Should Turkey join the EU?

                                           d.turkey.jpg (14243 bytes)

Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is in Brussels urging the European Union to begin talks on Turkey's bid to join the bloc.

A report by the EU Commission due on 6 October will say whether Brussels believes talks on Turkish accession should go ahead.

The Turkish parliament is meanwhile embroiled in a row over a legal reform package which includes a controversial clause to criminalise adultery. But it is to reconvene on Sunday and Mr Erdogan has vowed to get the reforms adopted.

Do you think Turkey should join the EU? Can Turkey act as a diplomatic bridge between Europe and the Middle East? Send us your views.

 

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE

This topic was suggested by Hans Stiles, England

On 6th October, EU officials decide whether or not to begin talks on Turkey's entry to the EU. Should Turkey join the EU?

Send us your suggestions for Have Your Say debates

The crucial word is "eventually". If Turkey became a full member next week, of course it would fatally destabilise the EU. But a more realistic date for Turkish entry is somewhere around 2020. Give them a chance - 16 years is plenty of time for both Turkey and Europe to adapt, and if anything does go horribly wrong, we can still say no later.
Chris, Belgium/UK

Turkey must join the EU, because alienating Turkey will push this important ally into the hands of a Muslim alliance within the Middle East, this alliance once created, will be more powerful than any European one.
Tolgay, London, Turkey

Turkey should join the EU, because the EU cannot afford to lose such a geo-politically important country, which is a balance point between the East and the West. If Turkey leans East, it would create dramatically imbalancing effects that would bring the world to something close to a 3rd world war. If it leans the west, it would certainly bring stability to the chaotic regions, especially those that are in the Middle East and the Caucuses.
Taylan, USA

To miss this opportunity risks losing influence forever over an important strategic ally.

Jeff, Loughborough, UK

The Erdogan government has based almost its entire programme of government on securing the opening of negotiations for entry. It has taken significant risks in a number of areas, most prominently in reducing the role of the military in Turkish politics. If the EU does not reward these strides by beginning the (lengthy) process of accession negotiations, the likelihood that this moderate administration will continue to hold power will be massively reduced. Turkey may not be a perfect partner, but it's in the power of the EU to help mould a more modern Turkish state in the next two decades. To miss this opportunity risks losing influence forever over an important strategic ally.
Jeff, Loughborough, UK

After spending time in Eastern Turkey, It's difficult to imagine ?anlyurfa, for instance, as a part of Europe. But even the least Westernized corner of Turkey has a history that is entwined through and through with Europe. Rome and Byzantium brought in the farthest corners of Anatolia for economic and security purposes. It is not difficult to imagine Europe bringing Turkey into the Union based on the same rationale.
Kenneth, Boulder, Colorado USA

We are not yet ready to start talks with the EU. This generation of leaders has to retire before honest efforts are made to conform to EU standards. It will take about twenty years for the current military heads and many in the civilian government to get out of the leadership mechanism that drives Turkey. Only then we will be seen by Europe as a true European partner who will abide to the rules and support Europe in disputes with the USA. Right now the effort for joining is seen as an American/British ploy to insert a "one of ours" player in the Union.
Jay Decker, Istanbul

Turkey doesn't have good stable relations with any of it's neighbours.

James, Montreal, Canada

The argument by some that Turkey should join the EU because it would be a 'bridge' between Europe and the Islamic world is bogus. Turkey doesn't have good stable relations with any of it's neighbours. Therefore, I cannot see how they can be that diplomatic 'bridge'. The main determining factors should be economic and social. Turkey would be an economic drain to the rest of Europe, and socially it is unstable. It has too many problems with minorities, borders, etc. Does Europe really want to get dragged in to this mess?
James, Montreal, Canada

No. Turkey is not basically a European country, either geographically or culturally or historically. The EU already has enough countries to absorb. Adding Turkey would require enormous effort and expense and create a fundamental shift in the nature of the EU. A free trade pact and close relations is a better option. Turkey could then lead a regional "union" of more similar lands.
Sterling Doughty, Switzerland

