is the Cyprus division. Once that's solved, there should be no objection to EU membership. My question is why do France and Germany oppose Turkey, a member of NATO and a proven ally in the Middle East?

The big worry was that Turkey would become the most populous country in the EU as well as the poorest, leading millions of people to flood into other countries, when many countries (like Germany) already have a look to Turks living there. Remember that EU membership means your people can move and work anywhere in the EU.

Now that problem has gotten worse. Unemployment in Turkey 10 years ago was 6.5%, now it's around 15%.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4424 times:

Our international friends may not know that NY Congressman Anthony Wiener, who has recently been critical of Turkey vis a vis Israel, infuriated an anti-semitic goat named Lancelot that bloodied him:


http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dai...einer-injured-in-press-confer.html


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24884 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4421 times:

I think Gates hints at something very valid

Turkey has continually looked West, however keeps getting put down, or not being able to be treated as an equal in the eyes of many European. The notion that the EU is a "Christian Club" is becoming ever more apparent.

In turn, and since it plays well in domestic politics Turkey has started to look East more. As with the West Turkey has important trade links with nations to the East, but until recently never put major political emphasis on such relations instead downplays in deference to building ever closer Europe which seem to have done nothing but go in circles the last 10-20 years.

So the concept of a more Eastern or Islamist Turkey is very valid.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):
Now that problem has gotten worse. Unemployment in Turkey 10 years ago was 6.5%, now it's around 15%.

So and its 24% in Spain.
Turkey's economy has barely missed a beat and continued to grow, unlike the remainder of the Euro Zone.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently onlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3001 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4414 times:

I don't think Turkey will go as far as becoming extremist a la Iran, but you can bet that when the time comes for the West to ask of Turkey, they will simply have to be left to what Turkey wants...sometimes the "eye for an eye" actions works wonders and gives us the greatest feeling ever.


"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4377 times:

Turkey is what it is, mostly provincial traditional Islamist with an small urban Western looking population, recently interested in closer relations. Over all this is a thin veneer of secularism, already compromised by an Islamist leaning government.

If anyone is pushing Turkey it is Israel's pariah state behaviour and the US's traditional acquiescence to all they do.

Further Gates, of all people, is ill placed to understand, even less comment on what Europe should be doing. He has presided over the machinations of a barely adolescent US, not yet emerged from errors European powers made in the 18th and 19th centuries. Once the US has learnt the hard way, at our expense, the lessons and misadventures of imperialism, we'll talk.

[Edited 2010-06-10 19:15:40]


When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24884 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 13):
Turkey is what it is, mostly provincial traditional Islamist with an small urban Western looking population

When is the last time you visited?

You realize the "urban Western looking population" is by no means small. Istanbul alone population is about 13 million, and it larger then than the total populations of 32 provinces in the country. Add in other modern cities such as Izmir and Ankara and then the dozen plus secondary cities, the country is hardly "mostly provincial".



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1240 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4317 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):

It has been decades already. The only issue that the EU can use to oppose Turkey is the Cyprus division. Once that's solved, there should be no objection to EU membership. My question is why do France and Germany oppose Turkey, a member of NATO and a proven ally in the Middle East?

Well may i recommend some literature. www.europa.eu The standards that have to be fulfilled to join the EU are avalible for all to see.
And no Turkey doesn't fulfil half of them.
A war against the kurds is going on, Northern Cyprus hasn't been solved. the judiciary system isnt what the EU demands neither is the labour legislation, freedom of speech is limited. You name it Turkey has a long, long way to go.
This is not Germany and France, this is about meeting and fulfilling all criteria s that the EU demands.
the EU isnt a social club that admits countries to be nice and friendly.

Personally I cant see why the US cant integrate with Mexico, open its borders completely and allow free trade and be locked in a political union, letting the 110 million mexicans become part of the US, vote in elections and having the US finance Mexicos social security system...
After all you lot have the NAFTA...

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):
I think that for a political union with 27 states (29 when Croatia and Iceland join soon), the fact of having one NAY vote that stops all procedures is a bit dictatorial and hypocritical especially when they ask from member states DEMOCRACY (as in majority rules, not unanimous or no go).

