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Turkiet

Gärna Turkiet - men först reformer


CIA about Turkey

Utvidgningen


Sverige stöder starkt ett turkiskt medlemskap i EU,
sa Fredrik Reinfeldt efter mötet med den turkiske presidenten Abdullah Gül
Ekot 12 mars 2013

– Ett demokratiskt starkt Turkiet bör intressera alla EU:s medlemsstater och EU. Tänk er om Turkiet också hade varit i ekonomisk kris, då hade vi inte haft något att tala om, sa president Gül.

– Vi är mycket angelägna om framgångsrika anslutningsförhandlingar, men det innebär inte automatiskt medlemskap det är vi medvetna om. En del länder tänker folkomrösta om det och vi vet inte vad det turkiska folket säger än, sa Turkiets president Abdullah Gül.

Intresset för att gå med i EU är inte lika stort längre bland turkar, som ser sitt eget lands starka ekonomi i kontrast till EU:s kris.

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Början på sidan


Is Turkey turning its back on the West?
Europeans are trembling over the prospect of being asked to admit
such a populous state /CIA: 76,805,524 (July 2010 est.)/ into the European Union
The Economist, Oct 21st 2010

Its strategic position, next to the Middle East and Russia and astride Europe and Asia, means that Turkey has always mattered. But over the past decade its significance has hugely increased. For Turkey has gone through two big, and not always widely recognised, transformations: in its economic performance and in its foreign policy.

For most of the post-war years the Turkish economy was, to reuse Tsar Nicholas I’s 19th-century phrase, “the sick man of Europe”, plagued by erratic growth, soaring inflation and periodic banking busts. Today inflation is far lower, the banks are solid and Turkey boasts the fastest-growing economy in the OECD club of rich countries. Because it is resource-poor, this growth reflects fundamental strengths, especially in manufacturing and construction. Turkey makes things like furniture, cars, cement (it is the world’s biggest exporter), shoes, televisions and DVD players. In a sense, it is Europe’s BRIC: it might be called the China of Europe.

On foreign policy this long-standing member of NATO, with an army second in size only to America’s, has always been a bulwark of the West. Turkey and Norway were the only NATO members to border the Soviet Union. But Turkey’s pro-Western stance led it to neglect its neighbourhood, including many countries once in the Ottoman empire. Here, too, there has been a transformation. Backed by its strong economy, Turkey has become highly active in its diplomacy across the Middle East, in the Balkans and as far afield as Africa—and not always to the satisfaction of its allies. In a sense, Turkey has become a local diplomatic giant—the Brazil of the region.

You might imagine that Western powers would welcome such an advance. Instead, a more prosperous, bumptious Turkey is jangling many nerves. Europeans are trembling over the prospect of being asked to admit such a populous state into the European Union.

Början på sidan

EU säger ja till turkiskmedlemskapsförhandling


The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, told the BBC on Thursday that all democracies had to take account of public opinion.
He added that it was possible for Turkey to join the EU, but it would be very difficult.
"First of all (it will be) very demanding for them but also demanding for us here to be ready to accommodate such an important big country that is seen by so many of us as culturally different from, let's say, mainstream Europe," he said.
BBC 19/6 2006


Varken Frankrikes president Sarkozy, Tysklands förbundskansler Merkel
eller Europeiska rådets ordförande Herman Van Rompuy tycker att Turkiet hör hemma i EU
Annika Ström Melin, DN 14/9 2010

Sverige, Storbritannien och Finland tror att de långsamma samtalen kommer att förändra både politiken och verkligheten. Att Frankrikes och Tysklands motstånd ska försvinna i takt med att Turkiet blir ett öppnare, mer demokratiskt, ekonomiskt välmående och dessutom världspolitiskt alltmer inflytelserikt land.

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Turkiet behöver unionen, men unionen behöver också Turkiet.
SvD-ledare 18/12 2004

Fem punkter för Europa
1. Släpp in Balkan och Turkiet
5. Byt kronan mot euron
Dagens Nyheter, ledarredaktionen 2009-09-19

Början på sidan

Europa är liktydigt med demokrati, rättsstat, åtskillnad mellan kyrka och stat, jämställdhet mellan könen, yttrandefrihet, en fungerande marknadsekonomi och ett avståndstagande från ideologiska frälsningsläror.
Ett avfärdande av Turkiet på religiösa grunder vore i synnerhet efter den 11 september 2001 en falsk och en farlig signal. Ett sådant beslut skulle förneka att islam i dag är en europeisk religion och en del av den europeiska vardagen.
Ingmar Karlsson, SvD Brännpunkt 4/4 2007

Det talas nu om att Turkiet varken historiskt, geografiskt eller religiöst och kulturellt hör hemma i Europa.

Den årliga immigrationen till Europa är nu större än till USA. Det finns idag över 15 miljoner muslimer inom EU således fler än protestantiska skandinaver. Antalet kommer att öka genom en fortsatt invandring.

Idag är nativiteten bland de muslimska invandrarna i Europa tre gånger större än bland den icke-muslimska befolkningen. Om denna trend håller i sig skulle med nuvarande immigrationsmönster den muslimska befolkningen ha fördubblats år 2015 medan Europas icke-muslimska befolkning kommer att minska med 3,5 procent. Uppskattningarna av antalet muslimer i Europa om trettio år når så högt som till 65 miljoner.

Ett turkiskt medlemskap i EU skulle däremot underlätta en nödvändig integrationsprocess och motverka en för Europa ödesdiger utveckling.

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Ingmar Karlsson

The claim that "Enlightenment values" define the soul of Europe would be rather odd
We do not admire the Enlightenment for reasons of national spirit, but on the contrary for its universal worth.
Ian Buruma, Financial Times, 1/4 2007


Turkiet måste med i EU!
Ingmar Karlsson försöker inte dölja sin ståndpunkt. Samtidigt är han återhållsamt rasande över EU, som han menar, bara låtsas vilja förhandla med Turkiet om EU-medlemskap.
Europa och Turkiet har en lång historia ihop. Under det osmanska riket, styrdes en stor del av Europa från Konstatinopel. Europa definierade sig som motpol till turkarna.
Om boken "Europa och turken. – Betraktelser kring en komplicerad relation"
Åke Svidén, Politiken.se, 29/3 2007

Skulle EU avvisa Turkiet, som är i en moderniseringsfas inriktad på EU-medlemskap så finns en risk, fruktar Karlsson, att Turkiet islamiseras och radikaliseras och vänder sig österut. Skulle Turkiet slå in på en panturkisk och en proislamsk linje riskerar instabiliteten öka i Sydösteuropa, befarar han. Och skulle Turkiets sträva efter ökat inflytande i de centralasiatsiak republikerna kan det förvärra de existerande problemen där.

