26 thoughts on “EUST Blog #5

  1. The pictures work together to show the obstacles Turkey faces in becoming a member of the European Union.

    The top left picture not only shows the EU’s reluctance to add Turkey as a member, but it also represents Turkey’s press censorship problem. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a particular problem with the way he is portrayed in political cartoons. He’s repeatedly sued Turkish cartoonists for being depicted as a giraffe, a monkey, and an elephant. Additionally, in 2011, a German ambassador to Turkey was summoned to the Foreign Ministry after a Berlin newspaper printed a cartoon showing Erdogan’s name on a doghouse. The state’s increasingly autocratic nature has had a significant impact on the field of journalism. Turkey has 40 journalists in jail, which is more than any other country in the world, including Iran and China, according to a Time article. Turkey’s press censorship is a significant barrier to its EU membership.

    The middle left picture represents not only the increasingly Islamic nature of Turkish society, but also the repression of women’s rights. In an effort to separate the Turkish state from its Ottoman and Islamic past, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s first president, banned the wearing of the veil once Turkey became an independent state. However, as Turkish society has become more Islamic, the wearing of headscarves has re-emerged. Even though they are free to wear whatever they want, many Turkish women think their rights are being infringed. The state encourages women to marry young and to have at least five children. In addition, fewer women are entering the workforce. If Turkey becomes an EU member, it would have to ensure equality among all citizens, not just males. As Islam plays a great role in political and social life, interest in joining the EU has declined. Many prefer to seek closer ties with the Middle East.

    Public referendums regarding Turkey’s accession in some EU states, such as France and Austria, pose a significant obstacle to Turkey’s accession bid. Every member state must ratify a new member, and it is unlikely that the general public would vote in favor of Turkey’s accession in a national referendum. Even if Turkey met all the EU’s accession criteria, its membership could still be denied in public referendums. This makes it even more difficult for Turkey to become an EU member.

    Austria insists on a public referendum because of historical and political considerations. The Ottoman Empire, which was the predecessor of the Turkish state, besieged the city of Vienna twice. Memories run deep, and it is hard for European populations to forget that Ottoman Turks were once a military adversary. Additionally, Austria’s regional power would decrease if Turkey joined the EU, so a national referendum is a response by Austria to preserve its power.

    As depicted by the bottom right picture, France has also called for a public referendum on Turkey’s accession. In 2005, under President Jacques Chirac, a clause was added to the French Constitution that made it compulsory to submit all future EU enlargements after Croatia to a referendum. The clause was aimed at Turkey and was also meant to increase the chances of a positive vote in the EU constitutional treaty. However, the French referendum was tabled in favor a super majority in parliament.

    The bottom left picture depicts the economic factors regarding Turkey’s EU accession. Turkey’s economy boomed under Erdogan’s leadership in 2011. Turkey’s economic growth and consumer spending were more than double the leading European state. In addition, its national debt as a percentage of GDP was much lower than the EU average and other European powerhouses, such as Germany and France.

    When the eurozone crisis hit in 2009, Europe’s financial situation was characterized by uncertainty and instability. If Turkey’s economy remains strong, the financial crisis in Europe may decrease support for EU membership within Turkey. All states joining the EU must adopt the euro as their currency, and Turkey may not want to join a currency that is losing value. Despite the economic boom in 2011, Europeans still consider the Turkish economy unstable. Many fear that adding Turkey to the EU would only exacerbate the union’s economic woes.

    However, if Turkey’s EU application is rejected, Europe would lose out on Turkey’s surplus of young workers. Europe’s population is aging. In Germany, 20 percent of the population is more than 64 years old, compared to 7 percent in Turkey. Europe will need young people to work when a large portion of the population retires. On the other hand, many Europeans worry that Turkey’s accession would increase the already high unemployment rate in the EU as Turkish workers emigrate to find jobs.

    Despite the obstacles facing Turkey’s EU membership, more than half of Turks still support joining the EU. As depicted by the graph on the top right, economic development is considered the greatest benefit to joining the EU, followed by the free movement of people throughout Europe. However, the EU has continually harped on Turkey to implement more reforms, which lengthens Turkey’s accession negotiations. If EU negotiations continue to proceed at a slow pace, Turkey’s support for accession could decline, and the state may withdrawal its application completely.

  2. These pictures all deal with the EU and its unwillingness to allow Turkey to join. There are many reasons why this is occurring and these pictures help us to glimpse a little bit of the bigger picture that there is here.
    The top left picture is obviously making fun of how the EU is being very unhelpful and unresponsive to the EU trying to gain entrance. This is , in a way, very sad because Turkey has been trying to get accepted since 1961. Since then the EU has added many more hurdles that countries have to jump over to get in, and poor Turkey is not able to overcome these and so is still stuck waiting on the EU to make a move.
    The top right is the results of a poll taken from Turkish citizens on what they think of the EU. The top graph indicates that EU popularity is going down. That graph just shows over the length of one year, but its popularity in the EU has continued to plummet and now only 26% of Turkish citizens have a favorable view. The bottom graph is interesting because almost 1/5 of the Turkish population have no idea how the EU would even help Turkey. Over 1/5 think it will help their economy which is actually doing pretty well right now, so that is saying something.
    The Turkish economy is growing and it is growing quickly as you can see if you look at the bottom left picture. Their growth is more than double of Germany’s and their national debt is far below the other countries’. This is one thing that really gives Turkey a leg to stand on when it comes to attempting to enter the European Union. They definitely would not be hurting the EU at all. They would most likely be improving it. Their unemployment is pretty high, but if their economy continues to grow, that should not be an issue.
    However, the EU will not let them in easily. Turkey still has many chapters to go through and close before they can gain entrance. Even if they do meet all requirements, every country has to agree to their joining. As you can see in the bottom right picture, not all of the countries want that to happen. This is especially the case with Austria and France. They do not want Turkey to join and will do a referendum instead of just vetoing which is basically saying no, because many of the citizens will not want Turkey to join. Something has to be done about Austria and France if Turkey wants to join.
    The middle left picture is very symbolic. The EU does not have a ton of religious diversity. Most of its member countries are predominantly Christian. This picture is of muslim women showing off their EU pride with their burkas which their muslim faith requires them to wear. Turkey is a muslim country and would be the only predominantly muslim country in the EU if they were to join. This is a barrier to them, but is a great way for the EU to begin to diversify itself.

