Turkey and the European Union: will the paradigm shift?
Henderson, Alonzo W.
Breemer, Jan S.
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Turkey seeks to become a full partner in the 'European club' by joining the European Union (EU) and Western European Union (WEU) in addition to her current membership in NATO. This has not happened despite a long and intensive effort by Turkey to be accepted, nor will it happen in the foreseeable future. The advantages Turkish membership would bring are outweighed by EU concerns about foreign, economic and domestic policy. Most significant among these are increased exposure to Greek-Turkish issues, Turkish economic strength in areas of little interest to Europe, and an exploding population which is expected to surpass Germany's by 2010. Europeans also question Turkey's democratic tradition, her human rights record and more recently, her secularization. Non-admission, combined with the demise of the Soviet Union, has caused Turkey to begin acting as her own foreign policy center. The result is a shifting paradigm in Turkish foreign relations which often sees Turkish initiatives at odds with those of her post-WWII traditional allies. This Turkish trend toward unilateralism will continue at least as long she is excluded from the EU and WEU and may, in fact, have developed its own momentum. This must be clearly understood to prevent mutual estrangement as Turkey takes initiatives (such as the recent advances to Iran and Libya) which are unpopular with her American and European allies.
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