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Ingmar Karlsson om Europa och folken


East Capitals Turkiet-fond marknadsfördes på bred front med hjälp av förre statsministern Carl Bildt. Men så här långt har det blivit en rysare. Sedan starten har fonden backat 25 procent.
Fonden hårdlanserades, bland annat med hjälp av förre statsministern Carl Bildt som sitter i East Capitals investeringskommitté.
Affärsvärlden 24/5 2006

01-09-2004 East Capital to launch Balkan Fund and Carl Bildt joins investment committee
East Capital will launch the East Capital Balkan Fund on October 1, 2004. The fund will primarily invest in financial instruments in countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia and Montenegro.
Carl Bildt, the former Swedish Prime Minister and UN envoy to the Balkan region has joined the company’s investment committee as Balkan expert. Pressrelease from East Capital

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Carl Bildt i Albanien
Rolf Englund i EU-krönika i NWT 2001-03-22

- Det är osmakligt att sparka på en förlorare. Inte lika osmakligt som att jämna sudanesiska byar med marken, men likafullt ett tecken på bristande empati och medmänsklighet. Det skrev Finanstidningen (21/3) i en ledare. Men i samma ledare kritiserade tidningen Carl Bildt för att ha “jämställde exproprieringar vid svenska vägbyggen med grundarbeten med attackhelikopter i Sudan”.
Lundin Oil, där Carl Bildt ingår i styrelsen, har affärer även i terroriststater som Libyen och Syrien, samt, dessvärre för FNs utsänder på Balkan Carl Bildt, även i Albanien.
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Englund och Anna Lindh i TV8 om Bildt och Albanien 2001-03-21
Kortversion
Englund: Lundin Oil har verksamhet i Albanien
Anna Lindh: Lundin Oil i Albanien? Det hade jag ingen aaaaning om.


Turkiet ligger i Europa, det hör hemma i Europa och har, liksom islam, under hela sin historia varit en del av vår civilisation.
Åsa Westlund, Europaparlamentariker (s), ersättare i Europaparlamentets delegation EU-Turkiet, SvD Brännpunkt 6/10 2004

Utvidgning



Nicolas Sarkozy skulle ha träffat den svenske statsministern i Stockholm.
Men häromdagen ställde den franske presidenten in besöket.
Enligt tidningen Le Monde var skälet dock en intervju som den svenske utrikesministern gav i måndagens Le Figaro, om Turkiet.
DN 29/5 2009

- För att ha tyngd i världen är det bättre att vara Europeiska unionen än Unionen för en del av Europa, sade Bildt och poängterade även att ett turkiskt EU-medlemskap skulle vara viktigt för en "försoning med den muslimska världen" och att Europa behöver Turkiet.
- Under kommande decennier kommer vi att ha behov av Turkiets ekonomiska och demografiska dynamik, avgjorde Bildt.

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Det bysantinska riket existerade i tusen år, och utan dess enorma kulturella insatser skulle varken Europa, Turkiet, de arabiska länderna eller ens islam ha blivit vad de är i dag.
Torbjörn Elensky, DN 2008-07-20

Se Turkiets gränser på kartan här

Är Turkiet i EU bra för Sverige?
Rolf Englund 2009-06-02


Franz Fischler, Europe’s outgoing agriculture commissioner.
"If you have, as a union, a common border with Iraq and Iran and Syria and many other countries which are not totally secure, then you have to think - in case there is conflict or something else - are you then prepared to protect your own border?
Financial Times October 25 2004

Försvar


Swedish Foreign Minister Awarded Foreign Policy Award
Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin said Bildt made important contributions to Turkey`s accession process to the EU. turkishpress.com 5/13/2008

"Bildt also endeavored for better promotion of Turkey in international arena during the international conferences, at talks with his counterparts, and in the articles he wrote," he added.
Aydin said Turkish people would always appreciate Bildt`s assistance, stance and understanding.

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Pressmeddelande 30 april 2008 Utrikesdepartementet
Carl Bildt tar emot pris i Ankara

http://www.bildt.net/

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Ett nytt fördrag är okej,
men någon antiturkisk gränsdragning ska det inte vara.

DN-ledare 2007-12-11

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Början på sidan/Top of page


"EU-utvidgningen måste fortsätta"
När konstitutionen föll efter Frankrikes och Nederländernas nej i somras blev det tydligt att EU saknar en sammanhållen idé, något som kan ena staterna mot ett gemensamt mål.
Stater som tar sina första steg mot demokrati - nu senast Ukraina - har siktet inställt just mot EU. Om unionen sviker denna uppgift, om den vänder sig inåt och stannar i växten, kan det till och med finnas skäl att fråga sig vad unionen i grunden ska vara bra för.
DN-ledare 5/10 2005



EU foreign ministers are due to gather for an emergency meeting which will attempt to break the deadlock over the issue of Turkish membership.
BBC 2/10 2005

Good links

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Själv har jag levt i den naiva tron att förhandlingarna var på riktigt, att Turkiet förr eller senare skulle bli EU-medlem. Efter fyra dagar i Paris är jag övertygad om motsatsen.
Niklas Ekdal, signerat DNs ledarsida 2/10 2005

I världspolitiken finns sällan några snabba klipp men turkiskt EU-medlemskap skulle verkligen vara ett. Fördelarna för turkar och européer är uppenbara: stabila relationer, politiska reformer, nya marknader, tillskott av unga människor till en åldrande världsdel. De symboliska vinsterna vore ännu större. Föreställningen om civilisationernas kamp mellan islam och kristenheten skulle få en bedövningsspruta. God natt, Usama bin Ladin. Den turkiska modellen av åtskillnad mellan stat och moské skulle vinna mark i arabvärlden, ett steg mot den nödvändiga upplysningen inom islam. Sist men inte minst skulle Europas muslimer - som är fler än de nordiska protestanterna - få svart på vitt om att de inte är andra klassens medborgare.

EU:s förhandlingar med Turkiet väntas pågå i minst tio år. Mycket hinner hända till 2015, men tyvärr verkar dynamiken till Mustafas nackdel.

Så hur är då prognosen för en tysk eller fransk förnyare?
Högerkandidaten i det tyska valet 2005, Angela Merkel, har liksom den troliga högerkandidaten i det franska valet 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, något som liknar ett reformprogram. Men båda går också fram på ett annat löfte:
Nej till Turkiet som EU-medlem.

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Mer av Niklas Ekdal och Dagens Nyheters ledarsida

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Framför allt vill Österrike vinna en framgång i EU-kretsen genom att koppla samman Turkiet och Kroatien.
Som för att ytterligare öka trycket på både Wien och Zagreb har EU nyligen beslutat arbeta fram ett samarbetsavtal med Serbien-Montenegro som ett första steg mot medlemskap.
DN ledare 1/10 2005

Kroatien ansågs moget att börja medlemsförhandla tills krigsförbrytardomstolen i Haag påminde om att regeringen i Zagreb inte sett till att alla anklagade inställt sig i Haag. Främst bland dem Ante Gotovina, i Kroatien betraktad som nationalhjälte, av domstolen anklagad som krigsförbrytare. Kroatien ska vi behandla på måndag, säger EU:s utrikesministrar sedan vi först beslutat om Turkiet. Nej, säger Wien, båda kandidaterna på en gång.