What one nay vote? You mean the constitution, yeah lets put it out of play. Doesn't make sense to non Europeans so we might as well get rid of it immediately.
I can guarantee you that if the people ever were to have a say in admitting Turkey to the EU the NO vote would win overwhelmingly. Democracy is people power so...

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
So and its 24% in Spain.
Turkey's economy has barely missed a beat and continued to grow, unlike the remainder of the Euro Zone.

And so has Mexico's despite the US recession. Now what does that prove?
That countries starting at a much lower rate of standard of living get through recessions better than rich countries?
or that Turkey and Mexico are where the US and the EU should look for ideas.

personally I am quite happy with the way the European economy has faired. I wouldn't perhaps say that if I lived in Greece, Portugal, Hungary or Italy - countries that all spend a lot more than they earn but I don't. I like the fact that the Netherlands have a election and the party that emerged successful where the party that said we need to balance the books very hard. no budget-deficits.
perhaps some countries could learn from that, countries where budgetdeficits are a way of life...



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4271 times:

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 15):
Personally I cant see why the US cant integrate with Mexico, open its borders completely and allow free trade and be locked in a political union, letting the 110 million mexicans become part of the US, vote in elections and having the US finance Mexicos social security system...
After all you lot have the NAFTA...

         Perfect analogy and just imagine the vitriolic, "Stay out of our internal affairs" from the US government every American on the forum should it be mentioned. However, the EU is portrayed as a corrupt old boys club if it does not do the equivalent.



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4263 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 5):
Turkey can get a lot of the benefit from being associated with the EU, through trade and open skies agreements (and similar associations), without having to row in on other issues. Turkey seems to be doing quite well at the moment economically (well, better than its traditional rival anyway - but that's not hard!) and it probably feels that the disadvantages of being part of the EU outweigh the advantages, particularly if it can get many of those advantages without actually being a member.

Totally agree. I'm Australian. Australia meets all EU entry criteria, but just happens to be on the other side of the planet. Since we are speaking of Turkey and the EU and Turkey is not geographically in Europe, nor has it ever been, why not Australia in the EU?? Turkey and the EU can get all the real benefits being sought through close ties and alignment on trade and security. The EU is not a club for people who like each other and not being invited to join is not an existential condemnation. The US can get its own how in order with its American neighbours.



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlinejanmnastami From Italy, joined Apr 2008, 827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4263 times:

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 15):
I wouldn't perhaps say that if I lived in Greece, Portugal, Hungary or Italy

You should check the deficit/GDP ratio of Italy.


User currently offlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4226 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):

The big worry was that Turkey would become the most populous country in the EU as well as the poorest, leading millions of people to flood into other countries, when many countries (like Germany) already have a look to Turks living there. Remember that EU membership means your people can move and work anywhere in the EU.

     
This, coupled with the fact of a clash of cultures on a number of fronts mean that integration into the EU is not the best option, but rather closer trade and security ties which provide the benefits without the penalties.



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently onlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3001 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4119 times:

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 15):
What one nay vote? You mean the constitution, yeah lets put it out of play. Doesn't make sense to non Europeans so we might as well get rid of it immediately.
I can guarantee you that if the people ever were to have a say in admitting Turkey to the EU the NO vote would win overwhelmingly. Democracy is people power so...

Check the process of admitting a member. The decision has to be unanimous or it doesn't proceed. For Turkey to be admitted, not one member can oppose.

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 15):
Well may i recommend some literature. www.europa.eu The standards that have to be fulfilled to join the EU are avalible for all to see.
And no Turkey doesn't fulfil half of them.
A war against the kurds is going on, Northern Cyprus hasn't been solved. the judiciary system isnt what the EU demands neither is the labour legislation, freedom of speech is limited. You name it Turkey has a long, long way to go.

I am well aware of the acquis communautaire that new members must fulfill in order to enter. I'm just saying that, assuming that Turkey does meet this criteria, the only real road block (apart from what a politician would like to see) is the Cyprus problem. I know that Turkey has a long way to go, but who can proceed with adopting EU law when every chapter you discuss is blocked/frozen by country just because...

