Turkey

I started a discussion here, and I want to introduce as a new article my answer to our friends who posted a comment. I also added several lines.

Well, when a new country becomes an EU member, the EU long-term budget had long before to foresee some funds for that country. That was and still is the case for every EU member.

(Since 1981, Greece received 100 billion euros from the EU budget. So did Spain. But today, Greece knocks at the EU door because it doctored its statistics in order to fool the EU. A Turkish economist said that Greece is in a deep crisis because its economy can stand only thanks to financial support. That’s why Greece will be in a new crisis within 10 years.).

Thus, we will know if Turkey will become an EU member towards 2014-2020 only by waiting for the 2014-2020 EU budget.

But I am sure that Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel try to sabotage the EU membership of Turkey by trying to reduce that crucial budget. Twisted, isn’t it?

Mr Cameron went to Turkey last july and said that he will be a strong supporter of Turkey’s EU bid within the EU.

That made me happy.

I understand very well that he wants his country to contribute less to the EU budget. He’s absolutely right. But through that “alliance” with Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel, will he be able to stand to his commitment of last july?

Doesn’t Mr Cameron know that Turkey will not wait longer at the EU door?

In my opinion, if Turkey doesn’t become an EU member towards 2014-2020, I am not sure that it will wait another 7 years.

I really don’t care of the EU funds (Turkey will certainly receive some EU funds, but it will also have to contribute greatly to the EU budget once it becomes a member. Why? Owing to its strong economy and its sound oil and gas reserves in the Black sea).

By the way, Turkey is already spending huge amounts of money in order to become an EU member: Turkey has to spend at least 60 billion euros regarding the Environment chapter!!

And Turkey is developping itself (with its money) at a very fast pace:

for instance it built many new universities, schools and hospitals in its east. Many.

For instance it built thousands of kilometres of new highways throughout beautiful Anatolia.

And Turkey already built two highspeed train lines: Ankara-Eskişehir and, as far as I remember, Ankara-Konya (Spain succeeded in selling its highspeed trains. Everybody understands why France was not chosen).

And most of every town of Turkey will be connected through dozens of new highspeed train lines: Istanbul-Ankara, Istanbul-Antalya, Ankara-Samsun, …..

That’s great. I am very happy. The landscapes will be fantastic!!

Can you imagine the Edirne-Kars journey aboard a highspeed train? The extreme west of Turkey connected to the extreme east!

For instance two new big airports are being built in eastern Turkey.

The second longer bridge of the world will connect Istanbul to Izmir (3 kilometres).

Several new metro lines were built in Istanbul.

A third airport will be built in Istanbul.

A new football stadium, the TT Arena, was built (that will help Turkey to organize the world cup or the European championship).

Turkey invested 300 millions euros in order to organize the 25th World Winter University Games. Not in Istanbul or in the capital Ankara, but in the east: in Erzurum. These games will start tomorrow.

A symbolic masterpiece: Marmaray, which will connect the European shore of Istanbul to its Anatolian shore. Maramaray is a train tunnel underneath the Bosphorus. The travel will last 4 minutes (more grandiose than the Eurostar?).

All these great projects were and are paid by the Turkish citizens, not the EU.

Thus, Turkey doesn’t need the EU funds in order to develop itself.

Whereas Greece always needed colossal funds to modernize itself (and no one is disturbed about that, but people prefer pointing one’s finger at Turkey. But let’s be clear: it is not Turkey that started an economic crisis in the EU, it is Greece, which did doctor its statistics). And at the same time, Greece disgracefully and selfishly vetoed Turkey’s EU membership candidacy until 1999 (now it’s the Greek Cypriots who are vetoing its EU membership. “What a wonderful world”!).

When Greece became an EEC/EU member, it was very poor and a military coup was very recent. Though that was not a problem for the EEC and Mr Valéry G. D., the French president of the time who really hates Turkey. The EU door was wide open to Greece by Mr D’Estaing. Today it is wide closed to Turkey by Mr Sarkozy. Very interesting. There seems to be some anti-Turkish Olympic Games in France and in the EU!

When Italy became an EEC/EU member (or a founding member), in spite of its Mezzogiorno, poor too, that was a problem for no one.

Poland became a member, and it takes advantage of the EU funds, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem neither.

Even France takes advantage of the EU budget.