As a Frenchman who grew up in Istanbul, I believe Turkey should join the EU within the next 10 years. It is a country full of resources, hard working people, tolerant of every religion and making tremendous efforts to bring their country up to European standards. In Istanbul, people of every possible religion do business together without any reservations whatsoever, it is a great example of harmony in diversity and I am convinced Turkey is a key country for the economic growth of the European Union. Evidently, the Turkish Penal Code needs to be entirely revised, that is the only condition that should be imposed for full membership and I am hoping that the Turkish Government will take the appropriate steps to expedite the matter. Once that has been achieved, Turkey should be granted full membership without further delay. Olivier Damiron Montreal, Canada
Olivier Damiron, Montreal, Canada

On any topic, one should look at the facts from a wider perspective with a dialectic, analytical mind rather than with prejudices and assumptions. Turkey has characteristically eastern and western values in harmony that are unique and deeply rooted in her ancient history - which is considered to be the cradle of civilisations. Europe has a lot to learn from Turkey.
Omer, London

Both parties can only benefit. Let the negotiations begin.

Shawn, Charlotte, NC USA

I don't understand the objections posted by many of the Europeans here, especially the concern about "mass Turkish immigration". Europe's population is dwindling. You're going to have to bring folks in from somewhere. Will allowing Turkey to join the EU encourage some migration westward? More than likely. But, wouldn't you rather have immigration from a country whose policies you at least have some chance of affecting? I should think so. Turkey can be an excellent labor resource for the EU. Both parties can only benefit. Let the negotiations begin.
Shawn, Charlotte, NC USA

Should Turkey be accepted into the European Union, it would contribute significantly to the EU's future (currently non-existent) common foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East.
Mira, New York, NY

I see that the biggest fear of EU citizens is some form of mass migration from Turkey to the EU once the country is a member. However that is a groundless view. It is predicted that only 3 million Turks will migrate to EU in a period of 10 years after 2015. On the other hand I'm concerned that housing prices in Turkey will skyrocket because of a reverse migration of rich EU retirees who will buy properties around the Turkish coastal areas just like happened in Spain or Portugal.
Metin, Istanbul, Turkey

If the West Europeans are so sceptical about the possibility of Turkey joining the EU, how will they react several years from now, when several republics of the former Yugoslavia that have a significant Muslim population will be ready to join the EU?
Maki, Skopje

If Turkey is not European, based on geography, then neither is Cyprus, which just joined the EU. I wish people would be honest and not refer to geography as this simply does not apply. Just say it - Turks are not Christians! For 40 years the EU told Turkey it could join if it met the political, economic and human rights criteria. Saying no to Turkey now will not only alienate the 20 million Muslims within current EU borders, it will also make the world question the EU's values and its position in geopolitics.
Matt Arici, Chicago, USA

Yes, as long as it meets the requirements. It will also give a clear signal to other countries - Islamic or otherwise - that by improving democracy and opposing terrorism, we can all work for a more prosperous and peaceful world.
Adam, London

Turkey has a better record of modernising than most EU member countries

Irtek, San Francisco

I do not get the mindset behind the opinion of "Let's not let Turkey, because they are Islamic and we are Christians". This opinion is purely fanatic and as dangerous as Islamic fanaticism. First of all, Turkey, by law is secular. So it is not Islamic. And facts would show that in fact Turkey has a better record of modernising than most EU member countries. As mentioned earlier, a clear example is the fact that women of Turkey were voting while French women were just sitting at home. There sure is a way long list of improvements; but one should not forget that, even it is agreed that Turkey will join EU; it will take at least 10 years for that to happen. 10 years can change an already steadily improving country A lot! (This year's expected growth rate is 7.9% for Turkey. Way above the average of EU.) One should get the facts right... decisions like this should be based on systematic thinking, not fanaticism.
Irtek, San Francisco