Quote:
This is not Germany and France, this is about meeting and fulfilling all criteria s that the EU demands.
the EU isnt a social club that admits countries to be nice and friendly.

News would seem to contradict you where both France and Germany oppose Turkey because "it has no place in Europe"...That's not an excuse for a country that basically meets the criteria to be considered for membership and continues to contribute towards EU safety with NATO.
That's like you meeting the criteria for running for president but being told you can't run because I don't want you to. You meet the criteria, you have every right to run. Whether the public (this is where democracy comes into play) favors you is another different matter. If the EU is democratic, then it should be majority rules and if more members would like to admit than reject Turkey as a member, then that's true democracy.

The EU is not a social club...yet it's goal is European unification (hence the name European Union)...for European unification to take place, countries that meet the Maastricht criteria and wish to join are quite literally guaranteed membership assuming, again, they meet the acquis criteria and are willing to submit to EU regulations. Turkey met the criteria (or else it wouldn't be a membership candidate), it's trying to meet the acquis criteria...only stumble is Cyprus. Once that's solved, why oppose Turkey?



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

Germany's conservative party is the only major party opposing a EU membership of Turkey. Turkey has a way to go, it took them until 2004(!) to abolish the death penalty. But when they're there, they'll get in.

And, if I may say so, how about he tell's his president that his party members walking around calling Turkey a "former ally" or suggesting it's a good thing to "strangle" Gaza aren't helping either.


User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1240 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4021 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):
Turkey met the criteria (or else it wouldn't be a membership candidate), it's trying to meet the acquis criteria...only stumble is Cyprus. Once that's solved, why oppose Turkey?

What I disagree to is the fact that its just Cyprus. To me its not just about Cyprus. In fact Cyprus is one of the lesser problems Turkey faces.
What the EU have is something called the Copenhagen criterias that must be fulfilled for a nation to become a member.
these are EU legislation and can not be negotiated about.
In the last report Turkey hadn't satisfactory addressed judiciary reforms, freedom of speech, foreign policy, there is an armed conflict with the Kurds, the Armenian issue isnt solved, discriminatory policies are in place, transparency isnt at the level required, property rights aren't guaranteed, punishments aren't at European standards, fishery policies aren't aligned, regulatory requirements haven't been changed, governmental purchasing hasn't even been addressed and this is just some of the points.
I mean just look at aviation since we are at airliners.net. Hardly a closed chapter.
here are the 35 chapters Turkey need to comply with ( no negotiations, this is pure compliance)
They havent closed many.
http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/enla...ations_croatia_turkey/index_en.htm

I read in a Turkish report that it said five to go, but I have never seen anything remotedly close to this figure in European reports.

If Turkey manages to close all the chapters then they will be subject to a vote for membership until then no vote will take place. But since one of the criterias is no unresolved territorial conflict no vote can take place until the Cyprus issue has been solved. So this is at the moment a non issue. But if Cyprus were the only hurdle the pressure to resolve that conflict would be huge.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):

Check the process of admitting a member. The decision has to be unanimous or it doesn't proceed. For Turkey to be admitted, not one member can oppose.

Yes constitution.

Every EU member must agree to new members. And so far every candidate that have fulfilled all criterias have become accepted and the day Turkey fulfils all criterias they would be accepted as well. But with Turkey not having completed many of the chapters yet I don't see this as a major issue for the coming 20 years.
And even to open some chapters other must have been addressed, turkey still haven't been able to open screening on many chapters due to this issue. And yes territorial conflicts comes before freedom of movement etc.

If Turkey wants to become a EU member they will have to fulfil the criterias. And in this case it requires the applicant to conform to EU rules and regulations. Its not about negotiations nor compromises just conformation of the applicant; in this case Turkey.
Now blocking certain EU ships from its waters isnt to smart when one wants to be included into the EU. Turkey have to realise that if it wants to join it will have to follow all the rules. There is no compromising or special treatment and Turkey will loose out on some issues, Cyprus being an obvious one, Armenia another...

