Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union (EU) since the Ankara Agreement in 1963. However, the country has been denied full membership for many decades to several reasons. Turkey applied for the full membership of the union in 1987 but has seen its accession process taking a snail-slow progress (Martti et. al, 2004). One of the key reasons the country has been denied full membership is its failure to setup fully-operational democratic institutions. Moreover, Turkey’s economic fragility has been normally cited as another reason contributing to its rejection when it comes to accession into the EU (Avci & Çarkoğlu, 2014). Apart from these issues, other informal obstacles have reduced its chances of attaining full membership of the EU. For instance, its proximity to unstable regions and populations issues have been stumbling blocks its plea to get full EU membership.
Resistance against Turkey’s accession into full EU membership has been high across Europe. Some of the main resisting groups include Germany and Netherlands. The opposing groups cite the country’s stance on death penalty and human rights among other issues. However, accession of Turkey into the EU can have several implications on the union and the country itself. For example, Turkey can benefit from the tax free trade among EU members which is a huge advantage considering the union is the largest economy in the world. Additionally, the opportunity opens up passport free movement across Europe. From an EU benefit point of view, Istanbul is a city that has a strategic geographical location for business and cultural exchange (Bogdani, 2011). Unfortunately, EU members do not favor a member that shares border with some Asian countries such as Iran, Iraq and Syria that are associated with political instability. All in all, I would support the accession of Turkey into the EU considering its efforts to comply with EU membership requirements over the years.
Avci, G., & Çarkoğlu, A. (2014). Turkey and the EU: Accession and reform. Abingdon: Routledge.
Bogdani, M. (2011). Turkey and the dilemma of EU accession: When religion meets politics. London: Tauris.
Martti, A., Biedenhopf, K., Bonino, E., Van den Broek, H., Geremek, B., Giddens, A., Aguirre M., Rocard, M. & Rohan, A. (2004) `Turkey in Europe: More Than a Promise?‘, Retrieved from http://www.independentcommissiononturkey.org/pdfs/english.pdf. Google Scholar