Although many people believe the debate regarding the admission of Turkey into the European Union (EU) is recent, it actually dates back to 1959, just two years after the signing of the Rome Treaty, which created the EU (see appendix 1). In July 1959, Turkey asked for an association agreement with the EU (15 days after a similar request by Greece), which was accepted. This agreement, which was mainly
economical in nature, mentioned that eventually, Turkey would join the EU. In 1963, Walter Hallstein, the then president of the European Commission, declared that Turkey is part of Europe, and that one day, a final step in order to join the Union.
These included the existence of a market economy, respect for the principles of democracy, including liberty of speech and the absence of gender discrimination.
[...] Let us now consider the economic aspects of Turkey, and the viability of its market economy. First, it must be noted that today, there are 71 million Turks, which represent a considerable potential market for European investors and companies. In 2015, it is estimated that there will be over 83 million Turks, which would account for of the European population. Thus, if Turkey joined the EU, this market would become easier to penetrate, which would be beneficial to the European countries. [...]
[...] All these questions, finally, are meant to help us answer the main question people are asking themselves when they think of Europe today: should Turkey be admitted into the European Union? The first part of this paper will try to demonstrate that Turkey is a very good candidate for admission into the EU; this is partly due to the millennia-old shared history between Europe and Turkey as well as the strategic position occupied by Turkey in modern geopolitical issues. Other facts which support the Turkish candidature include the changes that Turkey has effected in its territory since the beginning of the 1920s, and the potential opportunities the EU would lose if Turkey did not join it. [...]
[...] This does not mean that Turkey should never be accepted; it just means the question of the European identity and of Europe's borders should be answered before Turkey joins the EU. And even if it wanted to, would the EU be able to integrate Turkey to its institutions? B. BUT IT WOULD ALSO BE VERY HARD FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION TO INTEGRATE TURKEY ESPECIALLY IF NO INSTITUTIONAL CHANGES ARE MADE First, it must not be forgotten that one of the main reasons Turkey wants to join the EU is the existence of the European “structural funds” which aim to provide money to the poorest members of the EU. [...]
[...] For most Turks, the problem lies in the fact that the European Union will never really integrate Turkey, an opinion shared by many Turks (see appendix according to a survey conducted on 11December 2004, for the Foundation for International Strategic Studies and published in 'L'Europe, avec ou sans la Turquie' of the Turkish population consider the EU's attitude towards Turkey insincere and unjust think that Turkey will not become part of the EU for another 15 years while 28% even think that Turkey will never be European, although 78% of Turks think Turkey complies partially or totally with the membership criteria. [...]
[...] Adl Ramgavar, the leader of the Armenian Democrat Liberal Party, opines that Turkey should never be admitted into the EU as its attitude towards this genocide clearly demonstrates Turkey's unwillingness to compromise on its own interests, even though the country has nothing to lose if it recognized the Armenian Genocide. Besides, Turkey exhibits a “bullying behavior” towards Armenia, and has closed its borders with this country. Also, Turkey is currently in conflict with the Kurd minority, which occupies large parts of its Eastern territory (see appendix but is not recognized by the Turkish government; thus, the government has been accused of violating the human rights of this people. [...]
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