Turkey is a beautiful country of Western Asia. It is known for Istanbul city, the biggest city, which located on the border between two components. Although Turkey has a tight relationship with European countries and it also joins the European Union Customs Union, it is not a member of the European Union (the EU). Turkey has started its application to the EU since 1960s, but still it is not a member. In 2004, the EU announced that Turkey was an official candidate for the accession and started the negotiations. Why does it take such a long time to get accepted? According the EU’s enlargement strategy, a candidate country must fulfill Copenhagen criteria and then start the negotiation process. After completed all these conditions, it gets a membership status. As I see, Turkey should be allowed to join the EU, because Turkey can satisfy Copenhagen criteria which are democratic value, market economy, and adherence to the aims of EU regulations. Also, it already starts the negotiations with the EU.
Before arguing about why Turkey should join the EU, I’d like to present why people oppose or what are the possible counterarguments for that. Since Turkey is Muslim country, many people are doubted about its democracy and think that Turkey cannot be compatible with the western countries. But having Muslim religion does not mean that it is not democratic. Turkey’s attempt to being secular rather than being conservative was not successful before 2002. When Justice and Development Party (in Turkish, AKP) won the election in 2002, it successfully started to reform the laws and the legal systems. In the result, Turkey achieved its official candidate status in 2004. Turkey gave women political right even before some European countries, freedom of religion, rights to the Kurds, the minority, changed legal systems regarding human rights, and made new “anti-terror” law. Turkey says that it is “the only country that has made advancements in its legal system since the September 11 attacks” (Elver). All these reforms are sufficient to be considered as a democratic country. With the EU’s assist, Turkey can improve its “democratization.” Also, the biggest concern of the EU about Turkey is Cyprus dispute in 1974 with Greece. Turkey still does not recognize an independence of Greek-Cyprus, which became the EU member in 2004. So the EU added two special conditions for Turkey and one of them is an indirect recognition of Greek-Cypriots. However, Halil Elver stated in his article that:
Surprisingly, the EU report did not acknowledge that it was the Greek Cypriots’ rejection that has created the present, very difficult situation-in contrast to the
Turkish Cypriots’ enthusiasm for reunification in the referendum. Moreover, as a new member, the Republic of Cyprus has been brutally outspoken in its promise to give the Turks a hard time in any future negotiations. (Elver 26)
Since it is a mutual issue, it does not affect the accession of Turkey....