Croatia faced the same issue a few months ago when a territorial conflict over the border in the ocean between them and Slovenia flared up. Negotiations almost came to a halt because of it until Croatia resolved the issue.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):
The EU is not a social club...yet it's goal is European unification (hence the name European Union)...for European unification to take place, countries that meet the Maastricht criteria and wish to join are quite literally guaranteed membership assuming, again, they meet the acquis criteria and are willing to submit to EU regulations. Turkey met the criteria (or else it wouldn't be a membership candidate), it's trying to meet the acquis criteria...only stumble is Cyprus. Once that's solved, why oppose Turkey?

First the Maastricht criterias were five requirements set out for countries to meet if they wished to join the single currency. They are now included in the Lisbon treaty.
The Maastricht criterias have nothing to do with EU membership.
Most new EU members are not yet fulfilling the Maastricht criterias. The latest to fulfil them seems to be Estonia and that will be voted on come July.
And no, Turkey is for that sake not even remotedly close to fulfil the original Maastricht criterias.

Fulfilling the criterias for the common currency does not nor will it ever have anything to do with guaranteeing EU membership or membership applications. (besides as said the Maastricht criterias are now included in the Lisbon treaty)

secondly the 35 chapters that have to be fulfilled havent been fulfilled by Turkey. many havent even been opened since they require others to be completed. Turkey has to swallow some bitter pills and accept Cyprus, Armenia etc before it can move on to other chapters..

remember no territorial conflicts with other member states is one of the criterias to be fulfilled and is one of the first chapters to be discussed.
Turkey will have to resolve Northern Cyprus in order to become a EU member. If Turkey are serious about wanting to joining the EU they would negotiate a deal about Cyprus or even unilaterally withdraw its own troops and recognise the state of Cyprus in accordance to the UN statues. lets not forget that Turkey have taken it upon itself to recognise Northern Cyprus this in itself violates UN and EU legislation and needs to be corrected before any EU membership or real negotiations can take place.
Otherwise the constitution would be put out of play.



On a personal note I would love for A Turkey, following in the footsteps of Ataturk, to join the EU.
Problem is that Turkey lead by present leadership is pretty far from Ataturks vision of islam and state separated.

We must remember that this doesnt just affect islam, it works in many ways. Despite some very hefty criticism (Poland primarily), the EU constitution refused to include the reference to Christianity demanded by most catholic countries (excluding France).

At the moment the only thing that still follows Ataturks ideals in Turkey seems to be the military.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5684 posts, RR: 19
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4013 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
The Turkish military would step in and remove any government that started to reject Ataturk's principles, and has done just that several times. That concept raises the hairs on the necks of any supporter of democratic principles, but history has shown that Turkey needed that safety net in order to preserve their secular democracy.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
They pushed Turkey to reform the military and de-politicize it, based on Western ideals that reject such intervention by the military, but France and Germany do not face a religion constantly trying to impose itself on the government.

This oriental version of "checks and balances" is scary any way you look at it and after 90 years of "modern Turkey" I don't think it is an unreasonable expectation for the secular institutions and concept of governance to have deeper roots, without the military acting as the de facto fourth branch of the government.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):
And you can bet anything that when Turkey becomes a regional power, the EU will be begging for them to join.

Turkey is a regional power and has been for a while.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):
The decision has to be unanimous or it doesn't proceed. For Turkey to be admitted, not one member can oppose.

And the problem with such procedure is? All member states who joined the EU at later stage after the EU6 was formed went through the same process so there really is no reason for the rules to change at halftime.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):
countries that meet the Maastricht criteria and wish to join are quite literally
guaranteed membership assuming, again, they meet the acquis criteria and are willing to submit to EU regulations

I don't see where you read that guarantee as membership of any country is a subject to approval in all memer states' parliaments. And Maastricht is Euro, not the EU.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 20):
If the EU is democratic, then it should be majority rules and if more members would like to admit than reject Turkey as a member, then that's true democracy.

