EU vote result adds to Turkey’s membership woes

June 9, 2009

The results of European Parliament election have caused deep concern in European Union candidate Turkey, where gains made by conservatives and some far-right parties have been read as a  clear win by the “No to Turkey” camp” and thus a blow to Ankara’s already troubled EU membership quest.


Trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, Turkish  Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the vote as a “futile effort by those who cannot digest Turkey’s enormity and strategic importance”. He said politicians who vilified Turkey to win votes in the short term would be judged by history.


Erdogan was probably referring to anti-immigration parties  that have openly campaigned against predominantly Muslim Turkey’s accession bid, among them the Dutch Freedom Party of  Geert Wilders who promised that Turkey would not join the  union: “Not in 10 years, not in a million years.”


But last week’s results certainly don’t bode well for Erdogan’s European dreams and come as pressure is mounting for Ankara to push ahead with long-delayed reforms.


The European Parliament has no power to make decisions on EU enlargement, but the European Commission is expected to bear in mind how people voted in the election when shaping policy over coming months. The European Parliament also publishes periodic assessments of progress in Turkey and has been critical in the past of Ankara’s record on human rights, freedom of expression and police mistreatment, to name a few areas.


So-called “friends of Turkey” such as Britain’s Gordon Brown, Spain’s Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Germany’s Social Democrats suffered significant defeats, deepening a sinking feeling in Ankara that it is being left alone to face the wolves.


Meanwhile, the European Commission in December will review its decision to freeze eight of 35 “chapters” — or membership areas — because of Turkey’s refusal to open its ports to Cypriot vessels.


Will France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who oppose full membership for Turkey and whose parties did well in the European Parliament vote — press for Turkey’s EU membership to be put on hold?


Are Turkey and the EU heading for a clash?  


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The greatest thing about the process of Turkish EU accession is fantastic test of not only Turkish values but of European values. The chapters are in a way an itemized list of Western and/or European values. Currently there is no doubt Turkey does not meet the criteria. This is the test for Turkey. However, hopefully (and I believe it will happen) Turkey will objectively meet all of criteria. This is when the test of European values occurs. Will European’s aspire to their own values and accept that Turkey has passed objective requirements or will Europe show itself to be a hypocrite and a union of racist peoples.

Posted by Kenan Ozdamar | Report as abusive

If Turkey is allowed in the EU we will see all of Europe aflame within 15 years.

Posted by Del | Report as abusive

Turkey should form an alliance with Russia. That would give it a boost and silence the European arrogant attitude towards it. It would strengthen Eastern Europe and make it a block to be respected more than Russia and Turkey alone by itself.

Posted by CaptainZen | Report as abusive

You must be joking…Turkey and Russia? Time heals everything but that relationship will not happen any time soon. I think a Turkey left out of the EU will look to its neighbors for economic expansion. It just so happens that Turkey and Russia share many neighbors and many of which Russia claims are a part of its imaginary sphere of influence. I think this will lead to even more sour relations.

Posted by Drew | Report as abusive

This should be a signal of the beginning of the end of the effort to allow Turkey into the EU; Turkey has made it obvious for years now that it does not plan to play by Europe’s rules: its troops occupy 40% the Republic of Cyprus,and EU member state; Turkey has been harassing Greece, another EU state, threatening war (!) if that country extends its sovereignty to the 12-mile limit, as entitled by international law; as if to prove that it doesn’t belong to European culture, it not only does not admit and apologize for the genocide of the millions of Armenians and other Christians between 1912-1922, but its “deep state” continues to harass and kill some of the few Christians left (the recent victims include Hrant Dink, a Catholic priest, Turkish evangelical converts…)NO, TURKEY DOES NOT BELONG TO EUROPE, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!…

Posted by Aristide Caratzas | Report as abusive

As a Turkish citizen, Turkish Government is the one who will like to be part of Europe, if you as the people on the streets great majority of the people will tell you that they have no interest at all to be part of EU, same people will also tell you that there has been many mistakes that previous governments issued rights to EU and still regret them. Regarding killings of innocent people as you name them, judging without knowledge is called ignorance… People are killied all around the world for centuries, in america, in africa, in the middle of europe, in palastine etc etc raise your voice when they need them and when you are aware of why’s and for which capitalist reasons, EU is a cristian club-house and always will be and we “the people of Turkish Republic” have no intention to be part of it.Regards & Peace out..

Posted by borden | Report as abusive

The predominantly christian European Union is afraid that a hundred million Islamic voters might shift the balance of power in the European parliament. The very tense relationship with Greece also makes it almost impossible for Turkey to get an Eu membership.Economically spoken it would have been a smart move to include Turkey as Turkey is the bridge to the Eurasian market with huge business opportunities on offer. Maybe a missed chance, but at the moment fear rules political sentiment.

