The Enlargement of the European Union and The non-membership of Turkey

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

The aim of this article is to analyse the how European Union has established their enlargement, and Turkish negotiation with Europe Union, does Turkey meet the requirements of European Union negotiations, why Turkey is still a candidate country? I will attempt to answer the question what keeps Turkey staying as a candidate country?

European Union was established after the Second World War.  The European Union is set up with the aim of ending the bloody war which was between European countries. European Coal and Steel Community begins to unite all European countries politically and economically in order to secure lasting peace in the continent. Six founding countries are France, Italy, Luxemburg, Germany, Netherland, and Belgium. In 1957 the Treaty of Rome creates the European Economic Community or known as “common market”

The 1960s was a good period for the European economy, it helped by the fact that EU countries stop charging customs duties when they trade with each other. European countries also agree to joint control over food production, so that everybody now has enough to eat and soon there is even surplus agricultural produce. On 1 January 1973 was the first enlargement of the EU, Ireland Denmark, and United Kingdom joined, the number of the member states raised from six to nine. At same period in 1973, the Arab and Israeli war resulted in economic problems and energy crisis in the EU countries. Greece joined the community in 1981, Portugal and Spain joined in 1986, East and West united as the Republic of Germany and joined the community in 1990 at the same time the wall of Berlin was destroyed, Austria, Sweden, Finland joined the community in 1995.

The largest enlargement was in 2004 Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, and Czech joined European Union, in 2007 Romania Bulgaria and joined them. In 2013 Croatia became a full member of EU. However, the European Union has created only by six countries in 1957, and its growth up to 28 member countries, the population of EU is over 500 million with more than more than 30 million Muslim population.

The Republic of Turkey is one of the independent states in the Middle East. It’s located in southwestern Asia and south-eastern Europe, it’s surrounded on three sides by the Black Sea. The Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea, it’s known as the Republic of Turkey “Turkiye Cumhuriyeti”. Turkey share border with Iraq and Syria on the south, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran to the east Greece to the west, Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia, Armenia, and Iran to the east, and close to Africa.

Turkey was established as an independent state on October 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Since the creation of the Republic of Turkey, Turkey has been in a close relationship with Western countries, politically, economically, socially and culturally.  Turkey is a bridge between West and East, North, and South. West, and Muslim world.  Bottom of Form

Turkey applied membership of European Economic Community in 1959 after Turkey has become a full member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In 1963 Ankara agreement was signed which provides for the framework for the Cooperation between European Union and Turkey. In 1987 Turkey’s first application for full EU membership was deferred until 1993 on the grounds that the European Commission was not considering new members at the time. In 1995, Turkey became full membership into the Customs Union. In 1999, Helsinki Summit EU recognized Turkey as a candidate country, but EU has asserted that Turkey still needed to comply sufficiently with the EU’s economic and political criteria before accession talks between Turkey and EU could begin.

Turkish membership of the EU is one of the debated issue in the past and present in EU 97% of Turkish territory belongs to Asia, and only 3% of Turkish territory belong to the European continent.  Turkey is only the Muslim country which is a member in NATO and has the largest army in NATO. After Justice and Development Party took over the power there was economic improvement political stability in the country.

What are Main Reasons Limiting the Success of Negotiations between European Union and Turkey?

Population European parliament is one of the largest institutions in the EU. European parliament contains 751 seats which share 28 member states. The seats are divided according to the country’s population. Germany has the largest population in the European Union which means that Germany has the largest seats in the European parliament. Turkey has a population of almost 80 million people. If Turkey becomes a member of the EU, Turkey will be the second largest population in the EU after Germany. However Turkish culture is different from Europe, Turkish has a different identity from Europe.

European member states are not indifferent to the Turkish issue. Some leaders acknowledge that Turkey deserves to be a full member of the EU. Some leaders opposed Turkey to become a full member of the EU. 39 % of the EU member states accepted Turkey to be a member of the EU, while 48% rejected its member of the EU. Most of EU member states joined EU after Turkey applied membership of the EU but they are full membership of the EU.

Religion As we are all aware, Turkey was trying to be a full membership of the EU, and there is negotiations going on between Turkey and EU. Turkey is a country whose population is almost entirely Muslim. EU member states keep in mind that the end result of these negotiations is by no means certain. There are very significant challenges ahead for Turkish accession.  Some of the EU countries have Christian background while some have no religion. Non-religious countries worry that if Turkey joins EU it will bring large Muslim population into EU.

Democracy To be a member of the EU candidate countries has to fulfill the requirements, such as democracy, human right individual right, the rule of law, and freedom of speech, for that reason EU countries argue that Turkey did not fulfill all requirements of the EU. Also, Kurds and Cyprus issue is another problem which keeps Turkey as a candidate country for so long. In addition, Turkey and EU need each other at the present time an in the future. Turkey has an economic dynamic, active foreign policy, young labour force, and also turkey has the second largest army in NATO which will be very beneficial for EU.

Written by Shukri Nur Farah