    -Brooke Shimer

  3. Picture one is obviously Erdogan knocking on the door of the EU. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. One such reason being that the EU has made turkey jump through hoop after hoop just to have the slightest hope at getting into the EU. This is also interesting because the right now, the Turkish people aren’t even sure if they want to be in the EU. Now this picture could be from a few years back, but since then public opinion for joining has definitely declined. Turkey has definitely had the biggest struggle just to look into getting into the EU.

    The picture directly below the first one is strange. If it is real, it shows the people’s interest in joining Europe. Allowing Turkey into the EU would represent a drastic demographic shift in the makeup of the predominantly “western, white” Europe. Like mentioned above though, public opinion in Turkey for joining the EU has been declining in the past few years.

    The next picture below is a good example for why Turkey should be allowed to join the EU. Their economy has been improving over the past years, and it’s growth has surpassed countries like Germany and France, two of the biggest economies in the EU. Concerning their national debt, it is extremely low compared to their GDP, which is quite a feat for a modern nation anywhere. The biggest issue for them would appear to be unemployment. At 10.7 percent, there are many other issues they can focus on and/or worry about to make their way into the EU. 10.7 percent is not horrible, but it could be better as well.

    For the top right picture, I will assume that those are poll numbers from Turkish citizens regarding EU membership. As their population sees it, the biggest benefit of getting into the EU would be for them to be able to improve economically, and lower unemployment. Some see their membership into the EU as a ticket to “better” democracy. This hints at unhappiness from the public as to how the country is run. This is dangerous for the people though since there is a clause written into the constitution forbidding criticism of the government, among other things. Others see the issue that the government is corrupt. Joining the EU would have someone to keep an eye on the corruption, but being in the EU won’t necessarily eliminate, or even ease the situation, as there are EU members and organizations that have a fairly high level of institutionalized corruption.

    The bottom right picture is fairly problematic, and also a big part of the reason that Turkey has yet to join the EU. France, simply put, does not want to see Turkey enter the EU. They have a clause that requires a referendum of their people on any new entrants into the EU that Turkey would be subject to. France, in general, is not a friend to religion. Turkey has a very large Muslim population, that is no secret. France has seen a slight surge in anti-Muslim sentiment since the Charlie Hebdo attacks this winter, and therefore if there was any vote held soon, that would hold in the minds of the citizens, but that also speaks to bigger issues within Turkey, like their fairly porous border. All of these though point to the fact, that it is unlikely Turkey will enter the EU any time soon.

  4. There is no doubt that Turkey’s leadership wants to join the European Union, but the EU has made it quite clear that they are skeptical of the state’s place within Europe’s framework. The top-left picture of Turkey’s President Erdogan knocking on the EU door is a great example of this. For decades now Turkey has attempted to negotiate its accession, but the EU is always the one to hold up the process. Of course, the EU has every right to do so. Turkey’s 1974 invasion into Northern Cyprus was questionable, as is its human rights record.

    Despite the leadership wanting to join, it may be the population, not the leadership, which is holding Turkey back. Assuming the top-left picture contains polling results from Turkey itself, the responses are quite astonishing. Many of the top answers are development issues, and may even prove to be a drawback in accession negotiations. The desire to improve their economy, democracy, and even reduce corruption is a sign that Turkey is a weak state in some regards. It is quite clear, however, that Turkey is not a weak state. If it were to join the EU it would drastically change the makeup of the EU and perhaps even challenge Germany’s authority in some cases. It’s economic growth is quite staggering, as evidenced in the bottom-left picture. There is a balance that must be found between admitting strong states that can bring drastic change, and weak states that will be more trouble than they are worth, like Greece. Of course, the fact that 19% responded to the poll indicating that they do not even know what the most important benefit to EU membership is speaks volumes about the population’s attitude towards the EU accession.

    Apart from the government’s questionable human rights record, there is still a strong culture in Turkey that promotes honor killings and other unfortunate acts. Women’s rights in Turkey are perhaps not as liberal as they are in EU member states, and that is certainly an issue worth addressing. Turkey is also still strongly Sunni Muslim, a fact persisting from its Ottoman days, and with all the attention ISIS is getting in the middle East, allowing a strongly Muslim state to have full EU member rights might cause riots. France certainly opposes the idea of Turkey’s admittance. The bottom-right picture depicts a poster dating back to the mid-2000s that opposes Turkey and the European Constitution, and indeed France’s decision to require a super-majority vote in parliament almost guarantees Turkey will never join.

    If Turkey were to join the EU, what would the EU gain that outweighs the potential problems Turkey represents? Firstly, control of the Bosphorus. This strait is pivotal for controlling access to and from the Black Sea. Secondly, Turkey can serve as an important border guard between the Middle East and Europe. Similar to how the Soviet Union liked having a lot of territory to act as a buffer zone between enemies, Turkey can act as a buffer zone for the rest of Europe. These are just a few points, but it is perhaps reasonable to assume that these benefits will not outweigh Turkey’s disruption to the status quo in Europe, and will in effect not be admitted any time soon.

  5. The photograph at the top left corner is Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The cartoon depicts him knocking at the door to the EU, with the EU hiding behind their door. This symbolizes Turkey’s continuous attempts at becoming a member of the EU. Turkey first applied to the EU back when it was the European Economic Community. As the time has gone on, Turkey is required to adapt to more requirements of the EU. Turkey is already very different from the European Union, and has multiple issues it needs to address until it is admitted, so its chance of becoming a member have decreased in the past few decades as accession becomes more difficult. I am honestly surprised this cartoon was allowed to be published. One of Turkey’s issues is Article 301, which states it is a crime if anyone defiles Turkishness or the Turkish government, and is basically a suppression of free speech. One of Turkey’s issues with accession is human rights violations, including imprisoning journalists that violate Article 301.

