As we begin to recover from our thanksgiving meals, we come to the realization that there are things that are more important than what was on our plate last night. Like the present situation in Turkey.
The country is currently undergoing heavy conversation (kind of like when your family brought up politics at dinner) on whether or not they should join the European Union. It makes sense that a high majority of the Turkish people would like to see their country as a part of the European Union. The country favors a prosperous, economically stable, and democratic image that aligns with that of a member country of the EU. The real question for the Turks, however, are whether the "European Nations" are sitting on the same side of the table as them (they hope it’s mutual). To break it down, here is a seasoned list on the pros and cons of Turkey joining the EU.
Turkey’s Solid Economic Standing: Turkey is the 18th largest economy in the world in a 2015 list compiled by the United Nations. The top exports of Turkey are Cars, Vehicle Parts, Raw Iron Bars, Delivery Trucks and Jewelry. Bringing in such an economic rogue would inject fresh cost into the EU economy. It will also add 75 million consumers to the single market, according to the Debating Europe website.
Turkey’s main import/export countries are already in the EU: The top export destinations of Turkey are Germany, Iraq, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Turkey’s main import destinations include China, Germany, Russia, Italy and the United States. That is simply a ton of goods from Europe coming in and out of the country.
Location: Istanbul is one of the greatest cities that lies in the heart of the country. If modeled well, Turkey could represent the bridge between the Middle East/Asia and Europe; this is a really unique advantage. It also paves a great way for trade.
4. Political Scene: Turkish democracy is at the intersection of a decision point. It can't be denied that the country places emphasis on human rights more so than other countries close by. However, President Erdoğan has been accused of attempting to turn Turkey into an “illiberal” country, thus providing incentive for Turkey to live up to its full liberal potential (being a loyal ally of NATO does not hurt in the least bit). Essentially, if the EU raises Turkey as its own…there is less of a tendency for the diplomatic country to turn into an uneasy rival. And that is good for, well, everyone. If you can’t beat them, join them!
5. Breaking the Religion Ice: If Turkey joins the EU; this would ease some tensions with the Islamic religion as well. A more inclusive union would promote lower rates of terrorism by showing the Islamic Republic in the Middle East that Europe is in fact, accepting, and can work together effectively without religious differences getting in the way.
6. Security: Turkey would come with the strength of NATO’s second largest army. This would tremendously add to the security of the European Union, as opposed to the argument that states that the country would bring about the threat of terrorism into the union. More men equals more security, and anyone that is fighting for you is your friend, right?
7. Language: The languages spoken in Turkey besides Turkish, Arabic, and Kurdish, are European languages. They speak Albanian, Bosnian, German, and French. A fair amount of families also send their children to French school. This is one of the best examples of turkey’s ethno-cultural fusion, and moreover, the assimilation of a certain type of European cultivation in the country.
According to todayszaman.com, approximately 69 percent of the Turkish people support the EU membership already. That is a considerable amount; this means that over half of the population is in support of this move.
After reading this extensive list, one can see the many reasons this would be a mutually good decision for either parties (or rather, the other party of many parties).
The decisions are simmering, but hopefully they will be made soon-. You know the saying; no one likes cold Turkey!