Turkey’s accession to the EU will benefit Europe 2 - Didem Ürer

In the first part of this piece I described how Turkey is a highly valuable treasure chest for Europe, but that Europe acts as if it were unaware of this, and how some of its concerns regarding Turkey still needed to be overcome. I also described in what ways Europe needs Turkey.

Turkey’s current position and what it can contribute to the EU

There are numerous economic and social features that Turkey can contribute to the EU within the framework of full membership. It has a powerful institutional structure and a much stronger and better managed economy compared to the past. It is a country with the most liberal trade policies in the world, and one capable of acting independently of the IMF.

According to IMF data, with a growth rate of 8.5%, Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies, and the 17th largest economy, in the world. It is also the sixth largest economy in the world. This growth rate is one that Western countries can only dream of. While the credit ratings of several European countries are falling, Turkey’s is on the rise.

Turkey is the world’s eighth and Europe’s second largest producer of steel. It maintains its second place, after China, in the global construction sector.

It is the seventh most visited country in the world. Turkish Airlines is one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines. Turkey has initiated the world’s largest second airport project and is thus positioned to become the largest air transit hub between the European and Asian continents.

With this economic superiority in too many sectors for us to list here, Turkey is strong enough to reinvigorate and grow the EU economy by broadening the EU market to an additional 76 million people. While it enables EU firms to make direct investments and enjoy significant advantages, it will also serve as a major bridge for these firms to enter the Middle East and Asian markets.

Not only in the economic field, but also in the social arena Turkey has very quickly realized much progress and many reforms by freeing itself of its cumbersome structure of the last century. Removal of the hand of the Ergenekon terror organization from Turkey’s throat has played the most important role in initiating a highly visible process of improvement, regularization and democratization in the economic and social spheres. The disappearance, to a large extent, of such horrors as human rights violations, torture and unsolved killings are one of the positive outcomes of this.

Turkey has a much younger population compared to those of EU countries. Some half the population is under 29. As I mentioned earlier, Turkey’s youthful population in an EU whose average age is rising rapidly  means greater dynamism and productivity in the economic and social spheres. The youthful and quality work force that Turkey has to offer is highly important for the EU market, which is estimated to need another 100 million people by 2050.

 In addition, modern, progressive, intelligent, moral, spiritually developed and immaculate young Turks, free of any extremism, mean new blood by representing a healthy and sound example for European youth in search of an identity due to the indoctrination of Darwinist, materialist education.

Turkey’s place as a role model for the Middle East, Islamic countries and the Turkic republics is indisputable. A Turkey within the body of the EU will therefore have an inevitably positive and constructive impact on the process of democratization and modernization of countries in the region. Therefore, one of the natural consequences of the improvement of the countries in question will be a contribution to the stability and peace of the EU.

Both sides must discharge their responsibilities

While Turkey strives to establish union between Islamic countries with its brotherly spirit, it has chosen, beginning under the leadership of the great Ataturk, not to turn its back on modern Western civilizations. The EU is one part of that objective.

The proper course of action, therefore, is for both sides to fulfill their duties and accelerate the process toward full membership in the near future.  Turkey’s application for membership, which began with associate membership of the EEC in 1959 and has continued for half a century, now holds the record as the longest application process ever.

Turkey has fulfilled its own responsibilities for this membership with the best of intentions and great effort, and is still continuing to do so. Indeed, the adjustments demanded from Turkey are to the benefit of our country in terms of elevating values such as democracy, freedom, human rights and freedom of thought. We have lost nothing.

The determination and success of the government in this regard, and the point reached, are clear for all to see: Therefore, now that we have traveled all this distance, it is important to continue to be determined, without being worn down, and to keep the issue constantly on the agenda. It is vitally important to establish warm relations with Christian and Jewish communities, to build links with civil society organizations in order to enjoy nations’ support, to strengthen bonds of friendship with Israel and to make everyone, no matter what their opinions, feel loved.

Europe must also discharge its duties. It is essential for it to avoid Islamophobia, to move forward as a friend of Islam rather than an enemy and to wage a serious campaign against racism and xenophobia. It must behave within the criteria of universal democracy, without striving to adopt a Christian culture and understanding to the exclusion of everyone else. It must free itself of the paranoia of regarding Turkish growth and development as a threat to itself; on the contrary, it needs to rid itself of this conservative and prejudiced attitude and evaluate the benefits and advantages to itself from a partnership with Turkey in a rational manner. It must be forward looking and have a vision. It must see there can be no development or progress with its cumbersome structure, ruined economy and social collapse; on the contrary, it must see that European cohesiveness will be torn asunder  if it continues down this road.

In conclusion, Turkey’s accession to the EU and the giant “alliance of civilizations” that will ensue will clearly be to the advantage of both parties. The virtues of Islam, such as love, democracy and freedom of ideas, will also serve to guide the people of Europe. In the same way that Christians, Jews, Muslims and people from all faiths, sects and tribes benefitted from the delights of Islam in the times of our Prophet (saas) and the Companions, and then later in Ottoman times, so they will benefit from these beauties and blessings today with the addition of Turkey as a member state of the European Union.

You can read the first part of my article here; Turkey’s accession to the EU will benefit Europe 2

2013-11-10 23:54:35

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