S. have two different approaches. While the EU represents the "soft power" the United States is the proponent of the "hard power" (Kagan, 2003). However, it is considered that the issue of soft power is representative for the way in which states would later on develop their foreign policy and their strategic coordinates. However, in the case of Iraq and Iran it can be said that the current hard power approach cannot be used to the maximum because the U.S. In particular does not take into consideration the actual implications of culture, for instance. On the other hand however, the soft power of the EU could make better use of the influence and position of Turkey in the attempt to deal with issues such as terrorism,
However, one of the most important aspects of the geopolitical position of Turkey is its closeness to Iraq and Iran. Since the 9/11 attacks these two countries and the Middle Eastern region are considered to be of maximum risk for the European Union but more importantly for the EU. Indeed, it is often considered that the issue of terrorism affect the EU to a smaller scale that the U.S. And for the EU there is little need to take serious measures to counter the phenomenon. Yet, recent events have proven that this policy is by no means a viable one in the conditions in which the EU demands to have a particular defense identity, one which is not connected to the U.S. (Kagan, 2003). It is a matter of European identity and in terms of the security threats there are too many opinions and the need for a single voice. Therefore, should there be a strong connection point with the Middle East through Turkey the dialogue would be ensured much easier because there would be an unmediated relation between the two.
Another aspect of the necessity of the European Union to integrate Turkey in its communitarian structures is the issue related to the democratization of the Middle East area. Indeed, it is rather hard to consider the fact that a state which is experiencing problems in its own political and social structures would be a useful tool for the promotion of democracy elsewhere. However, the Turkish accession demands a certain sense of consolidation of the democratic process. In this sense thus, "the consolidation process is much more likely to be successful if the EU does start accession negotiations with Turkey (...) the current government extremely aware of this reality has embarked upon policies, especially in the foreign policy arena that one could not have dreamed of" (Kirisci, 2004, 215).
The European Union has long desired to expand the horizons of its construction. The current situation of the European Communities is both an intergovernmental one and a supranational one. However, there are more and more aspects which must be addressed at the supranational level. Depending on the opinions stated at the national levels, there can be more pros than cons in regard to the issue of increasing the supranational level of discussion inside the Union. Nonetheless, the issue of foreign policy has yet to surpass the desires of the national states to maintain at least some of the attributes of a sovereign state. Even so, the issue of Turkey can be subscribed both to the issue of the supranational dimension of the EU's security as well...
In this sense, more precisely, the New Neighborhood policy of the EU "accession to membership is ruled out, for the non-European Mediterranean countries; but for other cases remain open, such as those European countries which have clearly stressed their desire to join the EU" (Tashan, 2004). However, in order to have such a partnership viable it is important that a greater cultural diversity exist in the European Union so that partner states and future members have an element with which they can identify.
Finally, of particular importance for the case of Turkey to gain access inside the EU is the fight against terrorism which is underway in the world, following the criminal terrorist acts of 2001 onwards. It is important for the European Union that Turkey shares the same values and norms concerning the fight against terrorists and the way in which these actions must be fought against. Therefore, the fact that under these circumstance, Turkey can offer unconditional access for the European Union and its allies in an eventual direct fight with the Iranian state is an essential issue that the EU must take into account. At the same time however, the issue of Iraq is indeed a problematic situation for Europe because of the Kurdish problem in the North. Still, many have argued that this would be a good reason for rejecting the membership option to Turkey. More precisely, "northern Iraq is a flashpoint that has the potential to trip Iraq into another round of civil war. It is also the one area of the country that, if engulfed in violence, could result in the intervention of some of Iraq's neighbors. The issues bound up in the Kurdish region, from the status of Kirkuk and the related issues of Kurdish nationalism to the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) struggle with Turkey and the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan's (PJAK) confrontation with Iran to the long-awaited oil law are fraught with risk for Turkey, Iraq, the Kurds of both countries and the United States." () Therefore, it is clear that the region is indeed a volatile one from the point-of-view of the security aspect; still, without the support and supervision of the European Union, violence can escalate and can affect indirectly the borders of the EU without Turkey as a member state.
Overall, it can be concluded that the European Union needs the membership of Turkey from different reasons. One of the most important one is related to the matter of security in the region and in the world. In this sense, with Turkey as a member state, the EU can have a representative voice in the fight against terrorism, in the region, as well as in the direct contacts with the Mediterranean states.
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Calvocoressi, P. World politics since 1945. Budapest: Open Society Institute, 1996.
Cook, S.A., Douglas Dillon. "Turkey's Problematic Middle East Role." Council on Foreign Relations. 2008. Accessed 7 May 2008, at http://www.cfr.org/publication/16057/turkeys_problematic_middle_east_role.html
Jung, S., and S. Kubacek. (2005) "Economic Aspects of Turkey's Accession to the EU - How Turkey's Membership Is Challenging the EU." Student Economic Review, Vol. 19.
Kagan, R. Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order. New York: Alfred a. Knopf, 2003.
Kirisci, K. "Turkey, the EU, and the Middle East." In Turkey and the European Union: 2004 and beyond. Edited by Armand Clesse and Seyfi Tashan. Luxemburg Institute for International and European Studies, 2004.
Tashan, S. "The European Union's New Neighborhood Policy." In Turkey and the European Union: 2004 and beyond. Edited by Armand Clesse and Seyfi Tashan. Luxemburg Institute for International and European Studies, 2004.
Taspinar, O. (2003) "Europe Needs Turkey." The Daily Times. Accessed 7 May 2008, at http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2003/1209europe_taspinar.aspx
Tekin, a. And Walterova, I. "Turkey's Geopolitical Role: The Energy Angle." Middle East Policy. 2007. Accessed 7 May 2008, at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5400/is_200704/ai_n21284815
The European Commission. "External Relations." The EU's Mediterranean and Middle East Policy. n.d. Accessed 7 May 2008, at http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/med_mideast/intro/index.htm
Turkey's Geopolitical, Geostrategic and Ecostrategic Importance. N.d. Accessed 7 May 2008, at http://www.msb.gov.tr/Birimler/GNPP/html/pdf/p1c2.pdf
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