Turkey as a European Nation
Turkey is a European nation, at least a part of it. Istanbul in in Europe, but Ankara, the capital is
not. Turkey is a large country with 70 million people. Turkey is in Europe, but sits on the
Bosphorus strait, which divides Europe from Asia.
Mustafa Akaturk created modern Turkey in the 1920's. Turkey was formed from pieces of the
Ottoman empire, which supported cultural and religious tolerance. These are goals of the EU
nations are trying to pursue and are written in the treaties. Turkey is secular Muslim, if that term
can be used.
Should Turkey be allowed to join the European Union (EU)?. To do so, Turkey must complete
the process of assencion. That process is being blocked.
All criteria to comply with member rules must be meet. If this process is stopped, then Turkey can
not join. And what about Turkey's rules? Can any of them be added to the criteria for being a
good member? Turkey was part of the Ottaman Empire, which had good relations with Europe.
Germany has a larger population than Turkey. The German economy is stronger than other
members of the EU. The German Euro is therefore stronger than most. If a country has a weak
currency Germany contributes the mostly to lending money to the country. Germany does not
want to bail out weak Euro countries like Greece, which spends a large, more than the acceptable
3%, amount on government services. Turkey is cutting back on government spending and is
growing local businesses. Turkey is behaving like a European country.
Many Turks live in Germany as guest workers, and understand how a stable economy works.
Turkey behaves like it would be a stable part of the EU and could mesh into the energy and other
networks. The number of computers in country could be increased to participate in the internet.
Turkey would be a good partner for the EU.
Turkey has been in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for a long time and has fought wars on
the side of the West. It fought against Nazi Germany, as did Serbia and France.
Freedom of religion is part of cultural diversity. The diversity allows an escape from sameness,
and is good for intellectual development at the universities. Freedom to pursue an education
across country boundaries is also a negotiated item in the Lisbon Treaty.
The Kurds are a minority group in Turkey. They make up 20% of the population of Turkey, but they are required to speak the official language of Turkish. Speaking in Kurdish is a crime, because it not the official language.
Kurds also live in Iraq, where they form a separatist group called the PKK. They have sent cross
border excursions into Turkey from Iraq and attacked Turkish troops. The Turks crossed the
border and retaliated.
Armenians used to live in Turkey and were driven out by the Ottomans. They also were a minority group. They may have been a victim of ethnic cleansing, but these claims are hard to back up.
Suppression of minorities may be a serious problem for entry in to the EU.
Turkey has used the asscention process to improve its own economy and economic situation. But
will it go further?
Political pressure is still exerted on the media. Gender equality is not a fact in all parts of the country.
Turkey is a functional free market (Marktwirtschaft).
- The improvement of human capital is improving, but still a concern. - Privatization is being carried out.
- Research is being conducted.
Turkey is stabilizing the region with cooperation with its neighbors.
Turkey is spreading its influence in neighboring countries, which is the goal of the EU.
Turkey has made great strides in changing its laws to be more like the EU. The problem with Turkey is that the legislation is not enforced. To be a free country means that the rule of law applies. Transparency is also a goal, and earmarks are a problem to be dealt with. The Kurds are getting their own radio station, which might lessen the persecution for using a language that is not Turkish.
Freedom of movement is a big concern, so that Turks can move around in the EU. They have to
be able to move around and express themselves in their own country, before the EU will grant
them freedom of movement in member states in the EU.
The Turks are also against terrorism, but sometimes disregard individual freedom to pursue this goal.
Kurds are in Iraq and cross the border. This problem is difficult to solve. Cross border raids were
conducted. A nation at war will not be accepted by the EU.
The Europeans seem to be saying that many problems can be solved by adding a government
committee. The Turks may not see this as a solution to all problems. Women are not looked on as
equals in some regions of Turkey. This is another problem for free movement of citizens and for
entry in the EU.
Improvements need to be made in environment, state aid, social policy and employment, company law, public procurement, food safety, sanitary policies and free movement of services.
Derogations are occurring in public procurement.
- Competition and efficiency in public tenders is being reduced.
- New commercial code is not implemented.
- Financing of some endeavors is not fully transparent.
- Technical barriers to trade in bovine products
- Independence of Central Bank.