De franska och holländska nejen till EU:s konstitution fick samma effekt som en drivande mina i EU-ledningarna. Alla skyggar, ingen vågar konfrontera den stora frågan: Vill européerna ha Europa? Europa då i betydelsen av samfällt politiskt handlande, grundat på gemensamma värderingar.

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Among citizens of nine EU countries surveyed in May and June, overall support for Turkish membership was 22 per cent, down from 35 per cent
Public support for Turkey's bid to join the European Union continues to crumble throughout Europe
Support in France, which has promised a referendum on Turkish membership, is just 11 per cent
Financial Times 7/9 2005

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Schröder did a statesman-like explanation of the geostrategic importance of integrating Turkey with the rest of the European Union, which made Merkels resistance on this issue look rather pedestrian.
pedestrian = lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull: a pedestrian commencement speech.
Carl Bildt blog 4/9 2005


Förre förbundskanslern Helmut Schmidt, en orädd herre på åttiofem, sade häromdagen: att det visat sig vara ett misstag att ta emot så många turkiska gästarbetare i Tyskland.
Ty det multikulturella samhället är möjligt bara om det samtidigt är «autoritärt».
Richard Swartz SvD 12/1 2005

Jag förmodar att Schmidt menar att stora mängder invandrare från främmande kulturer inte så lätt låter sig integreras och särskilt inte om man inte (längre) kan tvinga dem till det. I stället har de börjat urholka vad som på tyska kallas Leitkultur, alltså allt vad som gör en tysk till en tysk och skiljer honom från en fransman eller en kurd

I en krympande värld med stor migration behövs därför ingen större fantasi för att inse att detta är ett växande problem, och inte bara för tyskar.

Den politiskt korrekta invändningen är förstås att hänvisa till vad som på tyska kallas Verfassungspatriotismus. Först och främst är vi demokrater. Vår identitet är inte att söka i blodsband, inte ens i historia och tradition, utan i vår demokratiska samhällsordning.

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There are two reasons why the constitution is important:
one is because it widens the scope of European integration, for example by creating the job of a European foreign minister and extending the involvement of the EU in justice and home affairs.
Most importantly, it changes the voting weights.

Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times 20/12 2004

After Friday's historic decision by the European Council to set a date for entry negotiations, Turkey is now almost certain to become a full member of the European Union. Forget the conditional clauses in the wording of the agreement. What matters is that EU leaders have established a firm procedure and the EU has proved time and again that it knows how to bring procedures to a successful conclusion.

The really interesting question is what kind of Europe will Turkey eventually join? Will Turkey join a coherent EU or a fragmented "opt-out land", where each member state chooses from a menu what parts of European integration it wants to take part in?

The answer to that question will depend crucially on whether the existing 25 EU member states ratify the constitutional treaty. If it is ratified, the EU should have no problem managing further integration and enlargement simultaneously. History has shown that the deepening and widening of the EU have proved to be mutually reinforcing.

There are two reasons why the constitution is important: one is because it widens the scope of European integration, for example by creating the job of a European foreign minister and extending the involvement of the EU in justice and home affairs. Most importantly, it changes the voting weights.

At present, it takes as little as four out of 25 countries to block legislation. The constitutional treaty introduces a system that reduces the effective threshold for a qualified majority. With the constitution in place, the EU is in a much better position to continue the processes of enlargement and integration simultaneously.

But the ratification of the constitution is not a foregone conclusion. Referendums are likely in more than 10 member states, including the UK where opinion polls suggest there is a large majority against the constitution.

Under the second scenario, the constitution is not adopted, for example as a result of a No vote in the UK. The UK could theoretically choose to leave the EU, in which case we would be back to scenario one. If not, there will be a political fracture within the EU that would trigger a split between a core group and an outer fringe. This outer fringe would still be part of a free-trade area but it would not join the euro or give up sovereignty over foreign and economic policy.

Considering the way the debate about EU integration has developed in the last few years, the second scenario has become increasingly likely. This would be a shame, but not a disaster.

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Mer om grundlagen


Österrikiskt krav på folkomröstning om Turkiet i hela EU
DN/TT 20/12 2004

President Jacques Chirac, som stöder turkiskt medlemskap men har stora delar av både den politiska klassen och allmänheten emot sig, har utlovat folkomröstning när det är dags för Frankrike att godkänna Turkiets EU-inträde.

Hans kollega i Wien, Heinz Fischer, har ställt sig bakom ett österrikiskt krav på folkomröstning om Turkiet i hela EU.
I Österrike ska det i alla händelser bli en sådan.

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På längre sikt behöver Europa både EU och ett demokratiskt, muslimskt medlemsland.
Genom Europa går en ström av misstro mot det främmande och mot de styrande. Under hösten har den fått sitt utlopp i frågan om EU-medlemskap för Turkiet.
Under vintern och våren kan det gälla frågan om EU:s nya författning.
DN-ledare 18/12 2004

Under motsättningarna om det turkiska medlemskap som alltså redan funnits i kikaren i fem år ligger en växande rädsla för främlingar och förändringar. Den finns i alla europeiska länder, mer eller mindre stark. Allt fler europeiska regeringar spelar på den, debattörer och politiker förenklar till antimuslimsk skrämsel.
Opinionerna hårdnar på bägge sidor - islamistiska extremister vinner stöd bland marginaliserade invandrare i storstädernas missgynnade förstäder.
Nationalistiska och rasistiska politiker söker stöd långt in bland breda medelklassväljare och etablerade partier blir allt mer "försiktiga" gentemot invandring och kulturblandning.

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Turkiet behöver unionen, men unionen behöver också Turkiet.
SvD-ledare 18/12 2004

Att Turkiet är stort, fortfarande fattigt, även om tillväxten är hög, och åtminstone delvis ligger utanför den europeiska kulturkretsen har också setts som problematiskt därför att det skulle försvåra ansträngningarna att knyta EU-medlemmarna ständigt allt närmare samman.
För dem som inte önskar att unionen till slut ska bli en riktig statsbildning är detta snarare en fördel.

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Mer av SvD om EU och EMU

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Det är en självklarhet att ett fullt medlemskap måste vara målet – vad är det annars för mening att förhandla för ett land som redan har samarbetsavtal med EU?
Farhågan är, enkelt uttryck, att miljoner turkar ska bosätta sig i andra europeiska länder och träda in på arbetsmarknaden.
Dagens Industri ledare 18/12 2004

En viktig och omstridd ingrediens är villkoren för när och om Turkiet ska få tillträde till den europeiska arbetsmarknaden. Toppmötet beslutade att i sitt slutdokument skriva in möjligheten att när som helst i framtiden utlösa en skyddsmekanism och undanta turkarna från rätten att arbeta i andra EUländer. Sverige hade en annan uppfattning men valde att ge med sig.