Well, when Turkey is a member of the European Union, it will have to wait several years in order to be included in the Schengen zone. That was underlined before the decision to open the negotiations was taken in 2004.

But Günter Verheugen said that to believe that millions of Turks of eastern Turkey will come in the EU makes no sense. Anyway, in the short run, the EU will need 2,5 million of foreign labour force. And according to an Italian and to a Greek politicians, in the long run (2030), the EU will need 100 million of foreign workforce! So some people should stop claiming that the Turks will invade the EU, because anyway, the EU will ask Turkey (a candidate country to the EU since 1999) to provide it with workers.

Lastly, regarding the OIC, I don’t know why Turkey decided to be a member. Perhaps that it wants to influence the countries of Muslim religion. Otherwise, why would Turkey have decided to become a member of such an organization? Turkey’s goal has always been the EU membership (since 1959).

Turkey is an independent secular country. And it always will be. Always.

I also want to suggest some previous articles. I hope that you will read some of them (thanks in advance for your kind patience):

1/ The Cypriot issue:

http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/10/08/an-unhealthy-situation-the-cypriot-issue/

2/ Another article that deals with the Cypriot issue:

http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/12/01/appalling-propaganda-against-turkey-episode-ii/

3/ Why Turkey must be an EU member:

http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/10/25/a-message-to-the-eu-you-do-not-deserve-turkey-but-the-world-does-need-an-eu-member-turkey/

4/ Atatürk and the positive Turkish nationalism:

http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/06/25/ataturk-and-the-positive-turkish-nationalism/

5/ Ankara – Athens and Brussels:

http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/11/09/ankara-athens-and-brussels/

Eventually, here is an article in which you can find a part about Mr Cameron and his visit to Turkey of last july:

http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/08/27/some-news-regarding-turkey-iii/

Best regards,

Cem

PS. The minister for foreign affairs of Turkey Mr Davutoğlu said: “We have never refered to any neo-Ottoman policy.”

In fact, Turkey is improving its ties with its neighbours. It is improving them with Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq. But also with Greece, Georgia, Russia and Armenia.

Thus, Turkey doesn’t improve its relations with the countries of the Middle East because they are of Muslim religion, but quite simply because these countries are the neighbours of Turkey.

Turkey’s foreign policy is based on “Zero problem with the neighbours”.

However, Turkey also improves its ties with the whole world: Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada…..

For instance many contracts were and will be signed with Venezuela, Canada, Jordan, Russia, Lebanon, the UK, China, ….

Those who believe that Turkey has a neo-Ottoman agenda do not understand Turkey and ought to read something else than Le Nouvel Observateur. Or they ought to stop reading some journalists from Le Monde or from Le Figaro who don’t succeed in scanning the Turkish horizon. These journalists are making a propaganda for some shadowy lobbies who aim at making a brainwashing regarding Turkey. Because Turkey’s pro-peace job in the Middle East is a problem for these lobbies. Most of the French media and the French citizens are unfortunately the hostages of these lobbies. That’s why there are so many prejudices towards Turkey.

Anyway, the EU commission repeated a few times that Turkey’s foreign policy is in line with its EU membership.

Last but not least, France improves its ties with Africa. And as the Turkish president Mr Gül said, the UK has close relations with the Commonwealth.

But does anyone call that a neo-colonialism policy?

Turkey has only these goals: to be a more harmonious and more modern country. And to spread stability and peace in the Caucasus, the Middle East and the Balkans.

The exceptional Mr Davutoğlu implements Atatürk’s “Peace at home, peace in the world”.

He is succeeding in making this world a better place to live.

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Comments

  1. Dear Cem, sorry for asking a question a little bit unrelated, but why did Turkey open its borders to citizens of Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen etc.?
    Is this a good strategy if Turkey wants a visa-free regime wit the EU?
    Thank you in advance for your comment. I plan to write something about this in my blog and will be happy to quote you.
    Georgi

  2. Hi Cem,

    This post is based on an earlier one, that you probably read. You put here some elements very rightly but might want to consider some further ones:

    First, the position of Cameron is from the majoritary UK-perspective of Europe: a Free-Trade Europe, not a political one and I think that this is how he must be interpreted in the Turkish candidacy also. Turkey is more than wellcome in the Free-Trade Europe of Mr. Cameron.