Where do you see the deficit of democracy if one or more members reject it and the rest respect the outcome since the rules say that ALL must approve the membership of any new state wishing to join?

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 22):
Most new EU members are not yet fulfilling the Maastricht criterias.

And most old EU members no longer bother to meet them as well.



User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7694 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4006 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
The main concern was that 80 million Turks would suddenly flood into the rest of the EU looking for work.

And that will still be a major concern in 5, 10, 20 years or whatever. Even with current controls it is clear that the drive is there.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 8):
The only issue that the EU can use to oppose Turkey is the Cyprus division.

Nonsense. That is certainly a reason, but no way is it the only one.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
25 einsteinboricua : Sorry...don't know why I wrote Maastricht...I meant Copenhagen. My bad. You didn't get my point...by meeting the Copenhagen criteria (being a Europea
26 Post contains links lewis : What I do not like is that Turkey was invited to start talks while there are EU nations that will always oppose membership. Why invite a country to p
27 Aesma : The US want Turkey to join the EU so that we can be screwed big time, the US could then be back on top of the world. I'm not totally against Turkey jo
28 Post contains images Dreadnought : Attention tinfoil hat brigade!
29 Aesma : In fact the first words of my sentence are enough. The US shouldn't have anything to say on the matter, but they say the same thing often, meaning the
30 eaa3 : Technically when Turkey was accepted as an applicant country it was accepted that if it meets the criteria and that the EU countries were ok with Tur
31 MD11Engineer : Here in Germany it is primarely the right wing of the Christian-Democrat conservative party, which opposes Turkey´s entry into the EU out of princip
32 Aesma : It's mostly bureaucrats that start the negotiations, not governments, and not the people.
33 Post contains links L410Turbolet : The data available from polls conducted in the past show numbers which contradict you observation: a) the opposition in the "old" EU is higher than i
34 MD11Engineer : IMO, this depends largely on the wording of the questions. If the question asks for an immediate EU entry of Turky, most people (including myself) wo
35 ME AVN FAN : I think Mr Gates got it wrong. An entry of Turkey into the E.U. needs at least five years or rather 10 to 15 to become reality. Mr Erdogan for years
36 ME AVN FAN : you ought to be realistic. Romania and Bulgaria were let into the EU for "strategical" reasons, while they were miles away from meeting any EU standa
37 eaa3 : I have to say though: The US is blaming the EU for not treating Turkey well enough but more to the core of the Israeli- Palestinian sitution the US by
38 janmnastami : You're right: but, in my opinion, the enlargement process has been too rapid and some new members shouldn't have been admitted to join the EU.
39 lewis : I have noticed that public opinion in the EU is generally against Turkey joining. From a political opinion, I see more resistance coming from W.Europ
40 ME AVN FAN : This may be true, but you have also to see it the other way round. An Istanbul carpet trader once told me that a too sudden entry into the EU would r
41 ME AVN FAN : again, turn it on top ! Mr Erdogan even for the time after full admission of Turkey into the EU agree to have brakes on "free movement" of the workfo
42 L410Turbolet : Really? You know what will happen in three years time? Depends a lot on the economy, of course and if things do not change 180 degrees around, I woul
43 MD11Engineer : The FDP went down in popularity to below 5% during the latest surveys, this is beneath the minimum number of votes required to enter parliament. Whil
44 racko : The way things are currently I wouldn't be so sure the current coalition survives this year. The last Kohl years were a breeze compared to the mess ou
45 ME AVN FAN : > sure really ? No, not at all. I would not be surprised if Mrs Merkel won the next elections very nicely. But the "trends" at present go against
46 babybus : Turkey is, and essentially always has been, an Islamic Arab state that would be totally awkward to have within the EU and a complete economic burden,
47 Asturias : All I have to say is that Robert Gates and by extention the USA should stuff it and butt out of EU internal affairs. It's none of their business and t
