EU Officially Opens Talks with Turkey

The European Union formally opened membership talks with Turkey early Tuesday morning, but only after bitter opposition by Austria had exposed deep apprehensions about the future of the 25-country group and the prospects of admitting a large, poor, Muslim country to its ranks.

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 00191.html

Seems like a good idea. I am happy this is moving forward. Turkey has surplus population. Europe needs younger workers and more beachfront property on which to retire. Seems like a good fit. No?

[quote=“fred smith”]The European Union formally opened membership talks with Turkey early Tuesday morning, but only after bitter opposition by Austria had exposed deep apprehensions about the future of the 25-country group and the prospects of admitting a large, poor, Muslim country to its ranks.

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 00191.html

Seems like a good idea. I am happy this is moving forward. Turkey has surplus population. Europe needs younger workers and more beachfront property on which to retire. Seems like a good fit. No?[/quote]

I quite agree. Someone has to work to pay for the retiree’s benefits. I invested in a Turkish fund* a year or so back and although I sold after a small profit, it has doubled since then. Most news related to the fund’s movement was EU related. This is good for all, and make the EU not look so blatantly racist, after including three small poor Balkan “Christian” nations who do diddly for the EUconomy.

:bravo:

*[quote]The Turkish Investment Fund, Inc. operates as a nondiversified, closed-end management investment company. The fund invests primarily in equity securities of Turkish corporations. Its portfolio includes investments in commercial banks, basic materials, media, building products, healthcare providers and services, multiline retail, construction materials, auto components, wireless telecommunications services, industrial conglomerates, and airlines sectors. Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Inc. serves as the investment advisor of the fund. Turkish Investment Fund was incorporated in 1988 and is based in New York City.[/quote]

Will also bring down the price of turkeys just before Christmas.

I would dispute that the Balkans do nothing for the EU economy. Right now if you’re putting in a factory, you’d sure as heck rather do it in Hungary or Poland or Lithuania than you would France or Germany. These countries offer an educated workforce that works at lower prices and longer hours than you can in more developed nations, which counts for a lot. I expect these countries to really progress over the next few years until they become reasonably comparable to the more developed EU countries.

As for Turkey, things are a little more complicated there, and I’m not willing to offer any bold predictions, but it sure will be interesting to see how things progress.

[quote=“redandy”]I would dispute that the Balkans do nothing for the EU economy. Right now if you’re putting in a factory, you’d sure as heck rather do it in Hungary or Poland or Lithuania than you would France or Germany. These countries offer an educated workforce that works at lower prices and longer hours than you can in more developed nations, which counts for a lot. I expect these countries to really progress over the next few years until they become reasonably comparable to the more developed EU countries.

As for Turkey, things are a little more complicated there, and I’m not willing to offer any bold predictions, but it sure will be interesting to see how things progress.[/quote]

I’ll agree with you there. However, the workforce population of most of those coutries admitted to the EU in 2004:

[quote]May 1, 2004 (Fifth Enlargement, part I)

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051004/ap_ … /eu_turkey

[quote]BRUSSELS, Belgium - French President Jacques Chirac said Tuesday that Turkey would need to undergo a “major cultural revolution” before entering the European Union, and he reiterated that France would hold a referendum on admitting Ankara to the bloc.

The comments by Chirac represented the tough road ahead in Turkey’s membership in the 25-nation EU. It took last-minute wrangling after two days of arduous talks between EU foreign ministers to overcome Austrian objections to start the negotiations.

The entry talks are expected to last for at least 10 years before the EU can absorb Turkey and stretch its borders to the Middle East. There is broad opposition among Europeans to admitting the poor, predominantly Muslim nation of 70 million people.

“Will it succeed? I cannot say. I hope so. But I am not at all sure,” Chirac said at a news conference in Paris.

It will be “a considerable effort” for Turkey," he said. “It is a major cultural revolution,” that will take “at minimum 10 to 15 years.”

He reiterated that Turkey’s membership would need to be approved by the French in a referendum. Austria also plans such a vote, and other countries may also decide to hold one.

“The French will have the last word, as it should be in a democracy,” he said. “We will see when the time comes.”[/quote]

Thanks for the warm welcome guys. :raspberry:

Oh, sorry JD, I’ve seen people overlook Eastern Europe entierly enough times that I guess I tend to jump on people over it. In population terms it’s true, Turkey gives you a whole lot more.

Anyway, back to Turkey, beyond the ethnic/religious/immigration concerns does anyone have any insights economic issues that might hold things up? Or is all the red tep pretty much cleared?

How about not an economic issue but a security issue? Check out the maps of the EU’s borders. There’s water, water, and water… all good for keeping people out. Then there’s the eastern border. It’s long, and at the moment something of a problem. Bring in Turkey, and suddenly security in the east is a HUGE issue. Don’t know what they could do about Turkey’s borders.