    The photo in the middle left is two women who have created Burkas out of the EU flag. Mustafa Kemal Attaturk attempted to outlaw Burkas and Hijabs, but eventually they were legalized again. Some women view the ability to wear, or choose not to wear these dressings as their right to choose. It is also an interesting picture because in any other European Union country we would never see women dress in EU flag Burkas. It really shows how different Turkey is in terms of culture and religion to the rest of the European Union. It also touches on the debate about whether Turkey is considered European or Middle Eastern, or perhaps both. The recent government held by the AKP party is more Islamists and pro-Middle Eastern than recent governments before it. This leads to the point that many Turks who previously aspired for Turkey to become an EU member now do not even have a favorable view of the EU.

    The photo in the top right corner appears to be results of public polling. The questions that were asked were what your view of the EU is and what are the most important benefits of EU membership. There was a decrease in the number of people who thought negatively of the EU in less than a year span. It is also sad that most Turks view the biggest advantage of joining the EU as economic development. Turkey already has an Associate Agreement with the EU, so becoming a full member will still help them economically, but there will be significant other advantages. Almost 1/5 people asked did not know what the most important benefit of EU membership is, showing that some of the population might not be educated about the EU.

    The photo on the bottom right is of a French sign about a referendum about Turkish accession. France and Austria have stated they will hold referendums about Turkish accession, which is their way of blocking Turkey form joining. France does not want Turkey in the EU, mainly because Turkey is a very large, predominantly Muslim country. Austria was formerly a member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Turkey was formerly a member of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire engaged in multiple battles, and the Austrians are unable to look past that history yet.

    The last photo in the bottom left hand corner is of Turkeys rising economic power compared to other EU countries. Since Turkey is so large, its spending is off the chart. It has gone from a small economy to a thriving one in recent years, and drawfs Germany in terms of economic growth. Turkey also leads in unemployment, and has one of the youngest populations. Other EU member states see this as a double edged sword. On one hand Turkey would take over jobs in an aging Europe. At the same time, Turks cold completely take over the job market because of their massive population. This is very similar to the “Polish Plumber Problem”. With all of these photos taken into account, it is highly unlikely that Turkey will join the EU anytime soon.

  6. Cody Rader (4/25/15)

    The pictures in the blog sum up very well the last few lectures of the class, Turkish accession to the EU, as demonstrated in the cartoon in the first picture on the left where The Turkish President is knocking on the door to the EU. Turkey has had to face some major problems as far as joining the EU, even though in many areas of the accession process Turkey actually meets the requirements.
    Within Turkey there has been, though it is waning now, support for joining the EU. In the second picture on the left, the one of the two women in EU flag hijabs, this can be seen. There would be many benefits to joining the EU as well, such as economic development and lower unemployment. As the survey in the first picture on the right shows, many Turkish citizens perceive joining the EU as something good and with definite benefits. However, as time has moved on and the EU has further delayed Turkey’s progress on the acquis along with membership in general, support and popular opinion is slowly shifting away from membership. There may be a case soon where Turkey may not want to join and popular sentiment may reflect that.
    Members of the EU have put up, in my opinion, a mostly unfair fight against Turkish accession. France and Austria among the two putting up the most fight. As seen in the second picture on the right, a political poster against an EU constitution and Turkey joining the EU, is a major political issue in France. Many of the French people, something like 52%, oppose Turkey joining the EU. Furthermore, it seems France, Austria, and many of the other objectors to Turkish accession oppose it for reasons of power politics, losing influence, funds, and voting seats to make room for the new much larger state. Others may be objecting on fears of letting in a Muslim country with an ethnically non-European population. However, there are other more legitimate concerns that must be addressed, such as civil rights violations, media censorship, human rights violations, atoning for the genocides, the Cyprus question (which Turkey perhaps has the best solution to if the other actors in the affair would cooperate), political stability, and its high unemployment. These issues cannot be ignored and are perhaps good reasons to, for the time being until they can be addressed properly, keep Turkey from gaining EU membership, but the other more xenophobic and geopolitical reasons are much less so.
    Interestingly though, I find the third picture on the left, a series of statistics and facts, very telling of how qualified on paper Turkey is for accession. In areas such as, economic growth, private sector spending, and national debt, Turkey is doing much better than Germany, debatably the strongest actor within the EU. Though, unemployment is a problem in the state and may only serve to add to the problem of unemployment in the EU, while also paradoxically providing a young new labor pool for the aging countries as it has a fairly young population compared to some member states. The same picture does also show the extent of the Ottoman Empire, much of which was in Eastern Europe, a memory which is still in the forefront of many EU members’ minds. Overall though I believe Turkey would strengthen the EU both economically (due to being a new labor pool for an aging Europe and for gas/oil pipeline and resource access) and in regards to security (in dealing with Middle Eastern threats and in economic security from Russia) if it is allowed to join. Hopefully one day the issues of Turkey can be resolved and we can see a strong EU with it included as a main member.

  7. Reblogged this on Neverending Wanderlust and commented:
    Although Turkey’s path to membership in the European Union began decades ago, the topic is still quite controversial within the EU and within Turkey itself. The top left image is a cartoon, which shows Turkish President Erdogan knocking at the door to the European Union, waiting to be admitted. Behind the door, a set of eyes (representing EU member states) peers out, hoping that Erdogan and Turkey will eventually stop knocking and leave them alone. While some EU member states are less than thrilled about the idea of Turkish accession, I believe the cartoon is problematic in its presumption that all EU members feel the same way about this issue (or any issue). The EU is composed of 28 members, and they ‘fight’ about almost everything, including Turkish accession. Furthermore, if all of the EU was really so against Turkish accession, they would not have let Turkey even start the accession process, but would have instead turned it away, like they did with Morocco.

