It is time to cease negotiations. By letting Turkey join, the European Union would get itself caught up in big trouble
Turkey keeps proving inadequate to join the European Union. Erdogan’s senseless attack on Syria has raised the debate – among scholars and public opinion – on whether the country’s request to join the EU should finally be declined after 15 years of deadlocked negotiations. But the reasons why Turkey is unsuitable to join the Union extend well beyond the reckless military policies of its leader.
First and foremost, Turkey does not belong to Europe as a continent, rather, 97% of its territory lies in Asia. If all nations were allowed to become members of the EU regardless of their geographical location, the ultimate mission of the Union to protect the economic, political, and social interests of the countries belonging to Europe as a continent would be undermined. The more the member states, the greater the number of needs to be faced, the lower the efficiency of the European Union as a whole. It is true that there is nothing wrong in expanding borders, but it is also true that stability should be preserved first of all.
While all current member states share pretty much the same values and Western traditions, Turkey is more of a melting pot of Middle-Eastern and Central Asian cultures.
Another reason why Turkey’s negotiations to enter the EU should be dropped is its historically complex political situation. The 2016 coup by which the military tried to overthrow the government shows that Turkey is not a politically stable country. It needs to sort out its domestic issues before its application can even be considered. Furthermore, Erdogan’s presidency seems more of a dictatorship than a strong leadership. Torture and human rights violations are reported on a daily basis whereas they only seldom occur in European member states. Many Turkish laws and practices actually clash with the principles of freedom and democracy on which the EU was founded
The third reason against Turkish accession to the EU is its current economic situation. While all member states have reached – although with significant variations – a good level of economic development, Turkey has not. Undeniably, it has been making huge progress in the last few years but to this day Turkey cannot be considered to be a fully developed country. The GDP per capita of the country is well below the EU average and income inequality is as high as nowhere in the ‘old continent’. Moreover, the Turkish market is not free and competitive as the Treaties mandate. Rather, its economy is still heavily controlled by the elites who regulate trade, production, taxation, and constantly distort the market self-regulatory capability
The fourth argument against Turkey becoming a member of the European Union is its cultural legacy. While all current member states share pretty much the same values and Western traditions, Turkey is more of a melting pot of Middle-Eastern and Central Asian cultures. Historically, Erdogan’s country has always had limited relationships with nations on the European continent. Thus, given that the EU was created to bring together countries that had strong relationships (though not always friendly ones), Turkey would always remain an outsider, a marginalized member state. Moreover, bringing a country with a radically different culture into the European Union would result in new issues and concerns being raised by the newcomer. Issues that are of little or no interest to the other nations that nonetheless would be called to spend time and resources to solve them.
Turkey would get out of the European Union more than it would give to it. By becoming a member states, Turkey would receive EU funds and subsidies. Also, its problems would get pooled by everybody. Turkey, however, has little to give to the Union: its position, although strategic, would result in the EU sharing borders with rather unstable countries like Iraq and Syria. While now Turkey acts as a buffer zone, if Erdogan’s country is allowed to join, the Union would basically find itself in a warzone. Refraining from getting involved in an armed conflict of some sort would be taugh.