48 MD11Engineer : Turkey is not Arab and has never been an Arab state. As the Ottoman empire they RULED several of today´s Arab states as a colonial power (until 1918
49 ME AVN FAN : A) Turkey is NOT an Arab state and has never been an Arab state and cannot be an Arab state B And while the country is Muslim majority-wise it is not
50 Post contains links Dreadnought : That used to be the case, but the military in recent years has been castrated and the government become increasingly Islamist, with Erdogan practical
51 ME AVN FAN : The heavily Alawite military leadership may no longer have the clout of the past, but it is still the highest authority in the country. THIS of cours
52 einsteinboricua : Funnily enough, by your post, we can say that the US is somewhat Islamic, with average citizens calling for the death of terrorists. After all, becau
53 MD11Engineer : But he became recently critizised by secular Turkish groups as becoming more and more authoritarian and now accusing anybody who critizeses his polit
54 JJJ : You've been told already. Problem with Turkey is the sheer size of it, it's costing a lot to integrate a 20mil. people country like Romania and a 8 m
55 Aesma : If by "being a NATO member" you mean "buying F-16 and F-35 hundreds at a time" then that's not really helping.
56 RJ111 : In my opinion we've introduced too many countries into the EU too quickly in the last 6 years. I'm all for having a completely unified, standardised a
57 kaitak : Well, it's helping Lockheed and Boeing! Personally, I think the problems with the EU are deeper than this; there is a huge democratic deficit. Yes, E
58 slz396 : If the US wants to lock Turkey firmly into the western world by letting it join a Union, rather than pressure Europe to take in the country in its uni
59 Post contains images Asturias : EU citizens vote for their own administrative power, either directly as president or indirectly through their parliament (which then chooses a govern
60 Aesma : I don't know if it's the same everywhere, I heard France is not unique in that aspect, that the EU is often vilified by politicians to get elected. Al
61 Asturias : I don't notice this trend much in Spain, but reading the UK press for instance this is completely true. Everything politicians do good is thanks to t
62 Post contains links and images ME AVN FAN : Mr Erdogan leads a "moderately" fundamentalist party, and so from that point is the nightmare of many Turks. He wins elections not due to "fundamenta
63 Post contains links and images Jacobin777 : At the rate Euro is going, the EU itself will do a good job of lowering its standard of living, not to mention, screw itself over big time.. "The sit
64 Post contains links Asturias : Spain has 15% *less* debt than the UK. Less deficit also. The UK also has almost 1% worse annual growth numbers than Spain. The angloshpere media is
65 RJ111 : I'm not sure what any of that has to do with the quote you posted. At the end of the day Turkey would come into the EU with the lowest GDP pc and the
66 ME AVN FAN : - as the "Greece crisis" will be over by then, Turkey as a full EU + Euro member will help to hinder the Euro going up through the roof - also Spain
67 MD11Engineer : This is true. During the last decade bor so Turkey went through an economic boom, which didnt jusdt affect the big cities in Western Turkey, but also
68 Post contains links L410Turbolet : In principle I agree, but it only supports the idea that the EU should play an honest and open game with Turkey and stop fooling them with some false
69 einsteinboricua : This would be a good thing. Airbus was suffering when the euro was above $1.40. Stronger currency means more purchasing power from their side, but al
70 slz396 : The European culture is most widely defined by having a common christian background. It doesn't mean the country still needs to be deeply christian i
71 ME AVN FAN : All expansion moves cause such problems. This already was an immediate result of the Louisiana Purchase (not meaning only the State of Louisiana toda
72 slz396 : None of them is a EU nation, and any future membership application will not go over the same path or roses as a future Croatian or Serbian membership
73 MD11Engineer : The EU as "Christian Club"? Then better dissolve the EU. These countries are clearly European. Jan
74 slz396 : In the cultural meaning, not the religious one. I am not a religious person, heck I am not even baptised, yet whether I like it or not, I have a clea
75 slz396 : French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated this in January 2007: "Enlarging Europe with no limit risks destroying European political union and that I do
76 Asturias : Indeed this is the result of the natural development and maturization of the EU, the realization that what enables the Union in the first place is th