    The top right image shows how Turkish opinions about the EU have changed. Although the data is not very current, I would imagine that the trends shown have continued to the present day, i.e., the percentage of Turks who view the EU as good has probably continued to decline, and the percentage of Turks who view the EU has bad has probably continued to increase. By far, Turks see economics as the primary benefit of joining the European Union. However, the EU (and much of the world) has experienced massive financial problems since 2008. The Turks have witnessed first hand how the EU and national politicians responded to these problems by implementing austerity measures in Greece, Spain, Italy, etc. When the economy of the EU is not doing so great, and the main reason to join the EU is because of economic benefits, it causes the Turkish people to question the value of joining.

    The bottom left image shows many of the reasons why the EU might want Turkey to join, some of which are economic. Although the year is not given, the data must be from sometime between 2007 and 2013 because EU 27 is listed under “Private Consumer Spending.” Turkey’s economy and private consumer spending are both growing at significantly faster rates than the listed EU members. Its national debt compared to GDP is much lower, the population is younger, and the unemployment is similar to the given EU members. Combined, these data mean that Turkey could serve as an economic engine within the EU. The Turkish population is young and buying things. By admitting such a quickly growing economy, the EU could help improve its own economy as a whole.

    However, Turkey faces major obstacles on the path to accession, especially in France and Austria. The lower right image shows a Front National poster in France asking the people to vote no on Turkey and the EU Constitution. France recently passed a law that required a popular referendum on new EU members. Since then, the law has been altered to only require a supermajority of Parliament. Around the same time, Austria also passed a law requiring a popular referendum. With these laws on the books, it is essentially impossible for Turkey to complete the accession process and become an EU member state.

  8. The set of picture in this post are all dealing specifically with Turkish and EU perceptions about the accession of Turkey into the community. Each of these pictures in some way shows the skewed perceptions about how these to interaction and perceptions of how it will harm or help the EU.
    The upper left hand image of the Cartoonish version of Turkish President Erdogan knocking at the door EU is interesting because of how the EU is being presented. The EU is shown as being locked behind a large door looking through a small slot to see who is knocking, the eyes looking through the slot showing fear at the presence of Turkey knocking outside. This is symbolic of the feeling that the EU is fearful of Turkey joining and the perception that the EU wants to keep Turkey out.
    The upper right hand image is simple a survey of the Turkish population looking to how they feel about the EU. With the upper graph there is the explicit implication that there is a growing sentiment that joining the EU would be bad for Turkey. While this does not mean that these people are in the majority, there is a growing group of people who are changing or newly forming a negative opinion of the EU. Below this is a graph showing the perceived benefits of joining, the top being the economic gains, but next is the ability to move between European countries. This is also important because of the growing opinions in many European countries that Turkish immigration is a bad prospect.
    The bottom right image speaks to this fear amongst some Europeans of the Turkish accession that they will bring harm to their countries. The poster from the National Front, a French right wing party, clearly is stirring up resentment towards the Turkish accession to the Union. While they are not the leading party in France, this is a growing movement in France and there are similar ones in many European countries.
    The middle right picture of the Turkish women wrapped in the EU flags has several potential meaning both symbolically and otherwise. First it is a representation of the Turkish population who want to join the European Union. It also touches on the fears of some in Europe who see the two cultures as incompatible, and would use this to try and keep Turkey out of the Union. The perception of the EU as a Christian only club is quite apparent when the prolonged case of Turkey’s accession is examined.
    The Last image in the bottom right clearly shows the growing strength of the Turkish economy, especially compared to that of the EU. Both economic growth and consumer spending are vastly higher rates then those of the other European states, which is why the EU would want to allow Turkey to join the Union. Conversely this economic power might also be a reason for the more powerful states to want to keep Turkey out, as this would erode their power within the EU.
    -Luke Mooberry

  9. Turkey has been trying to join the European Union for over half of its existence. With the denial of ascension for the last 50 years attitudes towards joining the EU have fluctuated in recent times now they trend towards not joining. The poll on the top right shows the public’s opinion about the EU, back in 2006 we see that more than half of the population wanted to join the EU and that 23% of those believed that the EU would help with economic development. It would be interesting to interview those same individuals now after the EU’s recent economic crisis. With the downfall of Greece to the east do those same individuals think that their youth unemployment would decrease? Another issue in the poll is that they see benefits in EU membership in that it would 1) reduce bribery and corruption and 2) produce equal rights. Both of these are part tenants of joining the EU they are not products of the EU, so in order for Turkey to join these both need to liberalize quickly.
    The image on the bottom right, Turkey + Constitution = Not “I keep France,” France is one of many countries that are against Turkey joining the EU and have adamantly opposed their membership. This has been see by France holding referendums each time the issue is brought on. However this is not an isolated incident, most members of the EU do not want Turkey to join and right now that is a good idea, because the EU is experiencing expansion fatigue. Right now it is in the EU best interest to table any further applicants until they can stabilize and strengthen the members that are currently struggling such as Greece, Spain, and Italy and many others.
    The top left photo depicts Tayyip Erdogan at the door of the EU trying to get in, but the EU is looking suspiciously at Erdogan. The members of the EU have reason to have suspicion towards Turkey: their shady public procurement practices, harsh treatment of journalist, and even more recently their anger towards countries that have recognized the Armenian Genocide. It is interesting to see Erdogan’s continued stalwartness against the genocide, but it is one of the many concerning factors that are inhibiting Turkish ascension.
    The middle left picture depicts women wearing the traditional Niqab with the design of the EU flag. The EU has a reservation towards Turkey that is unofficially why they are not yet a member. That reservation is that Turkey is a Muslim country, over the past twenty years Turkey has become more and more Islamic. Attaturk had secularized the Turkish government but with the growing frustration towards not being accepted as European they are looking to the middle east for identity.
    The bottom left photo is a map that shows Turkey’s, while Turkey is indeed within Europe only about 10% of Turkey is within Europe. At the bottom of the picture are statistics of debt, unemployment, and elderly population statistics. Turkey has exponentially less debt than that of even Germany, however this may be because a lack of social spending that is present within Europe. Also their unemployment is problematic presently because evidence shows that the European Union does not fix that issue as seen with Greece’s extremely high unemployment rate. Lastly, we see that Turkey has a small elderly population which Europe needs with an average birthrate of less than 2, this is unsustainable for Europe.
    Regardless of these statistics, the European Union needs to wait to induct Turkey into the EU. If the EU accepts Turkey right now before they stabilize their own economy they will likely collapse and could cause unnecessary hardship for their citizens who are already struggling with the recent drop in the strength of the Euro.