Det är en oro som måste bemötas på ett seriöst sätt – trots att den obefogad av framför allt ett skäl: Om tio år är Turkiet ett annat, rikare land än nu. Och Europa kommer också att vara förändrat – bland annat kommer stora åldersgrupper att ha lämnat yrkeslivet och de gamla EU-länderna kommer att behöva arbetskraft från Turkiet.

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German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has said Turkish entry to the European Union would be as important for Europe as the D-Day invasion 60 years ago.
BBC 20/10 2004

Mr Fischer told the BBC that Europe needs to bring in Turkey and use its influence to make the country secular.

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Joschka Fischer


An EU of 40 is inevitable unless stopped by a referendum, according to outgoing Commissioner Frits Bolkestein
Of course, in an enlarging Europe, you export stability. That’s fantastic. But you also import instability".
EU Observer /Le Monde/ 14/10 2004

After the accession of Turkey, the EU could expand to take in Belarus, Ukraine and the Balkans. "Unless there is a ‘no’ in a referendum, the march towards an EU of 40 is inevitable", believes the Dutch Commissioner.

"We have lost the ability to say ‘no’ - "Foreign ministers just think of how to be nice".

Mr Bolkestein – whose term ends in three weeks – also believes that both EU leaders and Commissioners are secretly against Turkey.

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The fear that, once Turkey joins, huge numbers of poor Muslim immigrants will stream west is probably the biggest single impediment to its membership. The commission has not dismissed such fears.
Indeed, Olli Rehn, the incoming commissioner for enlargement, said that concerns about immigration were “more or less justified”.
Yet free movement of labour is a fundamental EU principle; and any restrictions in previous enlargements have always been temporary.
The commission goes beyond this for Turkey by floating the idea of “permanent safeguard measures”. These would stipulate that, if Turkish immigration were deemed to be disruptive to the rest of the EU, controls on free movement could be re-imposed. Officials insist that this is compatible with the EU’s fundamental principles.
The Turks dispute this.
The Economist, with good links, 7/10 2004


In December 1999 Europe’s leaders agreed, after a few minutes’ debate, that Turkey would be a candidate member. Its accession would not be a matter of if, but of when.
Now a number of leaders, perhaps a majority, are trying to wriggle off the hook.
Would Turkey’s accession be a good thing? For Turkey it would probably be the best thing that could happen to it, even though enthusiasm for membership there is waning. For the EU it would be a bad thing.
Frits Bolkestein, Financial Times 9/11 2006
Member of the European Commission 1999-2004

What is Turkey’s basic identity? It has a marvellous history. But it is not a European history. Europe is marked by the great developments of its past: Christianity, Renaissance, Enlightenment, democracy, industrialisation. Turkey does not fit in that mould. Here I will be accused of saying that Turkey may not enter because it is not Christian. That is emphatically not what I say. But it can hardly be denied that European civilisation has been deeply marked by its Judaeo-Christian heritage, however much politically correct bien-pensants may deem this old hat. Some maintain that only membership will stop the tide of Islamism. But the EU wants to reduce the power and influence of the Turkish army, which is a bulwark against radical islam. Does Europe know what it is doing?

I now come to the most important reason for rejecting Turkish membership: its consequences. Whoever lets Turkey in cannot very well refuse Ukraine, which is more European than Turkey. Ukrainian membership (much advocated by Poland) would be followed by that of Belarus, Moldova and – why not – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbidjan. Together with the successor states of Yugoslavia that would mean, in time, an EU of some 40 member states, bordering on Russia in the east, Syria, Iraq and Iran in the south.

It would fatally dilute the EU.

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And if Turkey gets in, is there any real argument for keeping out Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus or Georgia
March 11th 2004 From The Economist print edition

The region of present-day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236.
CIA World Factbook

In the north, Georgia has a 723km common border with Russia, specifically with the Northern Caucasus federal district. The following Russian republics/subdivisions - from west to east - border Georgia: Krasnodar Krai, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia-Alania, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan. Georgia also shares borders with Azerbaijan (322 km.) to the south-east, Armenia (164 km.) to the south, and Turkey (252 km.) to the south-west.
Wikipedia


Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, an editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, noted that “the same people who go on and on about European identity and European values act as if there's no significant political/cultural difference between Europe and Turkey”
Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times October 2 2004

The writer is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard

Now that Europe is entering the stage of binding commitments, the Turkish issue is getting the raucous review in the wider pubic that it has previously lacked. In the past week, politicians and commentators have been taking aim at the very logic of the case for Turkish accession.

Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, an editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, noted that “the same people who go on and on about European identity and European values act as if there's no significant political/cultural difference between Europe and Turkey”.
Renaud Girard of Le Figaro scoffed at those who worry that Turkey would drift into hard-line Islam if it were kept out of the EU. “There will always be doomsayers,” Mr Girard joked, “who will say that a country that has the potential to turn into Iran doesn't belong in Europe”.While Europe's negotiations with Turkey are on course, they are raising important and stubborn questions about Europe particularly on French and German aspirations for EU leadership, the workability of the constitutional treaty and the EU's relations with the US.

Unease over Turkey has been mounting for some time. The success in June's European elections of various anti-EU parties, from the UK Independence Party to the Souverainistes in France and the League of Polish Families all of which took a dim view of Turkish accession was one sign.

A speech by Frits Bolkestein, the outgoing European internal market commissioner, in early September at the University of Leiden was another. Mr Bolkestein warned that heavy immigration from Muslim countries left Europe in danger of being “Islamicised”.

Yet if there was a moment that opened the floodgates to reassessing the wisdom of Europe's promises, it was the visit to Turkey last February by Angela Merkel, leader of Germany's Christian Democrats. Ms Merkel laid the groundwork for the idea of a “privileged partnership” with Turkey that could be a substitute for full EU membership. She spent last month trying to sell her alternative to other European conservative parties. Her success has been mixed. But Ms Merkel has broken a taboo against negative remarks on Turkey, clearing the way for other politicians who would do the same.

The episode is reminiscent of Gerhard Schröder's testing of anti-US rhetoric in the 2002 German elections, without which it is hard to imagine other European leaders daring to stand up to the US-led invasion of Iraq half a year later. The lesson is the same: when German politicians break with their country's postwar habits of multi-party consensus-building, they do not get ostracised they get imitated. Once Germany acts like a normal European country, engaging in spirited, partisan, national interest-based discussion of foreign policy, it becomes the ideological motor of Europe.

What makes European citizens and parties of the right increasingly nervous is that the universalist part of the European project, flattering though it may be to Europe's self-regard, means ignoring certain deep cultural realities about Turkey and maybe about Europe itself.

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Frits Bolkestein, the outgoing European internal market commissioner
University of Leiden, Days before the third anniversary of 9/11 2004

Alluding to the E.U.'s aspiration to become a multinational state, he drew listeners' attention to the fate of the most recent European power with that aspiration, the Austro-Hungarian empire just over a century ago. Austrians were culturally confident (Liszt, Richard Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, and Wagner were working in Vienna). They were prosperous and proud. The problem was that there were only 8 million of them, and expanding their country's frontiers brought them face to face with an energetic pan-Slavic movement. Once the Empire absorbed 20 million Slavs, it faced difficult compromises between allowing the new subjects to rule themselves and preserving its own culture. Rather like the E.U., the Empire was past the point of no return before it realized it was going anywhere in particular.