Free movement between the various states, and Turkey’s porous borders make this a major issue. Are they going to erect an internal border within Turkey at the Hellespont? I don’t think that’d go over too well. But adding Turkey to the union makes Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Azjerbaijan Europe’s new neighbours.

The EU’s going to demand that the Turkish military take more than a few steps back. But the EU’s going to need still stronger police presence in Turkey for basic security. Try to figure that one.

I doubt Turkey will find anything but headaches as it tries to get in. France and Germany have been pushing for a stronger union with them at the centre, Britain for a looser union. Britain knows that the faster the EU grows large, the more difficult a United States of Europe becomes. The recent addition of all the Eastern European states helps the UK’s cause, but bringing Turkey into the mix virtually ensures that the U.S.E. won’t happen any time in the next 50 years. Which, so far as the UK is concerned, is all to the good. Currently, the talk is of a ten-year negotiation process. If things aren’t derailed before that, I bet that the EU stretches it 3-5 years beyond that… at least.

Turkey a democracy?

-it banned the language of its most prominent minority, the Kurds
-it has a fairly recent history of frequent military coups
-it refuses contacts with EU member Cyprus
-it refuses to recognize past mass murders of Armenians as genocide

As to the argument that the graying pensioners of Europe need Turkish workers to pay for social security, well, most Turks who move west are not easily employable multilingual cosmopolitan types, there more like farmers from the highlands who end up in unemployment or menial jobs. In other words, they’re not going to be contributing much to social security.

And that’s not counting the whole cultural argument that Turkey doesn’t share European culture so shouldn’t really be part of the EU even if it were a perfect democracy and the wealthiest country on earth.

We can help Turkey develop its democracy and its economy, but I don’t think it needs EU membership to have that happen.

[quote=“enzo+”]Turkey a democracy?

-it banned the language of its most prominent minority, the Kurds
-it has a fairly recent history of frequent military coups
-it refuses contacts with EU member Cyprus
-it refuses to recognize past mass murders of Armenians as genocide

As to the argument that the graying pensioners of Europe need Turkish workers to pay for social security, well, most Turks who move west are not easily employable multilingual cosmopolitan types, there more like farmers from the highlands who end up in unemployment or menial jobs. In other words, they’re not going to be contributing much to social security.

And that’s not counting the whole cultural argument that Turkey doesn’t share European culture so shouldn’t really be part of the EU even if it were a perfect democracy and the wealthiest country on earth.

We can help Turkey develop its democracy and its economy, but I don’t think it needs EU membership to have that happen.[/quote]

All good points. I did say

I do also agree with your last bolded point; I still would like to see it happen though. It would be a crucial option for other budding Muslim Democracies.

OK, to have Turkey join the EU will take time. BUT it is a great thing to do. Can have the affect to make other muslim countries envious. Then, what do they need to do to become a member?

Democracy, stop supporting terrorism. Well, OK, we cannot have the whole middle east in the EU, but to achieve similar progress they may get the idea of becoming a decent democracy. Maybe not, we will see.

Turkey has improved in its treatment of the Kurdish minority, but it still has countless issues. Not mentioning the mass murder of Armenians, mainly guided by their state founder Ataturk (who is almost a god among non-radical-muslim Turks) is a rather small problem. Torturing prisoners is another.

Guess they will take a long time to learn it is possible to interrogate a crime suspect without truncheon and electrodes… :s

I want to hear you say that in 25 years. :laughing:

brookings.org/views/op-ed/fe … 030301.htm

OK, then you be all Latinos and we all Muslims.

Then we makka greata party with mucho Sangria, Madre de Torro and Kuskus, CisKebab and …

ups, being Muslims we cannot drink anymore :blush:

BobGluck

It’s about time. Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, and in that role has helped to provide security on Europe’s southern flank. As British Foreign Minister has pointed out, Europe and the Western Alliance owes a historical debt to Turkey.

It’s close proximity to the former Soviet Union, it’s control of the Black Sea Straits, and it’s vital geo-political strategic location in the Middle East have all cemented Turkey’s military alliance with the US, the key player in NATO. Turkey was also an important contributor in the Korean War, and has allowed the development of US military installations, particularly intelligence gathering sites. In short, Turkey was very valuable during the Cold War in checking Soviet power in the “soft underbelly” of Europe, the Mediterranean. Turkish bases were also widely used by coalition aircraft during Gulf War I, and in the subsequent patrolling of the “no-fly” zone in Iraq.

Those Continental Europeans should stop their ceaseless whining, and get on with the job! They should show some support for a country that has long helped them with their security issues.

Many people consider it to be a long term security issue if Turkey will be in EU or not.

Bush and German (still to be) Kanzler Schroeder share this point of view. Conservative party always tries to get right wing voters votes by starting anti Turkish campaigns - I hate that. Seems Chirac is blowing in the same horn.