I have chosen to separate this into parts for clarity, so do not despair reader-it might not end up being that long!

The issue of Turkey’s future/possible EU membership has been a matter of interest for me for a long time. Before I delve in it would be best to come clean-as I am Bulgarian I am by no means impartial here. I also have quite a few Greek Cypriot friends which doesn’t help either.  I should also admit that presently my mind is made up-instead of discussing pro’s and cons out loud I will seek to explain in writing my opposition to Turkish EU membership, not in the least so that I may refer others to this post instead of having to explain it every time 😉

First, I will note that I see the many and serious benefits to the EU of Turkey joining the block.  Firstly, Turkey has a vibrant and growing economy which will be beneficial to the EU, with a lot of the strong MS economies currently stalling. Also in the same vein, Turkey presents a huge market to EU companies and enterprise which could be further explored after Turkey’s potential accession.

Secondly Turkey is strong in many ways. Most obviously it controls one of the largest military forces on the planet which will boost the EU’s defense capabilities and its hand in “assertive negotiations”. With the Turkish military as part of the combined EU forces (I realise that the EU is not one single force, however the collective potential remains) the Union will be able to lay a much more serious claim to the title of Superpower. In uncertain times, this is important. Turkey is strong in other ways too. Anyone who has followed the antics of Turkey’s flamboyant (and often ridiculous) chief negotiator knows that Turkey is not afraid to assert itself and say exactly what it means-something much lacking from the MO of the EU’s Western Powers.

Admitting Turkey into the EU would also send a powerful diplomatic message and be a shrewd strategic move. By admitting a moderate and secular muslim state the EU would simultaneously negate accusations of racism and show that the west can engage constructively in partnership with the Muslim world.

All these are strong motives for allowing Turkey to join the EU. However as mentioned earlier, even so I am against this. In Part 2 I will explain why…

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