    But… he speaks very comfortably from the “UK rebatte” point of view, which limits the contribution of the UK to the EU Cohesion Funds. So you might well join the party, as long as he is not paying for the drinks, basically that is what he says.

    That Turkey would get, per se, implicitly and automatically massive funds from the PAC and cohesion funds is a matter of course, as these are, inter alia, based on GDP per capita difference with EU average…

    The position of Germany and France, might see a surprising evolution in the years to come though… Till 2000 the EU was mid-way of a Free-Trade Union and a political Union, but since the birth of the Euro, and in particular during and after the crisis, things have evolved a lot. See, Germany and France have already (or are very closed to having) the political Union dreamt by Adenauer and Schumann: a European government without the UK… don’t tell this secret to anyone, but this is called the Eurogroup :-) I’m being ironic, of course, but everybody knows, that the political Europe is no longer the EU, which basically regulates -very well- the internal market, but the Eurogroup, with its common Treasury -born from the debt crisis and permanent from 2013-

    That is why, in my opinion, France and Germany might in the future accept passively Turkey in the Free-Trade Europe that the EU (not the Eurogroup) has become… Then however the comfortable Mr Cameron, with his juicy rebatte might well become a foe of Turkey, as the rebatte will be for sure questioned. Germany would of course be more than happy to export free of imprt duties to Turkey and have new markets opened.

    As for the more and more real (that we like it or not) Political and Fiscal Union (which the Eurogroup is becoming a forteriori with the so-called debt crisis), I believe that in the long term Turkey will opt for a Danish-like position, “I am in the party, but incognito” -the same applying to great extend to Russia (look at the Euro-Rubble practically constant exchange rate since 2004- wherein it is clear that the major political and economic decisions are taken “ensemble” with the Eurogroup but formally independetly. Turkey would win enormously with such an strategy…

    But be also realistic, from a formalistic point of view, Erdogan is playing with fire… so far he has done it smartly, but fire burns anyway… and although Europe might not be the most attractive place to be related to at present -as many a London banker will tell you- it’s still much much better to be a close friend of Europe than a close friend of Iran, Mr. Erdogan knows, certainly, hopefully…

  3. Hello Georgi,

    I’ve just posted a comment about your article which is here:

    http://reuniting-europe.blogactiv.eu/2011/01/28/schengen-against-sham-gen/#comment-309

    Well, here is my answer to you (what is below is a part taken from my comment to your post):

    “Stefan Füle said several months ago that Turkey will have to change its visa policy with its neighbours in the future.

    But honestly I don’t really understand why he said that.

    When a Syrian citizen goes to Turkey, will he be able to travel from Turkey to the EU without any visa?

    If not, I don’t see any problem.”

    I invite the readers to read my full answer on your blog.

    Good night,

    Cem

  4. Hello Civitas,

    no I didn’t read it, where is it?

    Well I do hope that the UK will act in concrete terms against Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy.

    All the EU states recognized Turkey as an official candidate to the EU in 1999. So the disgraceful behaviour of the above-mentionned two so-called leaders goes against the rules and the EU spirit (I have an article written by Wolfgang Münchau – from the Financial Times – about them but I will suggest it on February. He says that they are not European and world leaders).

    Turkey is the sixth biggest economy of the EU, but it is true that its GDP per capita is not at the EU level. Last year it was 13 thousand dolars.

    But what is important is not the current GDP per capita, but the one of 2023: it will reach 25 thousand dolars.

    And as Turkey’s economy has a great potential, that GDP per capita will keep rising.

    I suggest that quite interesting article in which we can note the incredible progress and health of the Turkish economy (there is many useful information about Turkey):

    http://www.invest.gov.tr/en-US/turkey/factsandfigures/Pages/Economy.aspx

    Turkey will be economically more powerful towards 2020-2030.

    It will take advantage of the EU budget, but it will also well and truly contribute to the EU budget.

    But as I wrote in my first article (in French) that was published on september 2009, the Turkish citizens may vote “No” to the EU membership.

    As the Norwegians did twice.

    Well, as I said, Turkey’s economy is improving at a fast pace, and it has a huge potential. Furthermore, Turkey has sound oil and gas reserves in the Black sea: 40 billion oil barrels and 4 (now it is estimated at 8) trillion CM of gas. Thus, Turkey will most probably become much less dependent regarding its huge energy needs (which are said to double within 10 years).
    Therefore, Turkey will soon not have to pay huge amounts of money for its energy invoices and that money will be very useful for other purposes.

