The Germany Foreign Minister stated that as long as Tayyip Erdogan rules Turkey, it cannot join EU. The Foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel has accused him of not taking the accession talks seriously. Furthermore, he added that Germany’s government does not want to end the negotiations. He said that if Germany cancels the talks, it will not change anything in Turkey. He also proposed that the EU block could potentially offer a looser agreement instead of denying Turkish EU membership.
EU Still Wants to Go Ahead with Turkish EU Membership
The EU’s Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini stated that she still wants Turkey to become part of the EU. Furthermore, she added that the Turkish EU membership negotiations will continue. However, she clarified that EU is concerned about Tayyip Erdogan’s massive crackdown on his country’s civil liberties.
Furthermore, she added that Turkey knows the conditions that it has to fulfill to join the EU. She gave further clarification saying that Turkey needs to work on the human rights conditions. Mogherini added that Turkey also needs to work on improving its record on freedoms, democracy, and the rule of law.
Arguments For and Against Turkish EU Membership
The For arguments of Turkish EU Membership
If Turkey becomes part of the European Union, it will provide a significant advantage to it. The country will serve as a gateway to the Asian continent. It would help improve EU’s relations with the Central Asian States to fulfill its energy requirements. Turkey also has the NATO country’s second biggest army, adding to the Union’s security.
Turkey is in crosshairs of a liberal democracy and the one with an authoritarian rule. Tayyip Erdogan and his country may find some useful takeaways from EU’s style of politics. Therefore, political analysts believe this would help transform Turkey into a state with a liberal rule.
Openness to New Culture, Religion, and Region
If Turkey becomes part of the EU, it would be the first Muslim country to join the Union. Thus, it would send a strong message from the European Union that it also welcomes Islamic countries. Similarly, it will assimilate the Union’s openness to accept a differing culture.
The Against arguments for Turkish EU Membership
Turkey Part of Asia
Around 97% of the country’s area is in Asia. Similarly, it is not a comforting thought for EU to share borders with Iraq, Syria, and Iran. The increase in population would mean the country may dictate European Union’s major policy decisions.
The recent steps taken by Tayyip Erdogan make the Union a lot less comfortable. Many European states are not happy with Turkey cutting its citizens’ civil liberties. So if the Turkish EU membership goes through, it may not influence the country’s oppressive policies.
Dwindling Economic Circumstances of Turkey
EU is a mix of all types of economies. Some of them like Greece are already proving difficult to get along. Several of these countries have high rates of unemployment. Therefore, a sluggish economy growing at the rate of 3.5% may not make a good addition to the Union. Similarly, its low GDP per capita of €13,000 is less than half the average. The figure for EU’s GDP per capita for 2016 stands at € 30,152.