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Turkey - Essay Example

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The issue of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union (EU) has been prolonged for a very long time, and the membership accession process posed many issues not just within Turkey but also among the other EU states as well. While Islam being the predominant religion of the…
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Will Turkey Join the European Union? The issue of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union (EU) has been prolongedfor a very long time, and the membership accession process posed many issues not just within Turkey but also among the other EU states as well. While Islam being the predominant religion of the country has not been an issue, other factors such as whether the possibility of separating church and state would be possible in order to fully comply with the policies of EU (Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, NSCGP 7). Other issues such as the Cyprus-Turkey and Greco-Turkey disputes, as well as the formation of acceptable internal and external policies caused the delay in the accession process (Arikan 8). For other groups within the EU, letting Turkey become a member would greatly affect the cultural status of Europe. Because Turkey seems to be much more Asian in terms of the traditions and religion, these groups hold that Turkey would be having a hard time fitting itself in the European way of thinking (Laçiner 17). However, from a personal standpoint, while Turkey has considerably achieved great leaps in improving its economy, if the country strongly chooses to join, the leaders must be able to immediately bring forth the changes in some of the internal and external policies up to the standards set up by the EU, otherwise the leaders are just stalling and are simply reluctant to become part of the EU.
One of the strongest factors that prevented Turkey from being assimilated early was the incompatibility of its economic structure with that of the EU (Arikan 64). Due to the political and not of the economic interests of its leaders, instead of creating more liberal economic policies as well as unable to comply with the reciprocal obligations of the EU, Turkey was unable to close its status as a candidate for early accession. The instability within the Mediterranean regions also affected the status of the country (Arikan 65). Had Turkey chose to create steps in changing trade and economic policies according to EU standards, the development of the country would have been easier, as well as the accession into the EU. Despite Turkey being unable to let a reciprocal relationship with EU take place, the country was eligible to become an associate country, with the hopes of immediately starting the transition process (Arikan 65). Mutual obligations between the EU and Turkey were created, such as quantitative restrictions for Turkish exports to the EU, and the EU granting financial aids to Turkey that would mitigate workers that would be affected by export limitations (Arikan 65).
While compliance with certain policies were possible, problems that resulted in the political instabilities both within the country and other surrounding countries eventually rendered Turkey unable to abide by its obligations, which reduced chances of being immediately accepted into the EU (Laçiner 35). With the rise of the political and economic instability of the country, most of the members in the selection committee of the EU decided that for Turkey to become a good candidate, the government must not only have initiatives in doing so, but also progress in the handling of the economy and politics. While the Turkish government was open to such changes, some of its leaders were unable to let go of the idea that the national policies must be changed dramatically, just to abide by the rules set upon by the EU (NSCGP 38). The problem of getting a consensus on whether to wait for the process of being accepted into the EU or just simply abandoning the idea is divided between the liberal thinkers and the conservative members among the nation’s leaders, a political status which would prevent the creation of programs that either wants to pursue being a member of the EU or not (Laçiner 34). Judging on the covert stalling of the country’s progress to gain the EU’s acceptance, as well as the lack of solid decision of its leaders, for the time being Turkey most likely will not be fully-integrating into the EU, unless further policy changes take place within the next decade.
Works Cited
Arikan, Harun. Turkey And the Eu: An Awkward Candidate for EU Membership? Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006. Print.
Laçiner, Sedat. "Possible Impacts of Turkeys Full Membership to EUs Foreign Policy." Laçiner, Sedat, Mehmet Özcan and İhsan Bal. European Union with Turkey: The Possible Impact of Turkeys Membership on the European Union. Ankara: Publication of International Strategic Research Organization, 2005. 15-84. Print.
Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy. The European Union, Turkey and Islam. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2004. Print. Read More
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