Sunday, October 02, 2005

Turkish delight?

When will the European political elite reflect the majority view in their respective countries and reject Turkish membership of the EU? Not one European country has a majority of people in favour of Turkey's membership.

Why would it suddenly become more popular in the future? Does Turkey's bid really represent "an opportunity for a major relaunch of the entire European project" as Italy's Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini believes it does?

Only Austria currently represents the majority view, preferring Turkey to be a special EU partner rather than a full member.

PS Even the Conservative Party favours Turkish membership!

Update Bugger! Austria has fallen into line with other European countries and is now following a policy only 10% of it's population agree with! Roll on EU democracy...

10 comments:

wonkotsane said...

It's crap. Turkey would cost us so much money and it's mainly our country who will be paying for it.

I wrote about it earlier.

lascivious said...

This is a tricky issue.

If we don't let them into our club, we run the risk of being accused of rejecting their application because they are Muslim. And that is a very dangerous accusation, whether true or not.

Then there is defense - having stretches of desert we can land America's B52s on is quite useful!

Snafu said...

Lascivious, why is not letting them into the club "a very dangerous accusation, whether true or not"?

Is the fear that rejecting Turkey would incite more extremism?

As regards access for American bombers, I fear that is a red herring. Spain is an existing member of the EU yet denied the US it's airspace when bombing Libya.

lascivious said...

Because some people will believe it, even if it is not true. The west has a worsening relationship with the Middle East, partly because of the dreaded 'I' word (among others). Accuse the EU of racism/anti-Islam and we wouldn't be able to defend it particularly successfuly (I get the impression most people are against Turkey joining because they are a very different country with a very different culture - which can be construed as racism/anti-islam. Don't get me wrong - others are looking at the cost).

On the other hand, if they are accepted into the EU, the West could have considerable influence over Turkey, who could act as an ambassador to the Middle East.

I guess it's just another nail in the coffin - another example of the separation of cultures, which has already claimed so many lives. If we want peace with the Middle East, we have to engage with them. I could be wrong of course, but Turkey inside the EU could be a vehicle for us all to be friends again.

Snafu said...

Lascivious, Turkey would also have considerable influence over the West if it joined the European Union.

A country with a population of 70m would automatically be one of the larger member states with powerful voting rights of it's own.

Does any country want to be dominated by other sovereign states? The UK certainly doesn't, despite the desires of it's politicians. I fail to see why Turkey would be any different.

lascivious said...

That is an issue regarding how the EU is run rather than what states make up its membership. Turkey would have a large influence - but only if Europe remains with its current state of opprobrious governence.

Snafu said...

Lascivious, what is a fairer method of making decisions in the EU than weighting votes by population? Luxembourg has a bigger voice in Europe than England!

Anonymous said...

There is a clear case against letting Turkey into the EU (that's European Union by the way, Turkey already falls down on this important point), to wit:

a) They still will not properly acknowledge the massacre of over 1m Armenians during the first world war. Don't let Erdogans u-turn last week fool anyone (he allowed a proper scholarly debate about this issue), he just wants in to the EU asap.

b) What, apart from B52 landing strips, will Turkey bring to the EU? Agricultural produce? Why, we get nearly everything they can bring from Greece? You may also remember that Turkeys ports are still closed to Greek Cypriot shipping and that would be illegal under EU rules.

c) This is another large, agricultural nation. This means more net cash outflows the EU cannot finance under CAP, especially as France, Spain et al refuse to give it up (and these are so called first world nations!). Eventually, Germany will stop bankrolling all this bumpf, esp. as there are more than enough Turks in Germany.

Jack Straw is talking total bollocks in trying to argue the case for Turkeys admission to the EU - the door should be shut, bolted and locks, and the keys thrown away.

lascivious said...

Snafu

By reforming it to make decisions like the UN. Let's turn it into a bulldog with no teeth, a talking shop where no decisions are made and very few taxes are spent (and therefore collected). Bulldoze the EU courts, send all the Eurocrats home and burn down EuroStat. Let's change Europe back to it's original purpose - to stop us all going to war with each other. Then admit Turkey so we can all make friends.

It will never happen, so maybe you are right :(

alfie said...

The hysterical bandwagon to bring Turkey into the EU is being pushed by the State Department in Washington. Timed to coincide with the 51st State's 6 month long tenure of the EU chair, the puppets Blair and Straw have done their very level best to steam roller Turkey's acceptance - as per their Condoleeza instructions.

Fortunately, Austria seem to have developed a backbone.

I have a real problem with further EU expansion. Turkey isn't even in Europe for God's sake. And if they come in, then shouldn't membership then be open to all other Asian countries? I've also been hearing murmurings of North African countries being invited to join - such as Morocco and Algeria.