Posted by Nikkei 225 | Report as abusive

“Are Turkey and the EU heading for a clash?”If Turkey is willing to “clash” with the EU it is simply proving the point that it is unsuitable for membership. It has nothing to offer the EU except conflict.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

As far as i can see that people have a lot of wrong assumptions about Turkey which is an indispansible part of Europe for years. People are only scared of its cheer size of population and its religion. People think that with the accession, Turkish people will spread around thu Europe. Just rember polish people after their acceptance to the union, many of whom have been to other cities only for work, but Turkish will not do that as they have strong family ties. They are only scared of the number of member of parliaments that Turkey will send to the EP, they are only scared of not being elected if they say yes to Turkey becouse they base their campaign on ‘no-to-turkey’ motto. Shame now becouse far-right parties have been elected for the EP and the business of Turkey is now tougher that ever before, but this may lead to extremist naionalism for Europe and do not forget that once europe was ruined by the spread of fundamental nationalism.

Posted by serdar yilmaz | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters Global News Blog – EU vote result adds to Turkey’s membership woes […]

Posted by This Week’s Wilders Round-Up « Defend Geert Wilders | Report as abusive

Common sense has prevailed again…thank goodness. The truth of the matter is that the Turkish population is moving away from secularism and embracing its Islamic roots. This will continue despite membership in the EU. Thus, better it not be a member for now. Moving towards religion is problematic unless you’re religious affiliation is “symbolic” (as in the case of most of Western Europe). The last thing we need are more absolutists disguised as pious believers.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

EU is the modern day Holly Roman Empire. The recent decision of European Commission on lifting the visa requirements for Serbs shows that. EU is awarding the Serbs for their recent GENOCIDE of Bosnians in the heart of Europe. No to nonsense! No to hypocrisy! And a big fat NO to EU!

Posted by Hayrettin | Report as abusive

[…] But entry into the EU is indisputably a long way off.  Bagis recognised that Turkey would not complete all 35 chapters by 2014.  Even then, there would be huge question marks over the readiness of countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands to approve Turkish membership.  Western European political parties opposed to Turkey’s accession performed strongly in the recent European Parliament elections. […]

Posted by | Brussels Blog | Turkey’s EU membership big crawls a tiny step forward | Report as abusive

I have read all the above posts… so I have recognized different opinions about Turkey entering EU.Since 1974 (only 35 years ago) Turkey tresspassed in Cyprus, occupying almost 40% of the islands grounds. Is this the Turkey you want to enter the EU? A Turkey that even now 35 years later hasn’t yet acknowledged an officially(5 year old) member of the EU. A country (Turkey) which everyday reminds EU that they do not respect human rights?A bit under half of the Cypriot population are refugees. (I’m not by the way, and I’m also British). Maybe some Turks have, yes, progressed and developed into well civilized attitudes but nevertheless EU is not only economical foundation but also cultural. A christian cultural foundation that Turkey clearly does not accept as for their religion keeps them from evolving to EU citizens.Again I thank France and Germany that speak their true beliefs with strong evidence of problems occuring in their countries because Sweden (which does’nt have alot of Turks yet to see what problems may arise living with them).This post may seem racist against Turks but to be clear: Cypriots were family friends with many Cypriot-Turks for many years in the past (ex. 1963) and even today (2009) in Pyla village there are Cypriots (greek and turks) which are friends; but these people grew up together with common grounds and have not come to Cyprus direclty from Turkey after the invasion creating the bad image of Nothern Cyprus as we all know now. After the invasion 50.000 Turks have arrived in the north breaking international laws and much more.Nevertheless if Turkey enters EU why shouldnt Russia do as well? Or Egypt or Israel…. when will this end? Where would the boundaries of EU start and end?Also about the chapters opened and closed. When they reach (if they do, only a few months are left until Dec) the Cyprus chapter you will see the real face of Turkey and not what they want you to see…In addition to the above, many Turks who study at the university with me agree that they should’nt enter the EU because then the diversity of personalities and cultural differences would be mashed up and become one ugly blob called EU of everything and anything!Thank you,

Posted by Theo | Report as abusive

It’s very easy to see what is happening once one gets in tune with what is written as prophecy in the Bible. The rise of Islam can not be stopped, at least according to the two witnesses that appear in the Bible in Revelation 11:3. There is so much profound information that was put forth by the two witnesses. Go to thegoodguise at wordpress. There you will find the first true account of the two witnesses and the prophecies they put forth during the 1,260 days they delivered prophecy to the world. Leave your comments and get involved. The time is coming soon (within 40 years) that everything the two witnesses prophesied about will come to pass. If not for you, then do it for you children.

Posted by TheJacob | Report as abusive