77 einsteinboricua : Kosovo will surely face opposition due to some EU members still not recognizing it, but Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are not expected to face m
78 MD11Engineer : Actually all of this is illegal under Turkish law and a few years ago, when they still had capital punishment, they would hang people for such murder
79 Dreadnought : That may be the case, but it is still culturally rampant and unfortunately, on the rise. I love Turkey - I used to vacation there, and visited about
80 MD11Engineer : I never said that I support an immediate entry of Turkey into the EU, same as I don´t support the entry of Kosovo, Bosnia and Albania at them moment
81 oa260 : Totally different situation, it would be naive to compare the entry of Cyprus with the entry of Turkey. Many things to take into consideration, econo
82 ME AVN FAN : All three are European nations. The E.U. is just a political organisation in Europe but is not "Europe" the "geographical borders" include the three
83 Post contains links einsteinboricua : History would show otherwise. If you mean that it did not apply to the EU because the EU wasn't formally in existence, then you are correct. If we in
84 MD11Engineer : Very simple: The democratic reformist political parties in Serbia (as opposed to the hardline nationalists and expansionists, who started the war and
85 Post contains links LAXintl : The Los Angeles Times had a story this weekend about Turkey's move Eastward, and that is has been beneficial both economically and stature wise in the
86 Post contains images einsteinboricua : Many are quick to criticize Turkey for not doing its part in the Cyprus dispute, but no one acknowledges that both Turkey and Northern Cyprus accepte
87 Asturias : No, I won't include the Arab world, because then I might as well include the far-Eastern world, the Americas and well anything else that has affected
88 oa260 : Of course the Greek side voted no because the Turkish side wouldnt have let them return to their land still legally owened by them. Would you give up
89 iakobos : .....ITS Northern Cypriot ports and airports. ITS ? I thought it was about Cyprus... Turkey was not voting and the majority of the voters in the Turk
90 JL418 : I'm conscious of my guilt, that is stepping into the discussion having read just about a half of the posted messages. My point is this: I don't agree
91 ME AVN FAN : - well, right you are, so sorry for the mistake. But as you cannot be member of EU and Arab League at the same time, I regard the then initiative by
92 Asturias : What are you talking about? I was talking about the influence of Christianity. But don't let me stop your conversation with yourself, go right ahead.
93 einsteinboricua : THANK YOU! The Arab League is nothing more than an organization under which Arab countries are united. It's not a political bloc nor an economic unio
94 iakobos : Nitpicking, sorry but what Generals in Nicosia ? The result of the saga, which begins around 1951, is the effective and DEFINITIVE partition of the i
95 oa260 : I think you need to read your history before making statements and picking bits of history and then taking it as gold. Did you ever speak to the peop
96 iakobos : That is exactly the source of the problem, as history teached in "highly nationalistic" countries is not History. The same is valid for Greece. To an
97 ME AVN FAN : - I generally abstain from discussing religious stuff. If you like to do so, it is YOUR choice - no, the "African Union" is not resembling the EU at
98 iakobos : Some confusion here, that's why I was asking. The parts of the Cypriot National Guard whom toppled Makarios were led by Greek officers, and their ord
99 einsteinboricua : Um dude, need I bring evidence of what the African Union really is? I said it's modeled after the EU, not that it operates like the EU. Its goal is e
100 Post contains images Asturias : I don't care what you decide to discuss or not, that is your decision. However you were "replying" to my statement where *I* was discussing the influ
101 Post contains images oa260 : Have you been there? Have you spoken to the people affected on both sides? Reading a trip report doesnt make anyone an expert. I have Turkish and Gre
102 RussianJet : Kosovo is still not even recognised by all EU states, but you are right - at least it is in Europe, which is a start.
103 iakobos : Plain sure about this ? why do you think the Gr and GC far-rights wanted to kill him (in '74) ? The aim on the Tr side was taksim (partition/division
104 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : - I was aware of the Greek officers, but admit to possibly have underestimated both their role and the direct influence of the military junta of the