  10. Cameron Clark

    EUST Blog #5

    Together these images work together to demonstrate the European Unions hesitations to permit Turkey’s membership. The pictures reveal sentiment and facts on reasons why Turkey should not be allowed to join.

    To begin, the picture on the middle left shows three Muslim women. There is a deep concern of Europeans of allowing a primarily Muslim culture to join the European Union. Recently, France has outlawed Muslim women to wear the Hijab (head covering) in public schools. Europeans fear what could happen if they grant entrance to a culture that is so different to their own then their will be a loss of what it is to truly be European. Turkish culture is completely different to that of the rest of Europe.

    The image on the top left depicts Turkey’s censorship as a hindrance to joining the European Union. The man displayed in the cartoon is the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is knocking on the door of the European Union while they simply watch his every move through the crack.

    The picture in the top right displays the peoples’ desires for what matters most out of the benefits of European Union membership. The people primarily value economic development and lower unemployment. This is especially important because of the Greek economic crisis that is happening right now. European members do not want a nation joining the EU that does not have economic stability. They want more people to have faith in the Euro and become less Eurosceptic. Turkey’s economy is fair but is it good enough for the European Union to allow them membership? Another important note about this picture is the percent of Europeans who had no preference or knowledge as to what is the most important aspect of the benefits of the European Union. If the European Union is to continue then people have to have faith that a unified Europe will work. There cannot be too many Eurosceptics otherwise the European Union will fade away fast.

    To continue, the picture on the bottom left demonstrates Turkey’s economic growth. It shows it’s economic growth compared to other European Union countries. Turkey’s economy has grown drastically in recent years because of it’s large amount of spending. The image even shows how Turkey has beaten Germany, the economic powerhouse of the EU, in economic growth. Turkey is such a large nation that with all of the spending the economy has done well. In addition, the picture depicts the national debt of Turkey. The national debt is smaller than that of Germany, France, and Italy, which are all EU member states.

    The image on the bottom right is a depiction of French sentiment toward Turkey becoming a member of the European Union. Both France and Austria have said that they will hold referendums about Turkey’s membership in to the European Union. They want to keep Turkey from being admitted. Both countries do not want Turkey to join the European Union due to cultural and historic backgrounds.

  11. European Geography Blog 5
    Ben Galloway

    The accession of Turkey to the European Union has been a point of interest in the EU of varying importance for decades. Since the initiation of Turkish efforts to join the EU decades ago, Turkey has danced on the fringes of the mainstream accession movements into the EU. Overall, the accession of Turkey is a multifaceted issue in the truest sense of the word, with variables such as geographical location, politics, history, and economics at play.
    Turkey’s location lends both support and opposition to its accession. It could be argued that Turkey is one of the most strategically located countries in the word, lying as it does astride the Bosphorus water passage in and out of the Black Sea. Especially in an age of increased Russian nationalism, for the EU, increased control over such a key strategic point is no doubt a most attractive proposition. At the same time, however, Turkey shares significant borders with several “problem” states, as defined by West, the United States, or common logic, in Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Additionally, it is likely that were an independent Kurdistan to ever arise as a state, that its borders would also be directly adjacent to and perhaps even take a chunk out of eastern Turkey. These combinations of massive pluses and massive minuses have served to provide cannon fodder to supporters and opposition members of Turkish accession for decades.
    Politically, as well, problems exist in the area of adding Turkey to the EU. The historical role of a secular Turkish military in keeping hard line Islamic elements of the country in line has led to what is by European standards an unwelcome amount of military control at times over the civilian government. Additionally, humans rights abuses and the imprisonment of journalists on quite resoundingly fishy charges for indefinite periods of time has proven an eyesore indeed for the Turkish accession attempt. Also, rumors of election impropriety during Erdogan’s most recent election, along with the continuing reluctance of the Turks to acknowledge any role in the Armenian Genocide have certainly not helped matters in the slightest.
    Historically as well, Turkey and the EU have not always occupied lands that have been in complete harmony with each other. Often times the historic empires and peoples of southeast Europe were engaged in periods of hostility with the Ottoman Empire lasting decades, while as recently as World War 1, Turkish forces were in opposition to mainstream European activity. Turkey is also a Muslim country, whereas the majority of Europe is Christian or secular. When the populations of places like Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, and other regions have a long and significant history of battling against or responding in kind to Turkish military incursions, that history can in fact stand in the way of streamlining the Turkish accession movement.
    Finally, economically, Turkey is almost as much of a point of consternation for the EU as it is geographically. While Turkey has a long history of economic cooperation with the EU stemming from the Ankara Agreement way back in the 1950s, recent events, such as the increase of EU monetary support to the Turks as a pre-accession instrument of sorts following the 2001 Copenhagen Summit indicated not only a willingness of behalf of the greater EU to accept the increasing probability of Turkish membership but also to further solidify Turkish-EU financial relations. On the wider economic scale, Turkey is a large population of over 75 million consumers, and a country that has been experiencing significant economic growth, while weathering the financial crisis relatively well since then. On the other hand, per-capita Turkish metrics of economic prosperity lag behind average EU values significantly, indicating a perhaps significant EU investment into raising Turkey up would be required upon their entry to the EU-no easy task when Turkey would take on the role of one of the largest countries in the organization.
    In the end, Turkey’s accession efforts, whether successful or not, are thought of as unlikely to be effected decisively anytime soon, no doubt in large part due to the polarizing and contradictory nature of the benefits and hazards to proposing the entry of such a large and multifaceted state.