Turkey may be a diplomatic bridge between Europe and the Middle East. And hence Turkey should join the EU. If she is not given chance to enter into EU, the Muslim countries may think of it as discrimination.
Kazi Firoz, Kosce, Slovakia

Since 1920s, Turkey is more secular than many European countries, and it is not fragile, with the support of the majority of its citizens. I think the concerns about cultural differences are also mostly exaggerations.
Volkan, New York, USA

Turkey's population of 70 million is growing over 3% per year while Europe's population is ageing and stabilising. In less than ten years Turkey would be the most populous state in the union, making catastrophic drains on all areas of the budget. Turkey's borders leak like a sieve, from Syria through Iraq to Iran, the flood gates once opened can never be closed. After Turkey's membership would come Iran, they are not Arabs; same applies to Iraq and Syria. A line has to be drawn.
Peter, Erlangen, Germany

Turkey should stay independent and try to play a key role within the Muslim world!

Martin Schuschnigg, Hanover

Turkey shouldn't join the EU! They have a completely different history and culture, this country is on another continent and the EU cannot afford several million new immigrants within a few years. If they join, the situation in Europe would worsen drastically. Turkey should stay independent and try to play a key role within the Muslim world!
Martin Schuschnigg, Hanover, Germany

What will happen if we allow non-European countries to join? Will Israel be next? Will any country who applies, no matter where, be allowed? If Turkey is allowed the rest would apply and on that precedent be allowed. Only countries within Europe as we know and understand by the name Europe should be allowed to join
Stuart Rankin, Scotland

The UK and France are afraid of another big country joining because they feel their power in decision making would be reduced. The fact is that a part of Turkey is on European continent, and thus Turkey has every right to join the EU.
Jure, Croatia

Yes, the EU should let Turkey in (that is, of course, if EU is looking for some serious trouble)

Aris Beligiannis, Thessaloniki

Grave human rights violations (torture, extra-judicial detentions, "disappearances"), ethnic cleansing (against Kurds and Armenians), religious oppression, confrontations on all borders, heavy militarization, poverty and a massive government debt. My answer would have to be: Yes, the EU should let Turkey in (that is, of course, if EU is looking for some serious trouble).
Aris Beligiannis, Thessaloniki, Greece

Turkish people are more Asian than European. Asia has manners, culture, friendship, hospitality, history things like that. European countries are based on money, no more. If the EU wants to learn some manners, they should accept Turkey.
Tahhir Karim, Afghanistan

Those who argue that today the differences between Turkey and Europe are too great to overcome have a point, but please let's consider the alternative: Do we really want to exclude Turkey because its citizens are Muslims? Or because Ankara is on Asian soil? What then? Do we want Turkey to form a block with failed states like Syria, or fanatics like Iran? Reflect on this: Turkey is poor, but so were Portugal or Slovenia when they joined. Turkey is religious, but so was Ireland when it joined. Turkey has a bad record on human rights, but it is reforming hard, and after all, what was Spain's record under Franco, just years before it joined the EU? In all these cases, access to the EU has brought increased prosperity, political stability, and the rule of law. If Turkey is willing to accept EU values, let's welcome them amongst us. That will do more to promote democracy in the Middle East than a hundred wars.
Simon, Amsterdam, Netherlands

History of military rule will always render Turkey as politically unpredictable. Their return to democracy has not stopped its expansionist ideals with constant daily confrontation in the Aegean which goes unnoticed by the world media and not to mention Cyprus, who they have occupied illegally for 30 years. Accession for Turkey has to be carefully considered.
Tony Papparides, UK

Turkey has not much in common with the European cultures. Therefore they have nothing to do the EU!
Anders Öström, Stockholm

Turkey is Europe's best bet to survive

Arda, New York, USA

Turkey should and will join the EU. With its saturated market and declining population, Europe needs Turkey for economic growth and the stability of its social security and pension systems. Of the younger and more dynamic nations surrounding the EU, Turkey is Europe's best bet to survive.
Arda, New York, USA

