Turkey and European Union: Objectives and Obstacles
AbstractTurkey submitted its application for formal membership into the European Union in April 14, 1987. Until the present time, Turkey is still exerting its efforts to achieve that membership. With the arrival of the Justice and Development Party to power in 2002, the new Turkish leadership’s concern with joining the European Union increased. Such membership is considered a strategic objective lying within the external challenges ahead of the Turkish foreign policy. The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmad Dawood Oglu, considers joining the European Union a strategic priority that cannot be renounced. However, the obstacles that stand against achieving such a Turkish dream are many. Some of such obstacles relate to the Turkish cultural identity, some others concern human and minority rights and yet others pertain to economy which presents a real fear for the European Union. However, the Muslim Turkish cultural identity which is of a large population is the genuine obstacle for Turkey to join the Union. There are strong reservations for some countries in the Union about Turkey’s membership as the latter would not harmonize with the identity of the Union and the culture of the peoples constituting it.
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