Bolkestein asked what lessons Europeans ought to draw from this history, as they consider welcoming Turkey. He then addressed two specific problems. First, that there was no logical end in sight to European expansion--once the E.U. accepts Turkey, it will have no principled reason to reject the considerably more European countries of Ukraine and Belarus. Europe is thus adding instability that it has neither the financial means nor the cultural solidarity to master. It was this part of his speech--in which he referred to Lewis's projections--that made headlines around the world: "Current trends allow only one conclusion," Bolkestein said. "The USA will remain the only superpower. China is becoming an economic giant. Europe is being Islamicized."

The second problem, Bolkestein warned, is that immigration is turning the E.U. into "an Austro-Hungarian empire on a grand scale." He alluded to certain great cities that will soon be minority-European--two of the most important of which, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are in his own country--and warned that the (projected) addition of 83 million Muslim Turks would further the Islamization of Europe.

Islamic Europe?
From the October 4, 2004 issue: When Bernard Lewis speaks . . . by Christopher Caldwell
10/04/2004, Volume 010, Issue 04

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Om Turkiet kommer med, har unionen plötsligt gränser mot Irak, Iran och Syrien
Barometern 24/9 2004

/RE: Se karta här/

Även om Turkiets själva medlemskap förmodligen ligger ganska långt bort, så sätter beskedet i går fokus starkare än någonsin på frågan vad EU egentligen är, vad det geografiska Europa är – och framför allt vilket syfte EU har. Fortfarande är varken Rumänien, Bulgarien, Albanien eller de allra flesta balkanstater medlemmar. Syftet med EU kan inte vara att bara fortsätta expandera.

Men var, egentligen, går de yttre möjliga gränserna för den ”Europeiska Unionen”?


If Turkish membership of the EU is to become a reality, it is essential to get those arguments across to ordinary voters.
It would be dangerously counter-productive for such a decision to be seen as just another project of the elite
Financial Times editorial 24/9 2004

If the European Commission and the member states are going to give Turkey the green light for negotiations - as this newspaper believes they should - full membership is unlikely before 2015 at the earliest. Even then, public opinion in Europe is likely to be hesitant. Opinion polls suggest that voters are unenthusiastic, although not openly hostile. In France there is a majority against such a move.

The arguments in favour are strategic: binding Turkey to the EU would give the lie to any "clash of civilisations", and bring a young and vigorous economy into "old Europe". If Turkish membership of the EU is to become a reality, it is essential to get those arguments across to ordinary voters. It would be dangerously counter-productive for such a decision to be seen as just another project of the elite.


Skäggen i Sarajevo
När jag i början av sjuttiotalet kom till Sarajevo för första gången var det en handfull äldre män som på darrande ben reste sig efter förrättad bön i Gazi Husrevbegs moské. Jag trodde jag blivit vittne till det sista kapitlet av islam som religion i Europa. Det var ett misstag.
I dag är de som ber här många, de flesta mycket unga och muskulösa män.
Richard Swartz, kolumn DN 7/8 2010

Till sist var Alija Izetbegovic tvungen att vända sig till dem som först inte varit tillfrågade: till stater som Iran, Libyen eller Saudiarabien. Det skulle visa sig vara en mefistofelisk pakt. Vapen och pengar kom, men med dem också krav på att skapa den muslimska stat som väst ville förhindra, dessutom en i långt radikalare form.

Bosnien är en av dessa inte så sällsynta stater som trots egen flagga och den politiska klassens svarta limousiner är helt beroende av omvärldens goda vilja för att kunna överleva.

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Det är numera tyst om vad som en gång var Jugoslavien.
I höst är det femton år sedan Dayton, det avtal som med undantag för Kosovo satte punkt för de balkanska krigen.
Mycket i Dayton präglades av brådska, improvisation och en hel del ignorans;
att den albanska frågan inte togs upp är bara det mest flagranta exemplet. Men räkningen kom i form av krig med vändande post.
Richard Swartz, kolumn DN 10/7 2010

»Jag är övertygad om att det ekonomiska system som byggts upp i Jugoslavien … tillhör en av vårt århundrades mest betydelsefulla sociala innovationer«, skrev professorn och s-riksdagsmannen Bo Södersten
Tomas Fischer, Fokus 19/12 2008


Släpp in Turkiet
Anna Dahlberg Expressens ledarsida 22/9 2004

När jag strosar längs Istanbuls pulserande promenadstråk har jag svårt att förstå Europas vånda inför att släppa in Turkiet.

Mot mig strömmar unga människor i tunna sommarlinnen med blottade navlar, andra i chica huvuddukar. Från någon av jeansbutikerna – eller kanske är det lattekaféet – dånar den senaste hiphophiten ”Lean back”. Jag träffar unga tjejer som jobbar med datasupport och pluggar filmvetenskap. De bor själva, har pojkvän och hänger gärna på barer om kvällarna. Hedersmord är något de läser om i tidningen, som händer i en annan värld.

Visionen om ett Europas Förenta Stater sköts sönder redan med östutvidgningen. EU:s budget behöver ändå reformeras och när det gäller invandringen törstar Europa efter ung arbetskraft. Förresten går flytten också i den andra riktningen; den turkiska kusten är redan full av tyska pensionärer. Det religiösa argumentet är så inkrökt att det knappt förtjänar att tas på allvar. EU är redan hem för miljontals muslimer; har de ingen plats här i så fall? Ska Bosnien och Albanien heller aldrig få gå med i EU?

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Why Europe must say yes to Turkey
In two weeks' time the European Commission will publish its assessment of whether Turkey has done enough
It is in order to encourage Turks (and other Muslims) to buy into liberal democracy that Turkey must be given the benefit of the doubt, and offered EU membership talks
The Economist Sep 16th 2004

Turkey is different from these, in four key respects. It is very large; it is very poor; not all of it is in Europe; and it is Muslim.

In two weeks' time the European Commission will publish its assessment of whether Turkey has done enough. Barring a last-minute hiccup—such as almost happened this week, until a plan to criminalise adultery was shelved at the last minute—it is expected to recommend that entry talks should start soon, meaning early next year. In December, EU leaders must decide at a summit meeting if they agree.

Turkey already has 71m people. Turkey's GDP per head is only 29% of the EU25 average, way below all existing members. Next is the question of whether Turkey is even in Europe. The EU's treaties are vague on the Union's physical boundaries. Which leaves the fourth and biggest worry of all: Islam. The European Union is not a Christian club. Already as many as 12m EU citizens are Muslim, and the Union's founding articles include respect for religious freedom.