Turkey is more than a bridge between the East and the West! The EU would be all the wealthier and colourful for letting Turkey while at the same time affirming its maturation beyond the mind set of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks!
Levent, Turkey

Europe needs a Muslim country to better world relations, its as simple as that, we have to make it work and get rid of racism of all kinds.
Kevin Wood, San Jose, CA, USA

Turkey should not join EU.
Jacques Beudin, Anderlues, Belgium

EU should never ever allow Turkey to join the bloc. I would only like them to join if they can accept that adultery is not a crime. Again, they should not allow the headscarf in the office.
Mkaaao, Rabat, Morocco

Cyprus's whole territory is in Asia, and its European, so geographical arguments against Turkey's entry is groundless. Culturally, it may be Muslim, but it is a fiercely secular country, where women had the right to vote 20 years earlier than France did. Concerning human rights, this needs to be improved and it is evident that it is being improved. I doubt Romania or Bulgaria has better human right records compared to Turkey, yet the eventual entry of these two countries is not a source of contention. The arguments against Turkey's entry put forward by many Europeans is nothing but blatant Orientalism and prejudice against Turkey. Turks should be proud of what they had achieved so far.
Tae, Seoul, South Korea

As a Turkish person, educated in Turkey and brought up there, I believe I mix well with Europeans here in the UK. But I still believe Turkey doesn't belong to Europe. Turkey doesn't belong to Middle East either. It is a unique country that should stand on its own feet.
Murat, Kent, UK

The cost of Turkish EU membership will be astronomical

Anthony, Germany (UK)

This will be the end of the EU as we know it, because the cost of Turkish EU membership will be astronomical. Turkey is a very big and very poor country. It is also going to get a lot bigger and I can't see how it is going to get much richer (even the EU Billions that will be transferred in the coming decades won't help: see what has happened in Germany!). We don't even know the true cost of the recent expansion and yet here we are about to give the green flag for the next enlargement. It's all rather mad and smells of "global politics" at the cost of common sense. George Bush is in favour of Turkish membership by the way!
Anthony, Germany (UK)

I think Turkey is a European country. The differences between Turkey and EU countries are not any bigger than the differences between EU countries themselves. (Ex. Spain to Sweden or Latvia to Malta) As long as each European country gets together under one (EU) constitution and pledges for the same ambitions which are to provide wealth, justice and security to every EU citizen, any European country should be able join the bloc.
Cenk Mustafa G, UK

It will be fun to watch the EU trying to find an excuse to reject the membership of Turkey, a country that has fulfilled all the political criteria for membership, according to the EU's enlargement commissioner himself. Turkey has already passed the test of civilization, now it is the Europeans who are being tested. Let us see the outcome.
Cem Say, Istanbul, Turkey

I think we have to be realistic - if Turkey does join there will have to be a change in the rules about free movement of people in the EU. To allow mass Turkish immigration would be to hand Europe to the far-right on a plate.
Rob Ingleby, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The arguments surrounding Turkish membership are often too simplistic. Membership of the Union is not the same as joining a club, to be offered to countries for good behaviour or strategic gain. Nor should membership be refused based on outmoded ideas about geography, religion, or size. We should rather consider Turkey as a country that wants to contribute to building the European Union and evaluate it fairly on its capacity to do so.
Edward Cameron, Brussels, Belgium

Cultural differences are just way to diverse

Laura, Germany

I definitely do not agree that Turkey should enter the EU. Cultural differences are just way to diverse.
Laura, Germany

Whether Turkey is mainly in Asia or not, it is a good thing that Turkey even wants to join the EU. Once Turkey is in the EU it is much easier to exert pressure on the government to improve its human rights record and become more moderate. It would also be an example to the world that Moslem and Christian countries can work together towards peace and prosperity. If Turkey is rejected, it gives the opposite message.
Ben, Luzern, Switzerland