    So, why would the Turkish citizens want to be members and a source of cash for that EU that is dishonnest and unfaithful towards their country?

    Regarding the free-trade that you mentionned, there is a Customs Union betwen the EU and Turkey since 1996. So what did you mean?

    Lastly, regarding Iran, what can Turkey do but improve its ties with that country?

    The Turkish prime minister is not playing with fire. He is trying to prevent a military intervention against Iran, which is its neighbour. Which is an important economic partner. Turkey has the legitimate right to make its voice heard regarding the Middle East. The USA already exploded the Middle East by invading Iraq, and the USA are said to be responsible for the death of more than one million Iraqi citizens (and because of the US-imposed embargoes towards the medecine, one million Iraqi babies and children died within 10 years. The collaborator Madeleine Albright said at the time: “If that is the price to be paid”. The price to be paid for what? For a so-called democracy? Or rather for more oil?). Will History ever teach something to the USA?

    At first, Iran is the second gas supplier of Turkey.

    Secondly, Iran and Turkey do share a frontier that never changed for a thousand years.

    Thirdly, the EU commission stated a few times that Turkey’s foreign policy is in line with its EU membership (but Ria Oomen-Ruijten said the opposite. We can note unfortunately that the EU has not a single voice and doesn’t act in harmony).

    Eventually, Turkey voted against the sanctions towards Iran at the United Nations Security Council because it succeeded along with Brazil in convincing Iran to sign a nuclear agreement.

    Turkey brought a solution, so if it had voted in favour of the sanctions against Iran, it would have lost its credibility within the Iranians and destroyed any peaceful solution to the sensitive Iranian nuclear dossier.

    The USA have to know that Turkey is an independent secular republic. If Turkey can’t vote independently, why was the UN Security Council created? Is that council a formality for the USA?

    It’s worth reminding that Günter Verheugen said:

    “The behaviour of Turkey at the UN Security Council ought to be an example to many people”.

    It’s very strange: Brazil too voted against the sanctions towards Iran, but no media, no one attacked that country. No single EU country has ever said that Brazil shifts to the east.

    But when it comes to Turkey, it’s like the end of the world.

    Anyway, Turkey is afraid of a potential Iranian nuclear weapon. A French expert said in 2006: “If Iran gets the atom-bomb, Turkey will have two alternatives: whether Turkey will have to get the nuclear weapon, or it has to become an EU member and then be under the nuclear umbrella of the EU”.

    Well, according to that expert, the NATO membership of Turkey is not enough.

    Best regards,

    Cem

  5. Turkey should not join the EU at all because there is no benefit whatsoever towards Turkey other than lifting visa requirements to visit Europe. As for economy gain, there’s no such gain because once Turkey joined, it will be used to the ground because it looks as if Turkey is so desperate to do and give anything which the EU demand like being held on a rope. They will never see Turkey as one of them or equal because regardless to them it will always be a Muslim country or exucse wise huge population compared to others which threaten them. Turkey should just maintain business relations rather than being one of them. For economy gain, there are many ways for Turkey to have a stronger economy or bring more businesses into its country. Turkey does not have weak currency, or going into crisis like Greece or any of the European countries.
    If Turkey is able to change, why it NEEDS to join EU in order to change? Why have your country to be run by someone else or constantly having people to tell you what to do in order to be one of them. Turkey do not need EU, it is the other way round! Why sell yourself short? In the process of joining EU, Turkey has prove itself to the WORLD not just EU that it is not like any of the Muslim country. It is a democratic country and everyone has the right to vote including women. Being able to NOT run it’s country using religion, unlike some countries, I think that says alot about Turkey. It has full credit of being a country that sets full example to the rest of the world. I hope Turkey government is able to re-consider their decision.

  6. Hello jan,

    I quote you:

    Turkey should not join the EU at all because there is no benefit whatsoever towards Turkey other than lifting visa requirements to visit Europe.

    Very well said. Very well said!

    Many say that Turkey’s first trading partner is the EU hence it has to be an EU member.

