Turkey valubale for EU

Tension has been brewing in Europe recently over the issue of Turkey’s accession into the European Union.

Many in Europe express great opposition to these efforts, citing that Turkey would be too powerful to control and too culturally distinct to give interest to the concerns of the broader European community.

However, these fears overlook the great potential that a Turkish relationship could bring to the European Union and are largely based on ethnic pride rather than on serious doubt. On the contrary, I fear that these efforts to blockTurkey’s accession could be far more costly for the European population as a whole.

It is certainly true that Turkey would become a very important player in the European Union if accession occurred.

Militarily, Turkey would contribute the largest army to the EU, a force of about 515,000 according to a report by Reuters. However, this serves to the benefit of the European community rather than its downfall.

With the increasing aggressiveness of powerful Russian armies, the ineptness of European militaries during the Libya war and an ever more turbulent Middle East, the power and geographic position of the Turkish army serves to buffer these potential threats. In the face of these dangers, it is essential for the small armies of the European Union to haveTurkeyas an ally rather than a potential enemy.

Some Europeans have implied thatTurkeydoes not have enough of a connection toEuropeand its needs to warrant the representation it will receive. Turkey’s population of over 78 million, as reported by the CIA World Factbook, would allow it the second largest representation in the European Parliament, after Germany.

However, inclusion into the European Union would be the catalyst for greater interest. If the decisions of a European entity actively affected the economy ofTurkey, then it would be foolish to think thatTurkeywould not do everything in its power to aid that group’s progress.

If European concerns over ethnicity bar Turkey’s entry, it will create two distinct problems.

First, if entry is denied to a country that has territory in Europe, then the question arises as to what makes a country “authentically European.” Such a controversy could portray the European Union as a racist entity, which would greatly rattle the body’s image, true or not.

Second, this kind of tension over ethnicity and religion could in effect lead to what these European nationalists seem to fear: Turkey, the most powerful Middle Eastern countries, siding with its more radical neighbors instead of with the Europeans. Conflicts that could be brought to rest in the European Union, such as Turkey’s issues with Greece and Cyprus, would instead be open for violent military action.

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