Absolutely not. Nobody, no matter how misguided, deserves Brussels. We must take to the streets to preserve our Turkish friends from the folly of signing up to the EU!
Mike, London, UK

Yes. If Greece can become EU member so can Turkey.
Hamid U Shah, Brampton, Canada

To Hamid U Shah, Brampton, Canada: Greece, my friend, has been part of the EU since before you even were born! Greece is in Europe and has given much to Europe (see civilization, sciences, art) - things that Turkey will never have.
Kosta Poutsas, Athens, Greece

To those who say that Turkey is not European because it is Islamic, I would invite them to count the Muslim population of Europe and the mosques and I would add that 'Europe' is a concept not a geography. Also I consider it immoral to encourage a secular democracy and its eager population to think that it could join and then bring up specious arguments which have not been enforced in other member states.
Anne Canalp, Mehmetcik, Cyprus

To exclude Turkey on account of it's size, culture and geography would be a travesty

Suhail Shafi, UK

Now that the European Union has itself conceded that Turkey has satisfied all the conditions for membership talks, it has no choice but to open negotiations with Turkey. To exclude Turkey on account of it's size, culture and geography would be a travesty.
Suhail Shafi, UK

I have read some upsetting views, on why Turkey should, not join the EU. Turkey has a lot of going for it, and hard working population. They do share their history with Europe, and have has much right has Greece to join. Turkey, should be allowed to join, and become part of the EU, (they are already in NATO, there was not a problem when they joined that happy group) I am for anything that can make other people's lives better, not just wealthy western Europeans.
F George, London

No, I think she should not. We have our unique culture that can be compared to that of Europe and also other cultures. We are still friendly and intimate towards people, which is very rare at our age. I am afraid if we join in, we could melt in Europe, and lose our uniqueness.
Kerim, Turkey

At a time were extremists all over the world and from "both side" try to divide humanity between good and evil, the entry of a secular and Muslim country in the EU is the best of all responses. Europe has much more to suggest for the future than just a narrow rich private club.
Grégoire, Paris, France

Everyone knows that with the economic benefits of joining the EU comes the obligation to fall in line with the EU's opinion on various social issues. So the EU is certainly justified in its expectations of Turkey and Turkey has no reason to pretend it is being treated unfairly. However, the message this sends to the Middle East is: "You are only accepted as equals if you become more like us culturally." The EU can't expect Turkey to act as a bridge to Arab/Muslim states after being asked to abandon that culture. Either Turkey can be a bridge to countries with similar cultures or it can change its culture to fit in with the EU. It can't do both.
Jim , NJ, USA

Due to the geography of Turkey, it would be a bad idea for it to be allowed to join the EU. Europe's borders are porous enough as it is. The country is, in the main Asian and Muslim, therefore it has very little in common with the rest of Europe.
John Gallagher, London, England

If Turkey can reform enough to satisfy the requirements then it should allowed to join

Jon, London, UK

I don't see any reason why Turkey shouldn't be given the opportunity to join the EU. The EU is a trading bloc and is supposed to be inclusive of cultural and religious differences. The boundaries of the EU should not be constrained to traditional geopolitical 'European' boundaries. What if Russia or Ukraine wanted to join the EU? Would their geographic or historical situation be seen as a hindrance to EU accession? If Turkey can reform enough to satisfy the requirements then it should allowed to join.
Jon, London, UK

Why bother discussing it when the decision will be taken by the faceless EU bureaucrats. The bigger the EU gets, the less relevance it has to the man or woman on the street: hence the incredibly low turnout to EU elections.
A, UK

If we don't let Turkey join, the country may slide towards fundamentalism or nationalism (or both); i.e. we'll have a large unpredictable entity next to us. From that perspective, it's better to have them on board, even though the choice then follows from negative rather than from positive considerations. To me it is still rather unclear what purely positive contributions Turkish membership could provide (apart from powerful armed forces). And I do think very good reasons are needed, given the country is almost entirely in Asia.
Mick, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Except for a small percentage of its land mass Turkey is not a European country. In terms if her cultural background, Turkey is definitely not European. So Turkey has no place in the EU. If we admit Turkey which country would be next on the list?
Andrew Taylor, Nottingham, UK