105 oa260 : If the ''Cypriots'' were left to get on with their own business without outside intervention or forces they would surely come to an agreement. Turkey
106 iakobos : The junta of the Colonels and after them the CIA-man General Ioannides, were directing all operations, In the field in Cyprus they had their man Geor
107 iakobos : ...that the US blames the EU for Turkey's foreign policy drifts is laughable. Washington has always pulled the long strings in the region, could it be
108 Post contains links and images Jacobin777 : No, not really, but the property bubble was beginning anyway. My comment regarding the Euro actually in reference to all of the bailouts, etc.-which
109 Baroque : Gates was duck shovelling his very own problems on to the back of the first "usual suspect" he could find. Look at 60 years of US ME "policy" for a b
110 Asturias : There's no deeper meaning to those numbers and no reason to doubt their credibility. In pounds and pennies the UK owes twice the amount of Spain for
111 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : Be that as it will, it was the Turkish Cypriots who in recent years clearly opted for compromise, and the Greek Cypriots who reject/ed compromise Eur
112 RussianJet : You are essentially right, but my main point was that at least, unlike Turkey, Kosovo is actually in Europe.[Edited 2010-06-24 13:38:55]
113 iakobos : A sentence to be modulated as follows: the large influx of Turkish citizens (settlers) in N Cyprus have changed the demography and Turkish Cypriots a
114 oa260 : It wasnt compromise it was giving up their homes/communities and any right to ever return to their land. It was not a compromise.
115 lewis : Huh? Really?? I know quite a few, parents of my friends. To tell you the truth, I have never heard of people my age (university graduates) in Italy o
116 iakobos : Wrong shortcut fellow member. a/ Greece also officially backed the plan, you did not mention it. This should make clear that Greece, apart during the
117 Post contains links iakobos : http://eab.ege.edu.tr/pdf/5/C5-S1-2-M4.pdf This excellent summary by Dr Muzzafer Yilmaz should definitively enlight some and close the subject.
118 Post contains images Jacobin777 : Ok..we'll take your points.....Spain is drowning in 100 ft. of debt and the UK is draining in 200 ft. of debt.. .... I'm very much against bailouts.
119 ME AVN FAN : - You mean those homes some did have in what is now the TRNC before 1974, 36 years ago ? - I think, Greek Cyprus should concentrate on getting Varosh
120 iakobos : I am quite confident that's what OA260 meant, the "some did have" represents in fact approximately 40% of the total Greek-Cypriot population (180,000
121 oa260 : Just because your home was seized by an occupation force in 1974 doesnt strip you of the rights to your land. Turkey must return this property and ac
122 lewis : What a great way of thinking. Invade a country, take illegal possession of lands that do not belong to you, hold your position since you are a bigger
123 ME AVN FAN : Palestinians are not to return to mainland-Israel, East Germans no longer to Silesia or Pommerania. This is called Realpolitik. And what happened in
124 iakobos : It is simply impossible, agreed, but the status quo ad infinitum is also out of the question. Will it remain an internationally non-recognized part o
125 Baroque : Not, however, their rights to fair compensation I would suggest. Not sure how Cyprus came to dominate this thread, it has but a tangential relation.
126 Post contains images oa260 : Goes way back before then Then the EU door will never be opened.
127 ME AVN FAN : - This is my question also. Mr Erdogan however is playing a game which will bring the TRNC a number of recognitions from Arab countries. THIS is the
128 iakobos : The Republic of Cyprus (the whole island) is a member of the EU. Technically, Turkish-Cypriots with Republic of Cyprus' identification are citizens o
129 einsteinboricua : Why should Greece pressure Cyprus to accept a solution? Cyprus is an independent country (well, one part is recognized by the international community
130 MD11Engineer : If I remember correctly, Greece was instrumental in getting Cyprus into the EU, even though the issues with Turkey were not yet solved. IIRC Greece t
131 einsteinboricua : Yeah, but unlike some other states, Greece has publicly supported Turkish membership in the EU...so Greece here really has no playing card unless it
132 oa260 : All Turkish Cypriots are entitled to Republic of Cyprus passports and many have just to leave the occupied areas in the North. They are also allowed
133 ME AVN FAN : NO, this has been said 10 years ago and 20 years ago and even 30 years ago. But the Turkish Cypriots, and I here include both the "immigrants" from T
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