  12. These pictures depict the ongoing struggle for Turkey becoming a full member of the European Union as the member states weigh the benefits and downfalls of adding such an influential state. Several factors are preventing the process such as the issue of Turkish-Cyprus relations, social policies in Turkey, member states blocking referendums. As the leaders of Turkey aim to parallel their goals and values with western society within Europe there are still problems the members want to see resolved.
    The middle left picture shows Turkish women wearing veils. This has been seen as a controversial subject as Ataturk oversaw the institutionalized ban of headscarves to distance the state from Islam and promote westernization and secularization. Many see this as a continuation of freedom of religion and protecting the secularity of the state but the other side views it as infringement upon their rights. Turkey has an overly Islamic majority within the state even though its stance is of secularism. Member states of the EU including France and Austria view this as a potential threat to the EU’s population. Many see Turkey as the bridge to Asia and the Middle East. To allow a buffer state full membership could prove to be dangerous. The former French President said that Turkey is not in Europe and the European Union must draw up borders eventually. Distinguishing European borders becomes vague and hard to determine as cultures are clashing.
    A few of the pictures show the economic aspect of the debate. Of course this is the most discussed part of Turkish accession. Among the top GDP’s in the world, Turkey contains one of the largest economies especially following privileges gained from EU partnerships and foreign investment. A state with over 70 million people would certainly change the employment and economic nature. Still a contested issue the member states continue to debate the economic benefits and whether it would be worth the future ramifications. Almost half of the citizens of Turkey support joining the European Union and desire the economic advantages and investment for lower class regions. The free movement of Turkish citizens to EU states is heavily debated as the issue of an overly Islamic state could have free movement within the EU.

  13. When looking at the sum of all the pictures for this blog you see problems relating to Turkey attempting to join the European Union. For Turkey to finish all of the agreements that they must meet to get into the EU there would have to be a lot of changes made in the next few years. Some of the major issues surround the limitations on rights of women, and the limits that are placed on journalists.

    The top left picture represents Erdoğan speaking to the EU asking for them to allow negotiations that would led to Turkey entering the EU. With the eyes peeking through the door instead of it being opened I think this picture show that right now the EU is not willing to have conversations with Turkey. At this point it is important to remember that the EU has closed all negotiations with Turkey until the dispute with Cyprus has been solved.

    In the second picture with the women wearing headdress made out of the EU flag shows the issues in rights of women in Turkey. With there being a large number of Islamic people in Turkey the women feel that they are supposed to wear headdress to follow the rules of their religion however they have been restricted by laws that promote turkishness. If Turkey is to join the EU they will have to allow women and minorities to have equal rights. Right now the Turkey government has been noted because of the limitations that it places on journalists. Recently reports of torture, kidnappings, free speech violations, denial of rights to minorities and the failure to protect women have become more common forcing the EU to reevaluate whether or not Turkey is prepared to make changes.

    Also, when you look at the land in the Bosporus, it is easy to see that Turkey’s economy is doing the best in the region currently. However, despite the recent growth of the Economy Turkey is still a largely underdeveloped economy. Right now the entry of a state like Turkey which is very large and has a high number of poor would place to harsh of strains on EU finances. Although Turkey seems to have a wealth that is growing it is unequally spread out and there are a few people who are really well off while unemployment and the number of poor are still rising. It is important to notice that Turkey did handle the financial crisis a lot better than most European countries they have still failed to fix the issue of unemployment and have yet to provide assistance to their poor.

    Since France and Austria both have to pass referendums for Turkey to be able to enter into the EU. France has to pass it with a super majority in the parliament while Austria has to pass it with a referendum given to the public. Although it is unlikely to pass in either country right now Austria would be the harder state to pass in because of the issues of the past. Austria will never forget the autraucites that they faced at the hands of the ottomans.

    Another topic that can easily be placed in the back of the minds of those in Europeans is just the simple fact that Turkey is made of a religion that has never been introduced to Europe but is more aligned with those in the Middle East. Since Europe is a Christian group of countries the entry of Turkey would cause a new set of rules and regulations to be put in place. Also, it is important to remember since 9/11 in the US and the recent emergence of ISIS the view on the Islamic religion can be often related to the thought of terrorism.

    Erica Kaylor

  14. The accession of Turkey into the European Union has been contested for over 20 years. Although its lengthened waiting period seems to be unfair and its accession seems to continuously be stalled, Turkey still has some changes to make if it wants to meet all requirements for EU membership. It faces opposition from several sides although in the long run it could be a positive addition to the EU.

    As depicted in the upper right hand drawing, the EU seems to continue to hide behind a door while Turkey knocks waiting an answer. It is symbolic of the hurdles that Turkey continues to face in its pursuit of becoming a member of the EU. Turkey became a formal applicant in 1987 and has carried out negotiations since 1989. Since then, 16 other countries have gained accession and the Copenhagen Criteria has been established, setting in place a series of criteria that must be met by all prospective members. Despite all the requirements, probably the biggest challenge that Turkey will have to get by if it meets all of the membership criteria is the power of any existing member to veto its entrance.

    The bottom left picture represents one prospective opponent of Turkey’s accession into the EU. France has already expressed its desire to hold a referendum in regards to Turkey becoming a member state. The public announcement written in french asks of the people to oppose Turkey’s entrance into the EU. France is one of many member states that already opposes the accession of Turkey. If Turkey were to become a member, the population of the European Union would diversify even further. Turkey is predominantly Muslim and a growing anti-muslim sentiment has developed worldwide with the recent events involving ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Charlie Hebdo shooting. The second picture on the left shows two Muslim women wearing the niqab in the pattern of the European Union flag. This is symbolic of the fact that many within the Muslim country are ready to formally become a member state.

    Turkey has been grappling with this issue for 26 years now. Negotiations have been in the works since then and mixed sentiments have arisen from both sides. A poll conducted in 2006 and 2007 measured the differences in Turkish opinion about their views on the benefits of European Union membership. The percentage of those who view Turkish accession as a positive thing remained fairly constant while a slight increase was seen by those who perceive it to be something negative. The lengthy waiting period has started to wear on the population and many now question if membership to the EU will be worth it. Of all the potential benefits that Turkey would gain from entering the EU, the people believe that the most important benefit would be economic development and lower unemployment, something which would equally benefit the EU as a whole.