The EU's slow and steady pressure towards its neighbours, including Turkey, is a joy to watch in comparison to the US juggernaut. Turkey should join the EU for the benefit of both.
Gordon Hamilton, Calgary, Canada

Yes, with restrictions
Gerhard W. Herpel, Germany (West)

I think it would be a catastrophic mistake to allow Turkey to join the EU. The EU countries have neither culture or religion in common with Islamic Turkey. Turkey is a country of some eighty million people. It has high unemployment and relatively poor compared to the rest of the EU countries. It will be an enormous drain on the UE funds to bring Turkey up to the level of the poorest country at present already in the EU. Turkey is trying to project itself as a modern tolerant, secular society. I feel that this is just a mask that will soon come off once inside the EU. If Turkey wants to join a club then they should think about setting up a common market with other Islamic countries like Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Libya and the Gulf States. They will be much more comfortable in a community that shares their own religion and culture than we would be making special provisions in the EU to accommodate them.
Paul Bastier, Windermere, UK

No, No and No!
Anna, Netherlands

I will be watching this closely. Due to it's human right problems, I don't see how they could let Turkey in the EU.
Mike Daly, Miami, FL - USA

Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey 80 years ago as a secular state, Turkey has always identified itself with the west in general and Europe in particular

Osman Ertekun, England

I am surprised by a great deal of misinformation about Turkey's European credentials. Turkey has always identified itself with Europe and the West. First of all, Turkey was a European power in the past and ruled extensive parts of Europe for centuries. During this period cultural exchange and integration took place and Turkish art and customs were introduced into Europe including Turkish baths, coffee, Turkish carpets to mention just a few. It is not a coincidence that the Ottoman Empire was referred to as ¿the sick man of Europe¿ during its decline. Anatolia is the birth place of civilizations which influenced European civilization.

As regards geography, a significant part of Turkey is in Europe, this part is larger than may European states and Istanbul alone with a population of some 12 million is one of Europe's largest cities. The fact that Cyprus, which is a geographical extension of the Anatolian mainland and situated at the most easterly part of Turkey, is considered as part of Europe makes the geographical arguments untenable. Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey 80 years ago as a secular state, Turkey has always identified itself with the west in general and Europe in particular. Apart from being a member of the Council of Europe, it is a member of all European institutions and European as far as Eurovision, football, posts, communications etc. are concerned. It is the only candidate state which has a customs union with the European Union. Its trade and industry is integrated with Europe and Turkish industrial products from automobiles to electronics from textiles to ceramics are widely marketed in European countries.

For over half a century Turkey has been a member of NATO and as the only Moslem member this has never caused a problem and it has never been objected to. She has proved to be one of the most loyal allies of the west from participating in Korea to all Nato peace keeping operations in Europe. It is objected that the boundaries of Europe would reach Arab countries and the Middle East. In fact this would provide a useful buffer zone. No one had objected when during the cold war Turkey was the only NATO member with a boundary with USSR. The Turkish armed forces have always been and continue to be the largest after the United States and this can only contribute to the security and defense of Europe. From the economic point of view only the negative aspects of the Turkish economy are mentioned. In fact she is the 16th/ 17th largest economy in the world. Merely looking at the final pages of the Economist magazine will show that its growth is far higher the any other European country (approximately 8%) and its industrial output has consistently grown in recent years and most recently by over 15%. Millions of Europeans take their holidays in Turkey and enjoy being there.

