Sunday, July 15, 2007

1977 and today...

In 1977, late French President Francois Mitterand, then opposition leader, told a French magazine: "One has to be careful not to turn the common market into a mere free trade zone. Neither Greece nor Spain is in a position to join the (European) Community. Accession is neither in their interest nor is it in our interest. Interim steps are desirable."

Four years later, Mitterand was elected president of France. By the time he left the presidency in 1995, Greece, Spain and Portugal had been EU members for more than a decade, negotiations were completed with Austria, Finland and Sweden, and the first steps had been taken towards the admission of post-communist Central and Eastern Europe.

It means that Turkey has a very long way to go and that the pace of reforms should not slow down. On the contrary, no matter what the political benefit, Ankara should give emphasis to political and economic reform and even the staunchest European political opponent to Turkey's membership would have to change their mind.

Turkey must change from a military republic into a democratic republic a Turkish professor told yesterday.


Emre Kizilkaya said...

But you forget something: Turkey and Greece have both started their EU journeys around same time.

When EU has accepted Greece, its economy was horrible, just like its human rights record (remember coup d'etat period).

Why is it accepted? Of course because it is the "cradle of European civilization..." And partly because it is not Muslim.

On the other hand, there is Turkey with a "military republic" which was being modernized swiftly since 19th century.

For a Muslim country, Turkey's system -which was genuinely outlined by Ataturk- is the optimum one -if not the best. Neither an Islamic Republic like Iran nor military republic like Pakistan...

I hope that a very bleak day when Turkey turned out to be an "Islamic republic" won't ever come.

Because then, we will all miss this only possibility that we live in our haunted geography of the Middle East; not Scandinavia.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Both we aare asked to join.
But first the couple of 1980 made it impossible, later Ecevit rejected.
I read the compe communitaire acquis, it Turkey is still not in line, but it made progress.
Human rights andd a transparent market mechanisme are the main issues. the ca is clear and didnt change, but sometimes it looks like that Turkey wants to dictate the EU already..)
Btw, Ali Bacanan is a fine and intelligent negotatior...