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Turkey in the EU

by irishdon (11/25/2006)

Turkey in the EU

The debate has been going on for years: should Turkey be allowed to join the EU? The pros and cons both for Turkey and for the existing member countries of the EU are many. Opinions are divided both from within the country and from outside. But should Turkey join the EU or not?

 

One of the initial arguments is based on whether Turkey is actually a European country!! Well, part of it is anyway. It’s enough to look on the internet at 2 different websites giving world weather for Istanbul, for example. One site will list Istanbul under European Weather, whereas the other will probably give you the same city under Asian Weather. I guess it’s enough that the country has one foot, so to speak, on European soil to be classified as a European state.

 

Some people are against the entry of Turkey based on human-rights issues. A fair point but some of these countries that have raised the human-rights issue would do well to look at the state of affairs within their own countries, especially when it comes to the issue of the treatment of immigrants and refugees in those countries.

 

Turkey has some great agricultural produce. I remember when living in Istanbul in 2005 I could buy some produce in the markets that far outdid the quality of what I could buy in the EU!! Maybe some countries want to block the entry of Turkey just to protect their domestic markets. Understandable, but not fair justification for blocking Turkish entry.

 

And I won’t even talk about the issue of Turkey being a Muslim country as the fact of a country being Christian, Muslim, Jewish or other should NEVER enter an argument.

 

However, does Turkey itself really want EU membership? There are downsides to the argument which should be taken into account by the government in Ankara. True, there are benefits to be gained, including access to EU funding for various state projects. Speaking as an existing EU citizen, there is also the problem, as I see it, of the many EU laws and directives which seek to bring the standards of EU states to a fixed level. This can restrict or damage domestic products if they are not seen to conform to EU standards. I personally feel that some EU directives are exaggerated and Turkey, like other EU countries, may have a problem accepting everything which is requested of it.

 

Hopefully possible EU membership will lessen the existing problems that some Turkish citizens have to leave the country, even just on holiday. I feel it would be beneficial to other EU states if the various visa regulations that must be satisified for a Turk to leave the country were relaxed thus opening up a new market of tourists for the EU. Obviously, Ankara is worried that people may leave and never come back but you cannot force people to stay anywhere.

 

There are plenty of other arguments for and against which I haven’t addressed here. However I am not looking to exhaust the argument right now. Let’s say that I am giving food for thought. The discussion will go on and on and hopefully, in the end, a suitable solution will be found.

 

Iyi günler

 





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