As a Turkish born English citizen the issue of the EU and Turkey is one that interests me to a certain degree (though not to the extent that some people may think).
What does irritate me though is the belief some people have that Turkey is desperate to join the EU. It isn't. The attitude ranges from unintentionally misinformed to outright ignorant and enters the cesspit world of prejudice. Take for example Abhijit Pandya's piss poor article (so much for 'head of research' for UKIP and 'head of social cohesion' for UKIP). That however is another issue, for another day.
The fact is the people of Turkey do not want to join the EU. Turkey, also, does not need to join the EU. Whilst the EU 27's GDP rose by a measly 1.8% in 2010, Turkey's grew by 8.2% by the same period. Since 2003 Turkey's GDP rose by a massive 150%. Economically, Turkey does not need the EU. In fact, it would be economic suicide for Turkey to join the EU.
Polls in Turkey have shown that less than 36% of Turks would consider voting YES if a referendum on joining the EU was given. Just like in Britain, the people do not want the EU. Just like Britain, it is only the political elite who have tried to bulldoze through despite lack of support.
Turkey can not win with regards to the EU. If they express keen interest people accuse Turkey of wanting to exploit the EU (what there is to exploit is beyond me) and while they are currently cooling off any interest they are accused of shifting to the middle East.
The people of Turkey do not want to join the EU. The people of Europe do not want Turkey to join the EU. Both sides have their resolute reasons for this and both sides have their own prejudiced reasons for this. Just as we have nutters who think Turkey is an Islamist Islamic State full of terrorists, wife beaters and camel riders Turkey has nutters who believe that Europe is full of degenerate hedonistic moraless westerners. Thankfully, both sides of fringe nutters are a minority barely worth passing wind over.
Do I believe Turkey will join the EU? Yes. The EU elite want it to happen as soon as possible and Turkish political elite want it to happen. Whilst Erdogan is in power in Turkey, EU accession will not happen. Which is worrying, since we all know what happens to opponents of the great EU project.
The best thing we can do as Eurosceptics is stay clear of nonsense nutty fringe views that just muddy the waters. That is precisely what the political elite like Cameron want, to dismiss us all us fruitcakes and loons.
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Turks, Turkey and the EU