The religious argument against admitting Turkey rests on two other propositions. One is that Islam is, by its very nature, incompatible with a secular, liberal democracy. The other is that Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise in the Muslim world, including Turkey.

It is impossible to demonstrate a priori that Islam is compatible with liberal democracy. But Turkey is as good a test-case as any with which to prove the point. Indeed, it is precisely in order to encourage Turks (and other Muslims) to buy into liberal democracy that Turkey must be given the benefit of the doubt, and offered EU membership talks.

If the Turks move backwards, whether on human rights or on religious fundamentalism, they can always be shown the door again.

If Turkey becomes part of the European club, it would serve as a beacon to other Muslim countries that are treading, ever so warily, down the path to freedom and democracy.

Several European commissioners have spoken out against Turkey's aspirations. Franz Fischler, the (Austrian) agriculture commissioner, has said that Turkey is more oriental than European. Frits Bolkestein, the (Dutch) single-market commissioner, declared that Turkish entry would mean that 1683 (when Turkish troops were thrown back from the gates of Vienna) would have been in vain. And Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, a former French president, has said that Turkish entry would mean the end of Europe.

The suggestion that Turkey could be kept out of the EU simply because of its religion is not really tenable. This is not least because the Union already has 12.5m Muslims, and two other potential candidates for membership—Albania and Bosnia—are partly or wholly Muslim.

Despite these arguments, a strong body of opinion in Europe is against Turkish membership. The most negative attitudes are to be found in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. Besides fretting about Islam, these countries worry about possible migration from Turkey and about cost.

In France, President Jacques Chirac's UMP party has come out against Turkish membership, though Mr Chirac has said he is in favour. In Germany the opposition Christian Democrats (CDU)and their allies in the Christian Socialist Union are against. The CDU leader, Angela Merkel, visited Ankara earlier this year and offered Turkey a special associate status instead of full membership.

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Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the father of Europe's new constitution, suggested that a key provision of the constitution, known as double-majority voting, could kill Turkey's effort to join because the country's projected population at the time membership talks could be completed, in 10 to 15 years, might exceed that of every other member state.
International Herald Tribune 13/9 2004

While he stopped short of saying that the new voting rule had been designed to make it harder for Turkey to join the EU, others who worked with him on the constitutional treaty suggested that it had.
"I would say that the proposal was not tabled in innocence, and having been a member of the convention, I know what I'm saying," Ana Palacio, the former foreign minister of Spain and a member of the draft committee, said in an interview in April.
"I strongly believe that it is in the EU interest to have Turkey as a member, but under the double-majority arrangement, Turkey has no chance of ever joining."

With the European Commission due Oct. 6 to submit its verdict on opening official membership talks with Turkey, the remarks are bound to add to a gathering controversy.

The debate so far has focused mainly on Turkey's human rights record and its compatibility with Europe's Christian and cultural heritage, but Giscard suggested that the country may simply be too big to join.

With 70 million inhabitants, Turkey is already the second-most populous country in the region, behind Germany with 82 million; by 2020, Turkey's population is projected to reach 85 million, while Germany's is expected to ease slightly, United Nations forecasts show.

"If you bring in a new member that accounts for 16 or 17 percent of the European Union population, it changes the system completely," Giscard said in his ornate office on the Left Bank of Paris late last week. The former president, who has been at the heart of the European project for 30 years, has made no secret of his opposition to Turkish entry, which he notably said two years ago would be "the end of Europe."

The key to the debate is Article 25 of the 349-page constitution, which outlines what is known as the double-majority voting system. All decisions that do not require unanimity - many matters, especially foreign policy and taxation, still do - must be backed by at least 65 percent of the EU population and 55 percent of member states. Put another way, any country would need support from 35 percent of the EU population and 45 percent of member states to block a proposal it did not like.

As Europe struggles to integrate its large and growing Muslim population, attitudes about Turkish membership in the EU remain highly skeptical. A poll last week showed only 16 percent of respondents favored the idea in France and 33 percent in Germany.

On Friday, Fischler, one of the main contributors to the commission's upcoming report on Turkey, became the latest critic publicly known to express variations of these arguments. In a letter to fellow commissioners that was leaked to the Financial Times, he said Turkish membership may cost E11.3 billion, or $13.9 billion, in agricultural subsidies per year and claimed that Europe risked "imploding" with such an influx of Islamic inhabitants. Several politicians from member states, especially conservative Christian Democrats, have also made their misgivings known.

Giscard said he would rather see an arms-length strategic or economic partnership with Turkey. "We have boxed ourselves in a corner," Giscard said. "There are a lot of formulas outside the pure and simple membership, like a strategic partnership or a Nafta-like economic partnership."

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Turkiet har en framtid som EU-medlem
den dag den turkiska regeringens reformprogram haft sådan framgång att landet klarar EU:s krav på demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter
Göran Persson i tal ref i DN 15/4 2004

Nyligen har ledande företrädare för det franska regeringspartiet UMP sagt Turkiet inte riktigt hör hemma i EU och snarare bör erbjudas ett "privilegierat partnerskap". Det oroar Göran Persson, säger han:
- Ja, det gör det. Jag tycker det är ansvarslöst, säger han om de franska uttalandena.
- Turkiet är inne i ett ambitiöst reformprogram, så om de klarar EU-kraven och får ett nej får vi spänningar med ett av Europas största länder, ett land som kanske har den största geopolitiska betydelsen av alla, bryggan till Mellanöstern.

- Turkiet räknar med att behandlas som andra kandidatländer. Skulle de svikas tror jag att vi har en mycket allvarlig politisk kris ovanpå alla andra bekymmer i det grannskapet.

I talet passade Persson också på att uttrycka sin tillförsikt om att EU:s ordförandeland Irland ska ro EU:s strandade grundlagsförhandlingar i hamn i juni.

DN-artikeln

Grundlagen

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The European Commission is expected to recommend opening accession negotiations with Turkey when it delivers its "progress report" on the country's economic, political and social reforms in October.
Chirac's support for Turkey in EU in doubt
Financial Times 14/4 2004

Doubts over French President Jacques Chirac's commitment to Turkish membership of the European Union have surged following the abrupt decision by the UMP ruling political party to oppose the opening of negotiations this autumn.

The European Commission is expected to recommend opening accession negotiations with Turkey when it delivers its "progress report" on the country's economic, political and social reforms in October.

However, the UMP, which is chaired by Alain Juppé, one of Mr Chirac's closest advisers, stunned diplomats by announcing before Easter that it would campaign against the opening of negotiations with Turkey during European elections in June. "The UMP does not want to see negotiations start for Turkish membership of the EU," Mr Juppé said. "We are favourable towards a sort of privileged partnership and the constitution project opens this possibility."


"If we believe, as I strongly do, that Europe's strength lies not in a Judaeo-Christian club but in a diversity of traditions underpinned by common and universal values, then we must fulfil our engagements to Turkey".
UK foreign secretary Jack Straw, EU Observer 24/3 2004

"Now we must be clear that Turkey will be treated as any other EU candidate, without fear or favour". The foreign secretary went on to say that so long as Ankara meets the political criteria for joining the Union, he hoped EU leaders in December could "deliver a clear commitment to Turkey on opening negotiations for EU membership".


