TURKEY AND THE EU
World politics has been changed since 9/11 terrorist attacks increased the gap between East and west widen more. The gap is consisting of several prejudices, misconceptions and disinformation. Therefore, even little events might be a reason for huge crises because of lack of intercultural dialogue. Turkey as being a moderate, uniting factor of varying cultures, militarily big power, she can serve as a “soft power” to overcome those threats which may harm east-west relation.
First, I am going to explain the cultural motives of Turkey. Turkish cultural accumulation comes from two main streams. The first one is coming from its Ottoman legacy with Islamic roots. With these characteristics Turkey is a member of Islamic world. There are Islamic values in Turkish culture, traditions and customs. On the other hand, Turkish culture is nourished from Ataturk’s revolutions which prompted modern, western values that successfully installed on Ottoman, Islamic legacy. Turkey stands as a unique country in the world that have both secular, democratic, social and rule of law model based on constitution, and Islamic society specifications. Consequently, Turkey, on the one hand, contains Islamic society’s cultural specifications, on the other hand, carries modern, contemporary cultural elements.
Secondly, I am going to mention about Turkey’s accession to the EU, with its advantages to Turkey and the EU. To begin with, the acceptation of Turkey to the EU is going to be an opportunity to falsify the myth of “clash of civilizations”. Some ideologies and movements like racism, non-tolerance to minorities, hostility towards foreigners, Islamofobia is going to decline in Europe with Turkey’s accession. Membership of Turkey to the EU will prepare a compromise environment between European societies and the Muslim society, and at the same time, it is going to make it easy for Europeans to live together with various cultures and religions in a heterogeneous society. The accession is going to be a message to the world that the gap between civilizations is going to narrow, and the relations, in a wide concept, between East and West is going to change in a positive way.
Turkey can be a great contributor to the EU in security and defense policy. Due to its geo-strategic position, Turkey would add new dimensions to the Union’s foreign policy efforts in such vitally important regions as the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Central Asia and South Caucasus. Some argues that turbulent regions are going to cause profound effects on the EU stability and security, however these areas have already been an influential element on the EU’ security. Therefore, the accession of Turkey will pave the way for the EU to be a superpower in world politics.
In economic arena, Turkey has a great potential with its resources, young, well-trained and highly qualified work force. Especially, the young population of Turkey can play a vital role in continuity of economic development of the EU. Accession of Turkey to the customs union indicated that Turkey is a great market for the EU countries. Full membership will carry this further.
Turkey is becoming a transit country for energy, natural gas and oil. Moreover, Turkey’s geopolitical position and close links with tens of millions of Turkic people in neighboring countries could help secure European access to the enormous wealth of resources in Central Asia and regions of Siberia, making Turkey a vital factor for Europe’s security of energy supplies coming from the Middle East, the Caspian Sea and Russia. The last project “Nubucco” is going to contribute the EU countries to be saved from dependence on Russian energy.
On the other hand, the process of the EU is also a great opportunity for Turkey to be a more modernized and democratized country. With the accession, Turkey can change its old systems with new, well-working ones. All barriers between Turkey and the EU will be demolished and foreign investments in Turkey will increase. At the same time financial contributions from the EU, is going to contribute economic development. With regard to economic development, unemployment is going to decrease and Turkey is going to be a more welfare state. Besides, democracy in Turkey is going to become mature, and coups are going to be only history. Spain and Greece are the best example of development of democracy with regard to accession to the EU.