    The percentage of the population aged 64 or over is very low in Turkey, only 7%. Slightly over one fifth of Germany’s population, in comparison, is 64 years or over. Many other member states also have high percentages of older populations. If Turkey were to become a member of the EU, its younger population could eventually compensate for the older populations of other countries in the future. The information presented in the bottom left image are evidence that Turkey is also doing considerably well economically in comparison to other European countries. It is a rising power in the Bosporus region, a factor that would be beneficial to not only Europe but also potentially Asia.

  15. The pictures refer to the relationship between Turkey and the EU. Turkey first officially applied in 1987, but they got rejected. The EU demanded that Turkey first solves all it problems and then they could join. But since that time the rules for membership has changed many times and Turkey tries to meet all the requirement, but membership still gets denied.
    The first picture shows a caricature of Erdogan, Turkey’s president, knocking on the door of the EU. Turkey tries now for nearly 30 years to enter this door, but it stayed closed and I think it will stay closed in the next years.
    Turkey still has many problems, especially with human right and extrajudicial killings. Also there is still the unsolved border dispute in Cyprus and they refuse to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Further the law which forbids to insult turkishness impose a restriction on freedom of speech. In the 1980s and 1990s they also had problems to stay a stable democracy. All of those problems have to be solved before Turkey could join the EU.
    But the third picture shows another problem with Turkey. The majority of the Turkish inhabitants are Muslims and Europe is mainly Christian. Due to the growing number of Muslims in Europe many European fear the influence of Islam in the West and want to protect the Western European culture. Groups like Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the islamization of the West) in Germany are founded and demonstrate against the threat of islamization. If Turkey would join the EU the number of Muslims would grow even more. Some Europeans are afraid that more Muslims in the EU member countries could change or destroy the western culture.
    Additional to this problems France and Austria stated that they would carry out a referendum to decide if they would agree to Turkish EU membership or not. Of cores, those referendums would decide against Turkey. As every EU member has to agree to a new member France and Austria would assure that they say know to a membership. Especially with the current climate towards Muslims. France even implemented the referendum in their constitution. But they changed it again. Now they have to have a major majority in the parliament to agree to a new EU member.
    Another additional current problem is President Erdogan and his party AKP. He and the party represent very conservative views and they are violent against civil protest like at the demonstration at the Taksim square in May 2013.Erdogan also changed the law to his advantages. Further he promotes Islamic values and tries to reemployment them in society and law. He is trying to change the progress that Atatürk made.
    The picture in the bottom left compares Turkey economic performance with the economic performance of other European countries. The graphic shows that Turkey is doing way better, only the number of unemployment is higher. But an EU membership would probably also change this.
    I think an EU membership could benefit Turkey and the EU. But they first have to solve their main problems regarding human rights and freedom of speech. Also I think the direction Erdogan is heading too will bring Turkey more far away from a membership.
    Also because Turkey is waiting for nearly 30 years to become a member, their motivation to try declines. Less people in Turkey supports a membership. If the membership process won’t proceed in the next years and unfrozen chapters advance further, Erdogan will maybe stop knocking at the door of the EU and will look for another connection with other countries.

    Franziska Okolo

  16. Brit Jacobson
    26 April 2015

    The five pictures given in this blog represent the problems facing Turkey and it’s hope of entering the European Union. Starting with the top left picture, the image given to us is that of a cartoon that reflects the entire situation between Turkey and the EU extremely well. The man depicted as knocking on the door is a representation of Turkey, whereas the door itself is a symbol of the gateway to the European Union. This cartoon as a whole reflects the reluctance of the countries in the European Union, which can be denoted as the eyes looking through the door, to let Turkey in. Despite the odds stacked against them, Turkey is currently aiming for membership to the European Union in 2023.

    Two of the most reluctant countries in the European Union to let Turkey in, are France and Austria. In order to become a member of the EU, all current members must agree to a new country’s entrance. That being said, one veto and Turkey would not be able to obtain entrance. However, neither France nor Austria wants to be labeled as the country that vetoed them. Nevertheless, in recent years, both of these countries have discovered a loophole and have decided to allow their people to choose Turkey’s fate with a referendum. Odds are that with a referendum in either country, Turkey will be vetoed. Even now that France has stated that they will need a super majority of parliament for turkey to get in instead of a referendum, the odds are stacked against Turkey.

    Sadly today, not only does Turkey have to overcome the reluctance of the European countries in order to get in, but also the reluctance of their own people. Since Turkey first attempted to join the European Union in the 1950s, the people’s support for admittance has dwindled to an all time low. As shown in the chart located in the upper right, in the half year between November of 2006 and June 2007, the percent that regarded the EU as a good thing went down and those who saw it as a bad thing went up. The charts also show that there is a rather large percentage of people who voted that they don’t even know what the benefits for joining the European Union are anymore. This increasing lack of support for admittance to the EU within Turkey might be one of the greatest obstacles that it will have to overcome if it’s entrance date is prolonged any further.

    Despite all of the negative, there are some pros to why Turkey should enter the European Union. Some of these reasons are depicted in the left middle and lower pictures. As depicted in the middle left photo, Turkey is primarily an Islamic state, and currently, the European Union is predominantly Christian. That being said, if they do finally join the EU, they would add to the diversity of the European Union. Turkey is also has a very strong and rising economy, as depicted in the bottom left graphs. If they do end up joining, it can be expected that their economy would help, rather than hinder the European Union, especially with all of the current economic problems facing the EU.