Frits Bolkestein, the EU single market commissioner:
Turkey should stay outside EU protecting Europe from Syria, Iran and Iraq
Financial Times 8/3 2004

Turkey should be kept outside the European Union to act as a "buffer" protecting Europe from Syria, Iran and Iraq, according to Frits Bolkestein, the EU single market commissioner.

Mr Bolkestein argues that the former Soviet republics of Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine should also be excluded, to insulate Europe from Russia. His views come in a new book, The Limits of Europe, in which he warns that a geographically overstretched Europe would become "little more than a glorified customs union".

In his book Mr Bolkestein says: "In the east, there is a geo-political need for a buffer zone between the EU and Russia, which might be formed by the countries that do not belong to either bloc." A similar buffer would also be advantageous "in order to cushion the Union against Syria, Iran and Iraq". Officials confirmed he was referring to Turkey.

He also says that once Turkey was a member, it would be hard to deny membership to a country such as Ukraine.
"The Ukraine is more European than Turkey," he told the Financial Times.

Mr Bolkestein said the EU needed to concentrate on its core tasks to reconnect with its citizens, including bolstering economic growth. He also criticised French and German economic reforms, saying they had "not gone far enough" and that the so-called Rhineland economic model pursued by the two countries was "responsible for unemployment of 8-9 per cent".

Welcome to this website! As European Commissioner, I am responsible for Internal Market, Taxation and Customs Union issues.
Frits BOLKESTEIN

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Turkiets förhållande till EU blir en valfråga i den kommande valrörelsen inför valet till Europaparlamentet
i juni. Det tyska kristdemokratiska partiet, som inte vill ha Turkiet med i EU, kommer nämligen att driva frågan i aktivt vilket upprör många, också partivännerna i Sverige, moderaterna.
Gunnar Hökmark, som står högst upp på moderaternas lista inför valet till Europaparlamenetet, håller inte alls med sin tyska partivänner om att göra EU:s relation med Turkiet till en valfråga.
Ekot 29/2 2004

En opinionsundersökning som publicerades i tyska tidningar på lördagen som visade att två tredjedelar av de tillfrågade anser att Turkiet inte hör hemma i EU. Och CDU och Hans Gert Pöttering anser att Turkiet ska erbjudas en nära relation, ett särskilt partnerskap med EU, men inget medlemskap.

Svenska moderater håller inte med Gunnar Hökmark, som står högst upp på moderaternas lista inför valet till Europaparlamenetet, håller inte alls med sin tyska partivänner om att göra EU:s relation med Turkiet till en valfråga.
– Jag tycker att det är fel, man ska inte ställa ett enskilt land mot andra länder eller på det här viset utpeka ett särskilt land, säger han. Det är aldrig bra att tala om vi och dem inte heller om vi i EU och de i Turkiet anser Gunnar Hökmark och det finns tycker han inga skäl att förhålla sig till Turkiets eventuellt framtida EU-medlemskap på annat sätt än till andra länders.
– Jag tycker att Turkiet ska behandlas precis på samma sätt som alla aandra ansökarländer, det vill säga de ska bedömas efter om de lever upp till de kriterier som gäller för medlemskap.

Gunnar Hökmark

Tyskland

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Five years ago EU leaders offered Turkey a bargain.
Meet the required standards of freedom and democracy, strive to break the deadlock in Cyprus and the rest of the continent will recognise Turkey's European destiny.
Now, as the December 2004 deadline for a decision looms, the Ankara government has delivered. The EU is faced with keeping its promise.
Philip Stephens Financial Times 27/2 2004

Only this week Tony Blair's government, a firm advocate of Turkey's eventual membership, bowed to the media hysteria that says that even this year's EU enlargement will unleash a flood of poor migrants from the former communist states. Think what the tabloid headline-writers would make of Turkish entry.

On present demographic trends, it would join the Union as its most populous nation, as well as its poorest.

In Germany, with its large population of Turkish workers, the political potency of the issue has been underlined by Angela Merkel, the leader of the opposition Christian Democrats, who wants Ankara to settle for a partnership with the EU.

There is a still sharper neurosis in Paris, where Jacques Chirac, the French president, looks anxiously over his shoulder at the anti-immigrant far right.

In the minds of too many of its politicians, Europe is not the creation of geography or political culture but rather the modern reincarnation of ancient Christendom. When Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president, remarked that Turkey's admission would mark the "end of Europe" he was saying publicly what many others whisper privately.

For all that, a momentum is building. A mixture of strategic calculation and opportunism (the governing SPD can rely on most of the Turkish vote) has persuaded Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, to harden his support for the opening of talks. Mr Schröder says Berlin will throw its weight firmly behind the recommendation of the European Commission. The word from the Commission is that, other things being equal, it will recommend this autumn that Ankara be given a start date for negotiations.

Mr Chirac is keeping his counsel. This is an issue still judged too sensitive to take its rightful place in the trilateral summits between Germany, France and Britain. But European diplomats detect a realisation in Paris that the tide is running fast against opposition to Turkey's application. Among those who have changed their minds is Joschka Fischer, Germany's foreign minister. Once a firm opponent of Turkish accession, he now says that the strategic case is irrefutable.

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Gerhard Schröder, German chancellor, is expected to provide strong backing for Turkey's bid to join the European Union
Financial Times 20/2 2004

The visit, the first by a German chancellor in 11 years, is being watched closely as Germany's position on Turkey's bid is seen as crucial to the EU's decision, due in December, on whether to open membership talks with Ankara.

Mr Schröder's government argues that it will support the opening of membership talks if Turkey fulfils the EU's basic "Copenhagen criteria" of political and economic standards for new members. A senior foreign policy adviser to the chancellor said this week he "had no reason to believe (these criteria) will not be fulfilled".

Yet the government has had trouble winning support for this message in light of public concern over the implications of Turkey becoming an EU member and with a conservative opposition openly hostile to Ankara's bid. The Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) is set to campaign against Turkey's bid in June's European parliament elections.

Angela Merkel, leader of the larger Christian Democrats (CDU), says she opposes such populism, but nevertheless flew to Turkey this week - only days ahead of the chancellor - to tell the Turkish government that the EU was not ready for Ankara's membership. Her offer of an alternative "privileged partnership" with the EU was rejected but her trip served its purpose of boosting supporters of her view in Germany.

Germany's large Turkish population - 2.5m of the EU's 3.8m people of Turkish origin live in Germany - is an important political factor, particularly as about 550,000 are German citizens with voting rights.