Granted there is room for improvement as in any other country. No country is perfect in all respects. The Turkish people are aware of this and every effort is being made to achieve improvements in areas where there are failings. In any event there will be a transitional period before full membership. In spite of all the above, to deny Turkey¿s European credentials can only arise from ignorance or prejudice. It is important that Turkey is not distracted from her European vision. This vision not something new. It is a vision that goes back decades and its association with the European Union began at the same time as Greece in 1963. It was thanks to Turkey¿s action against the Greek Junta in Cyprus in 1974 that the Junta collapsed and Greece resumed democracy thereby accelerating its European Union membership.
Osman Ertekun, England

Why not? The EU seemingly is on the road to letting everyone in, if and when they become politically correct enough.
Sternberg, Mauldin, USA

Any state that uses Islamic Republic in its name and has a flag with the crescent moon is by definition undemocratic and oppressive. Regardless of how you look at it, non-Muslims are discriminated against in Islamic republics. The very definition of Islam is submission, i.e., submission to Islam and the Koran. Muslims reject all other religions as written in the Koran. This is incompatible with EU values. Islam is an ideology of hate much like Nazism. Does Europe really want to bring this cancer into its heartland? Europe, wake up! Mein Kampf and the Koran are one in the same.
Brad, Chicago, USA

The human rights record of Turkey is dismal, from negation of the Armenian genocide to killing and suppressing the liberties of Kurdish people

Berislav, Los Alamitos, California

In all honesty I cannot see Turkey joining Europe, no matter how hard Turks try. Turkey is centuries behind in development and has an uncontrollable population explosion (it is not growth, it is an explosion). The human rights record of Turkey is dismal, from negation of the Armenian genocide to killing and suppressing the liberties of Kurdish people. Admitting such a state in the EU would be disastrous and detrimental for the union. Let Turkey form an Asian union together with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Syria, or whomever their choice is to join, but keep Europe for Europeans.
Berislav, Los Alamitos, California

I moved to Turkey a year ago and although they show modern tendencies in the tourist towns, they are very much a strong minded, independent and different people to Europeans away from these areas. It seems that America wants Turkey in the EU for Middle East ops and leverage. Turkey borders some very volatile countries and if in the EU, would allow easier access to England for Iraqis and Iranians which can lead to any number of security and terrorist problems. Gaining false paperwork in Turkey is not hard for those with the ingenuity and will to do so. Also, the Turks and Kurds are not a race to be told what to do or be governed from the EU, they would resist heavily. They have religious principles that date back hundreds of years and are totally different from Christians. Turkey should be left to be a neutral Muslim country that would act as a buffer to the Middle East. Also, the Turks and Kurds do not particularly like each other and the Iraqi Kurds are just as different. Turks see Europeans as very rich people and want to desperately move to European countries where they think they will become rich, I know this as I work in Marmaris which has a high tourist trade and I speak to both locals and workers from Siirt (far east Turkey), they just see the EU as a great money machine for them.
John Huke, Essex, UK

If Europe is a Christian club so be it. No amount of political correctness can alter the fact that Turkey does not belong in the EEC. Look at the increasing Muslim population in France and the subsequent rise in anti-Semitism.
Clive, Los Angeles CA

How can Turkey be admitted in the EU if they are militarily occupying half of Cyprus (and not complying to UN resolution that they should withdraw from the island) and for the last 30 years are violating the human rights of Greek-Cypriot refugees to go back to reclaim their land. In addition may i remind everyone here that mass illegal immigration of Turkish population in Cyprus after the invasion of 1974 is a war crime aiming to change the demographics of a little island. Why is Turkey exempt from such human rights violations in Cyprus not to mention human rights and freedom of speech violations within their own country as well. How can the EU turn a blind eye to such huge violations contrary to EU values?
Stella, London UK

Turkey still hasn't accepted that it perpetrated the first genocide of the 20th century against the Armenians

Akhtar, London

Turkey still hasn't accepted that it perpetrated the first genocide of the 20th century against the Armenians. If Germany had a similar attitude to its history, we would be a lot more unaccepting of it. So Turkey has to first confront its history critically, before it can plan to join the EU
S Akhtar, London

