The accession of Turkey to the European Union has long been a subject of contention. The route of Turkey's membership to the European Union has been in process since 1959, but the consideration of Turkey being a part of the European Union is still an unresolved issue. A clear difference of point-of-view, regarding Turkish accession to the European Union prevails among the entire world, but Turkey is now in a suitable position to depict its manifesto as an independently developing Muslim majority country that owns all the necessary resources to survive at par with its competitors.
The European Union regards its self as a secular organization of European countries, which is reflected in there slogan "United in Diversity" (Dinan, 2004)? The slogan draws a clear picture that the European Union intends to unite the diversities from across the cultures, religions and traditions in order to ensure the prosperity and well-being of the European countries. The basic reason behind the formation of the European Union was to ensure peace among the European neighbors. But the modern shape of the Treaty has resulted into extremely effective Union of European countries, which ensures peace and prosperity simultaneously.
As a matter of fact Turkey has strived to attain the full membership of the European Union since forty two years (Toggenburg, 2009). The statement given by the foreign minister of the European Union while rejecting the mandate of Turkey's membership to the European Union was a crystal clear depiction of the Unions conservative approach. He regarded Turkey as too big, too poor and culturally too different as compared to the other member countries, and on the basis of this assertion he subjugated the membership of Turkey in the Union. It is for this reason that one can regard the forty two years efforts of Turkey a complete wastage. Now the significant part of the story lies in the appropriate answer of the question that, should Turkey join the European Union or not? By looking at the economic, geographical, demographical and historical significance of Turkey one can easily relate to the worthiness of Turkey as a Muslim European country (Rouleau, 2000).
The trade alliance between the European Union and Turkey has progressed remarkably. Trade activities form the mainstream of the formal trading relationship between the European Union and Turkey. This progress has been reported since the establishment of the custom union in 1995. This custom union has enhanced the standing of Turkey as a foreign trading partner of the European Union to that a degree that Turkey is now European Union's seventh largest trading partner, whereas in 1990 it was the ninth trading partner of the European Union. The exports of Turkey have equally enhanced and Turkey that was the seventeenth biggest exporter to the European Union in 1990 is now the thirteenth biggest exporter of the European Union (Flam, 2004). As per the surveys conducted in the year 2004 there has been a drastic increase in the exports of Turkey to the European Union. In the first half of the year 2004 the export of Turkish products to the European Union has increased to 58.87%. On the other hand the imports Turkey from the European bloc rose to 50.62%. The trade tendency altered by the financial crisis in 2001 showed a 3.95% increase in the exports of Turkey and the imports of Turkey raised by 3.01% (Flam, 2004).
The geographical specialty of Turkey is that its boundaries stretch across the two major continents of the planet Europe as well as Asia. In Asia Turkey covers the Anatolian Peninsula and in Europe it occupies a small part of the Southeastern Europe. Turkey is a large piece of land that has a population of about seventy million (Semple, 1998). The geographical assessment of the country gives a clear cut idea that major piece of Turkey lies in the continent of Asia whereas a small portion comprises of Europe. The largest city of Turkey is Istanbul, the city is scattered between both the continents Asia and Europe has a population of about nine million and is the largest trade center of Turkey. But other major geographical dilemma faced by Turkey is that its capital is entirely located in the Asian half of the country, Ankara (Benedict, 1974). The geographical importance of Turkey amplifies due to the fact that it shares it borders with the Middle East countries as well.
Keeping the geographic and demographic condition of Turkey in consideration the in 1999, Turkey was officially considered as a potential candidate for the full membership in European Union at the Helsinki European Council of December 1999. But the consequence of Turkey's entry to the European Union is yet a question mark because Turkeys is in a suitable position to sustain its policies and trade profitably even without its membership to the European Union.
The most prominent reason why Turkey should avail the membership of the European Union is based on religion. Turkey does not fit into the culture and values of the European world. The bottom line of this agenda is Islam. By glancing over the ground realities and significant differences between the European countries and Turkey the fact comes to light that Europe is a Christianity based whereas Turkey is an Islam-based organization. Religion as a matter of fact has the power to design or redesign the culture and values of the inhabitants. This perspective owns an acute importance as 99.8% of the Turkish population is Muslim, so the country does not attaints a fit point in the European Union (McLaren, 2002). The European countries made the point that if there are too little non-Muslims or minorities living in Turkey than the country might not be equipped with the policies to cater the minorities unlike the European countries.
Similarly it is promptly highlighted that the major portion of Turkey does not occupies the European part of the world but it lies in Asia. It is hereby a logical basis that if major portion of population and legislation of Turkey lies in Asia than the country might not have a European attitude that was considered to be the competitive advantage of the European Union over rest of the world (Suhnaz, 2005). The basic reason why the development of a European attitude is emphasized is mainly due to the fact that by entry in the European Union the member countries will be facilitated by the facility of free trade across the European bloc and if the nature of the nations forming the bloc varies drastically than there will be a great shift of taste and preferences among the markets. And the European countries will not be able to satisfy the local preferences of the Turkish market and the entire trade union bloc will face an acute turmoil.
The most integral reason that supports Turkey's withdrawal from the European Union is the membership of Cyprus. Cyprus is a full member of the European Union and due to regional conflicts the Turks does not recognize Cyprus as a state. The fact that the European Union abides by is the unity of the countries forming the European Union (Baracani, 2007). But if the Turks will have an attitude of non-recognition towards Cyprus than the degree of unity among the European countries will be hampered. Hence intensifying the need to reform the Turks attitude and fashioning them according to the European attitude becomes integral at this point.
Apart from the intergovernmental issues the fact was also highlighted that the large Turkish population was a burning question to the stability of the European Union. Germany with a population of 82 million heads the chat of the most populated country in the European Union and the powers of Germany in the population-based European parliament is equally high as compared to the low populated countries (Baracani, 2007). So by giving Turkey entry as a full member in the European Union will make Turkey the second most populated countries of the European Union. This will amplify the magnitude of the effects of Turkey in the decision making and policy formulating of the European Union. And for a freshly entered country it should be mandatory to fulfill the criterion of supremacy as benchmarked by the European Union.
Besides the discussed drawbacks of Turkey's full membership to the European Union a few apparent disadvantages the Turkey can forecast may impact the economy and development of Turkey to a great extent. The basic drawback is the modification of the trade patterns after becoming a full member to the European Union, this aspect will perhaps restructure the economy, trade policies and markets of Turkey as the basic trade policies will be amended. On the other hand with the provision of the free movement of labor and capital across the European countries, the developed, skilled and educated essence- labor and entrepreneurs might move from Turkey to the other European countries for the incentive of higher wages and benefits. This will directly reciprocate all the development of…