Tyskland


Göran Persson uttryckte i går starkt stöd för ett turkiskt EU-medlemskap. Visserligen utlovade Persson en "stenhård granskning" av förhållandena i landet, men han förklarade att "vi vill stödja er och vi vill ha ett utökat EU."
Corren 18/2 2004

I flertalet av EU:s medlemsländer finns ett kulturellt betingat motstånd mot tanken på att släppa in ett stort muslimskt land i unionen. Men Göran Persson uttryckte i går starkt stöd för ett turkiskt EU-medlemskap. Visserligen utlovade Persson en "stenhård granskning" av förhållandena i landet, men han förklarade att "vi vill stödja er och vi vill ha ett utökat EU."

Göran Persson vet förstås mycket väl att ett turkiskt medlemskap i EU är något ytterst osannolikt hur som helst. Ordföranden i EU:s framtidskonvent, Giscard d’Estaing, fick visserligen en del kritik, men mest stöd, när han häromåret sade det som de flesta i Europa tänker, att Turkiet är kulturellt för apart för att någonsin passa i EU. Så tänker man såväl i de politiska salongerna som bland vanligt folk. Opinionsmätningarna visar att det inte i något europeiskt land finns stöd hos en majoritet för ett turkiskt medlemskap.

Det som också talar emot Turkiet är landets strategiska läge. I en del politisk festtalsretorik, avsedd att smickra turkarna, brukar det framhållas att landets läge mellan Europa och Asien är en tillgång. Från turkiskt håll talar man också alltid om det egna landet som en bro mellan kulturer, mellan väst och öst. Sanningen är dock att det turkiska läget inte alls är vidare gynnsamt. Göran Persson berörde själv detta faktum i går, fast på ett lite lustigt, omvänt sätt. Sålunda konstaterade Persson att Turkiets läge – "med många av världens mest allvarliga konflikter i sitt närområde" – gör ett EU-medlemskap "extra intressant". I själva verket är det ju precis tvärtom – just risken att EU skulle komma att gränsa till dessa oroshärdar är ett tungt argument mot att släppa in Turkiet i unionen.

I ett läge då stora delar av EU säger nej till Turkiet ser regeringen av allt att döma chansen att stärka Sveriges profil som mångkulturellt föredöme genom att i ord välkomna den stora kulturella mångfald som ett turkiskt unionsmedlemskap skulle föra med sig. Helt gratis får Sverige en ännu bättre image som "brobyggare" mellan Europa och den muslimska världen. Det kostar ingenting att posera på detta sätt. Men om däremot ett turkiskt medlemskap varit en verklig eventualitet, skulle även den svenska regeringen ha tvingats till en djupare reflektion kring frågan om hur ett EU med Turkiet som den näst röststarkaste medlemstaten skulle fungera.

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The Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia.
In May next year these eight countries will join the European Union, along with the Mediterranean islands of Cyprus and Malta.
Bulgaria and Romania will follow in 2007, if they can reform and modernise fast enough.
A queue of other hopefuls is forming for the years after that, with Croatia at the head, Turkey and the countries of the western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro - some way behind.
The Economist Survey 27/11 2003


Turkey belongs in Europe
Dec 5th 2002 From The Economist


"Ge gärna Turkiet en positiv signal"
Sydsvenskan 10/12 2002


Europe risks destruction
/enlargement/
Martin Wolf Financial Times, December 10 2002


Cultures collide as Turkey meets Europe
By Quentin Peel, Financial Times, 8 Mar 2000

Turkey is going to join the European Union, and neither will be the same again.

It will not be in the next five years, although there are many Turks in the upper levels of government and business who believe that could and should be so. But it could well come to pass in the next 10-15 years. At least, that is how it looks from Ankara. There is an inexorable geo-political logic driving it.

And yet neither side is properly prepared for the process, either psychologically, or administratively. If it is going to happen, it is essential that it happens well. But few in Turkey really understand the sort of changes they will have to undergo to make the grade for membership. They face little short of a revolution in agriculture, and intimate interference in their political process, the judicial system, and the role of the military in the life of the country.

Just as few in western Europe are ready for it. Most probably do not even believe it is going to happen, in spite of the decision of the December EU summit in Helsinki to make Turkey a formal candidate for membership. No one is seriously prepared for the prospect of free movement of Turkish workers, let alone pushing the boundaries of the EU to the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran.

They have not begun to consider how they will pool sovereignty with a country still struggling to reconcile the secular state established by Kemal Atatürk, and devout worship of Islam.

But once the EU leaders had been variously begged, bullied (by the US) and ultimately persuaded to throw open their doors in Helsinki, it set in motion what one European diplomat calls an "infernal machine" to carry the process forward.

It is certainly not going to be easy. With a population approaching 65m, Turkey would be second in size only to Germany in the EU.

More than one third of the population - about 25m - still depends on agriculture for a living. In spite of a slowdown in its population growth rate, the chances are that it will become the largest EU state by 2050.

It has a toehold in geographical Europe but the bulk of its landmass is in Asia Minor. Most of its people are devoutly Muslim, in spite of the secular state.

Kamran Inan, the veteran chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the national assembly, used to be a strong supporter of joining Europe, but has now written a book called A Turkey that can say No.

"It is unfair," he says. "We had links with the EU for 41 years. We were well treated throughout the cold war. But once it ended, the phenomenon of very clear rejection started. We should recognise that Europe is less and less important in the world. The US is taking it less seriously. Turkey's future is Turkey. We have learned a very bitter lesson from our partners."

Temel Karamollaoglu, a senior member of parliament for the Islamist Virtue party, has moved in the opposite direction. "We used to have an attitude against the EU," he says. "We were a country situated in the Middle East, with historical ties to the Muslim countries. The EU was a Christian club. But the European countries have changed their rhetoric, and started talking about human rights and freedoms. We hope Turkey will become a truly democratic country [in Europe]."

In short, he hopes the EU will protect the Islamists from being banned by Turkey's secular state.

The political criteria for membership are already spelt out: Turkey must be able to demonstrate the "stability of [its] institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities". That means making the courts more politically independent, finding a political solution to the conflict with the Kurdish population in the south-east, guaranteeing greater freedom of expression and association, taking tougher action against torture and arbitrary arrests, scrapping the death penalty, and bringing the military establishment under civilian control.

Many Turks find such demands profoundly insulting. President Süleyman Demirel says it is just a matter of explaining the Turkish system to the outside world. But it will not be that easy.

The nearer Turkish membership comes to realisation, the greater will be the nervousness on the European side. For there is one scenario more dangerous than interminable negotiations, and that is to reach agreement on all the issues, economic and political, and then see it rejected by voters in any one of the EU member states.

It might be Greece, although that country's government seems finally to have realised that it is better off with Turkey inside the EU, obeying the rules. In the present climate, it could very well be Austria.

For Turkey to go all the way to membership, and then be rejected once more at the gates of Vienna would mean a terrible reverse, and embitter relations for decades to come. It would endanger the country's hard-won democratic stability, and revive old enmities. Any hopes of peace in Cyprus, and defusing the tension with Greece, would be lost.

That is why there is a huge job of explanation and persuasion to be done on both sides. Without it, there is a danger the whole process will end in tears.


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