Turkey has everything to gain from the EU and should accept change, however, the mere fact that she considers going eastwards if her membership is denied should serve as a warning to where her conscience and loyalties lie! Does the EU need another member state whose loyalties are not clearly defined?
Alexandros Armenis, Cape Town, RSA

Religion has nothing to Turkey's possible place in the EU. What we should all be looking for more closely is their huge human rights violations both with their own country and most importantly in Cyprus. Has the world forgotten that half of Cyprus is militarily occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion? Violation of Cypriot refugees to go back and reclaim their land, mass migration from Turkey to the occupied half of the island and huge manipulation of the media and freedom of speech is the problem. Simplifying the issue as difference of culture or religion makes people turn a blind eye to a whole lot of serious violations that are contrary to EU values. It's not about Islam, there are plenty of millions of Muslims in the EU and they don't face any kind of discrimination. The problem is human rights and the use of the military to occupy an EU island for 30 years.
Steven, ,Italy

Turkey has a problem. The military guarantees it constitution. If the current elected government of Turkey does something to upset that balance the military will intervene via a coup. It has done it before. I wonder what European reaction will be when the Islamist government of today's Turkey does something which forces the military to intervene. Europe with 20+ democratic states and 1 military dictatorship does not sound like a great idea.
Stan, Melbourne, Australia

Turkey is in Asia. Why don't you let China join too while you're at it.
Scott Murphy, Las Vegas USA

If Turkey was barred from joining the EU then it will be explicitly clear that EU is mere Christian club rather than a democratic and religion tolerant club of civilized nations

Asmat, Pakistan

It is time for EU to prove their claims of being a democratic and open union. Not allowing Turkey to join the EU on the basis of religion contradicts their claim that is there is freedom of religion in their societies. If Turkey was barred from joining the EU then it will be explicitly clear that EU is mere Christian club rather than a democratic and religion tolerant club of civilized nations.
Asmat, Pakistan

No way should Turkey be even considered, they are not geologically in Europe, their traditions are Eastern, Muslim and liable to cause friction as we know that they are unable to change their ways of life to fall in line with a modern Europe. Their wish to join is purely financial. Keep them out for ever
Senna, Sweden

UID 2231948) Turkey should not be allowed to join the European Union until it improves its human rights record, finds a resolution to the Kurdish question and ends its illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus as well as allowing Cypriot refugees the right to return to the northern part of the island.
Phillip Wedgwood Brand., London, England.

Turkey is not a radical country, it has been a secular republic since the 1920's

Vanja, Seattle, USA

I believe European Union members will gain a lot by accepting Turkey into the EU. Turkey is not a radical country, it has been a secular republic since the 1920's. Unfortunately, it is evident that quite a few Europeans are biased against Turkey because of religious and cultural reasons, but let's not forget the state Greece, Portugal and Spain were in. Turkey has been participating in pan-European events for decades, such as Eurovision, sports, etc. The Ottoman Empire included some of the EU member-states and this is a secular country which is in Europe, unlike Cyprus. Finally, with EU population ageing, especially in Germany and Italy, Turkish young population can be a nice benefit, unless we'd prefer Chinese to immigrate instead of the Turks.
Vanja, Seattle, USA

It is not anti-Muslim to exclude Turkey from Europe - Albania and Bosnia are both majority Muslim countries and are unquestionably part of the European family. However, unlike these countries, Turkey still occupies bits of Europe - Thrace and Cyprus -and until it adopts a "European" mind frame it should be excluded.
Christopher Christofi, Chigwell UK

As the EU gets more members and they become more interdependent it will become even more important that it succeeds. If the EU should fail and the economies of its members suffer it would be unlikely that the US would forgive their debt. Turkey should consider this and the EU should be prepared to not let it happen. I don't see any other concerns since they are a democracy with a diverse Muslim and Christian population. They are more tolerant with Christians then the French are with Muslims.
Eric, Seattle, USA

I see nothing wrong in the EU being a "Christian Club". This is part of the nature of Clubs.
Christos Mitsides,


previous
                                    main page