    Well Turkey is not currently an EU member but that doesn’t prevent it from trading with the EU. Anyway, in the first instance the world economy is shifting to Asia. In the second instance, the EU population is ageing.

    As for economy gain, there’s no such gain because once Turkey joined, it will be used to the ground because it looks as if Turkey is so desperate to do and give anything which the EU demand like being held on a rope.

    The EU is exactly doing that regarding the chapter on competition of the EU-Turkey negotiations. Zafer Çağlayan denounced that a few months ago (http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2011/05/16/zafer-caglayan-ab-bilirsiniz-son-derece-riyakar-ve-iki-yuzlu-bir-yapiya-sahiptir/ (Article in Turkish, but it‘s worth seeing the caricature of the current EU!)) and said that the EU is hypocritical and that Turkey will not obey the EU blindly. In fact, he stated that the EU blocks almost all the chapters but absolutely wants to open the chapter on competition. The EU is behaving like a carpet dealer.

    They will never see Turkey as one of them or equal because regardless to them it will always be a Muslim country or exucse wise huge population compared to others which threaten them.

    I think that once (Turkey) an EU member the situation will dramatically change. Turkey will improve the EU parliament.

    Turkey should just maintain business relations rather than being one of them.

    I believe that thanks to Turkey’s EU membership the EU will at last become the blacksmith of the peace in the globe. That is the only reason for which I do support Turkey’s EU memberhsip. Really. Turkey’s EU membership will be a strong political and cultural tool that will helps humanity.

    Turkey will take advantage of the EU funds but it will also be a huge contributor to the EU budget. Turkey will become a very rich country. And according to the excellent Kemal Derviş, Turkey will be rich earlier than expected.

    I support Turkey’s EU membership, but owing to the disgusting racism, double standards and blatant treacherousness of the EU, I want Turkey not to receive the EU funds but at the same time not to contribute to the EU budget. That is my wish as a Turkish citizen whose heart is broken.

    For economy gain, there are many ways for Turkey to have a stronger economy or bring more businesses into its country. Turkey does not have weak currency, or going into crisis like Greece or any of the European countries.

    A British insitution said a few months ago (I don’t remember which one, I should have kept the link) that the EU is jealous of the economic performance of Turkey.

    If Turkey is able to change, why it NEEDS to join EU in order to change?

    You’re right, nowadays Turkey doesn’t need to join the EU to change. Notwithstanding, with regard to several chapters such as environment or food saftey, the negotiations process (not the EU membership) is vital.

    Why have your country to be run by someone else or constantly having people to tell you what to do in order to be one of them. Turkey do not need EU, it is the other way round!

    In fact, the politicians Olli Rehn, Günter Verheugen and Jack Straw underlined that too. The English economist Roger Bootle also stated that. Lastly, Uli Dönch, a German journalist, wrote that too on September 22nd 2011: I quote Turkish newspaper Dünya English that refered to the article published by Focus magazine:

    Stating that Europe, consisting of an old population, needs Turkey more than Turkey needs Europe, Dönch indicated that Turkey enjoys great economic data, educated and hard-working young population. He added that the rapidly growing and improving Turkey wouldn’t wait in front of Europe’s door for a long time and suggested that Europe becomes Turkey’s partner, instead of being a slave to Greece.

    I quote you dear jan:

    Why sell yourself short? In the process of joining EU, Turkey has prove itself to the WORLD not just EU that it is not like any of the Muslim country. It is a democratic country and everyone has the right to vote including women. Being able to NOT run it’s country using religion, unlike some countries, I think that says alot about Turkey.

    Thank you very much.

    The Turkish women had the right to vote well before the French and Suiss women.

    There are only 3 secular countries in Europe: France, Portugal and Turkey. Surprising but true!

    It has full credit of being a country that sets full example to the rest of the world. I hope Turkey government is able to re-consider their decision.

    Dear jan, a referendum will be held in Turkey at the end of the EU-Turkey negotiations. Turkey’s EU membership is strategic for the Turkish leaders. But the Turkish citizens may vote “No” through the referendum. And you introduced the reasons of that “No” through your comment my friend.

    Yours sincerely,

    Cem

  7. Hei, Cem

    loving that comment by Jan and your reply on it. By the way, I can’t help but think about your lines on “Neo-Ottoman” . that’s an interesting point of view.I simply must write something about it.

Comments are closed.