  17. The first photo is about Turkey joining the EU. Turkey has spent decades attempting to join the EU as a member state but has been denied time after time. This was mostly due to founding states wanting to keep Turkey out of the European Union for political or economic reasons. The official reasons for keeping Turkey out of the European Union involve human rights violations, severe cultural and religious differences to the majority of the EU, and what Turkey’s impact on the EU would mean. Not to mention the old argument that Turkey isn’t European and therefore should not be a part of the EU. The second photo showing Turkish women in traditional garb involving full body cloaks is a reference to the severe cultural differences between Turkey and the EU member states. Traditional Turkish values are very conservative, are Islamic, and many of their values are completely opposed to the more Anglicized EU traditions. Such as honor killings, torture, corporal punishment, human rights, even gender roles, and so on. This strict dichotomy between the two leads the EU to refuse Turkey for membership whenever the vote comes up. The third image shows the rising power of turkey. Specifically the rising economic power of the Turkish state. At least in comparison to the majority of European States. This image reinforces the position that Turkey is a valid and beneficial addition to the EU and that it should be allowed to join. It states that Turkey despite some problems would improve the European Union and that the European Union needs member states with Turkey’s level of economic success. The next picture in the top right shows the popularity of Turkey joining the EU from a Turkish citizen’s perspective. It shows how the percentage of citizens for joining the EU has dropped slightly and the number of naysayers has increased. It also shows what the average Turkish citizen thinks of each benefit membership with the European Union would bring. The highest being the development of the economy and a lower rate of unemployment. With the second highest being no knowledge of what important benefits could be gained from EU membership. The least important benefits to the Turkish population are equal rights and an increase in social peace showing that the Turks have no desire to change their traditional values or their human rights policy. Just above that is the desire to reduce bribery and corruption. That this is even a matter to be voted upon speaks poorly for the Turkish population and state. The final picture shows a poster explaining that France is against Turkey joining the EU. This seems to be a nationalistic message aimed at French opinion of Turkey joining the EU. It quite eloquently expresses the feelings of many European member states against the joining of Turkey. The poster seems to state that Turkey not joining the European Union helps to guard France from harmful immigrants. Possibly an immigration stance with Turkey as the current scapegoat for the campaign.

  18. These images all pertain to Turkey and its attempt to ascend into the European Union and both the perceived images cast throughout the EU of Turkey and the benefits of its accession. The top left image is of the current President of Turkey, Erdogan, and a strong leader whom has taken the reigns of Turkey and attempted to create more stability in it. The image depicts a characterchure of Erdogan knocking at the door of the European Union, depicting him in this manor allows for the author to show his view of Erdogan, more different than the Europeans, in an attempt to alienate him and the Turks from the rest of Europe and to help stop any ascension by Turkey into the EU. Following this theme the picture directly below embellishes the fear of the “unknown”, that being Muslims, in Europe. Depicting two women in EU styled burqas, this helps connote to a misunderstanding of their Turkish neighbors, as to Turkey being the most secular of the Muslim states, with policies of secularism starting back during the reign of “Ataturk”. By showing them like this the author is able to create a divide between the old Christian Europe and its arch “enemy” of Islam. Both of these pictures are attempting to instill a homogenous identity for an entire group of people, instead of them being individuals.
    The third image on the left is a statistical map of Turkeys’ Economic growth, National debt, unemployment, age distribution, and of its consumer spending in relation to some of the major States in the European Union. It shows how Turkey is having continued economic growth even though it does not have membership in the EU; this has led to some Turks believing that they are better off without the EU since they are exceeding some of the major powerhouses of the EU, especially as the more time they are not in talks with accession, the more this theme radiates throughout Turkey. On the contrary it also depicts the unemployment of Turkey, which is at 10.4 %, this coupled with the hardships felt by current EU member states also puts forth the notion to continue to deny the entry of Turkey into the EU, as to not have another employment crisis similar to Spain or Greece. The next images shows a poll done in turkey as to what they think is the best benefit of membership to the EU and whether they believe it to be a good or a bad idea between the years of 2006 and 2007. It shows a slight lean in the idea of membership to the EU as being bad, this could be due in part by the growing sentiment that Turkey does not need membership as it is gradually becoming more and more self-sufficient. It also breakdown what they think is the most important benefit of membership status, and according to this survey the lowering of unemployment and economic development weighs mostly on the minds of the participants, which begs the question how quickly are the economic developments in Turkey being felt by the population.

    Connor Maloskie

  19. Turkey has been trying to obtain European Union membership for decades now. Back when they originally tried to join, it was a lot easier than it is now. They were still in negotiations by the time the Copenhagen rules were created so that made it a lot harder for them to join. They have also had to deal with Cyprus, Greek relations, and French and Austrian referendums only making it harder for them to join. Most of the criteria to join the EU, they have meet and they are also apart of many other European organizations leading turkey to believe that they deserve to be in the European Union. All of these pictures deal with Turkey joining the EU.
    They first picture shows the European Union’s reluctance to let Turkey join the EU. Turkey has been an associate member of the EU since the 1950’s and has been trying to obtain admission into the organization for decades. Their application has been frozen many times and has currently been in negotiations for years. Certain EU member states have even frozen some of Turkeys Acquis chapters to slow down the process as well. The EU for year has just seems to be trying to keep Turkey out. The EU has told them that they are not able to join until they get Cyprus taken care of (which is basically a way of saying they can never join) and that both France and Austria just have referendums before turkey can join (another way to keep Turkey out). It is very clear that some states do not want Turkey in the EU.
    Over the past few decades, with all the new reforms and rules that Turkey must meet to join the EU, Turkey has started to get reform fatigue. There have just been too many new rules and regulations placed on them to join the EU that the decision to join the EU has lost popularity in Turkey as the top right picture shows. Only around a declining 50% of turkey still even wanted to join in 2007. Most people didn’t even know why joining the EU would benefit Turkey.
    The EU is a Christian club. Every member state has a majority Christian religion. If Turkey were able to join, it would be the first majority Islam member state. Many think this would be good for the European Union. That it would give them more diversity, which many think would be an advantage for the EU.
    The bottom left picture, is a good representation of why turkey should join the EU. Their economy is booming compared to many European countries, and their national debt is lower than most EU member countries. Its national debt is half that of Germany and France, two of the EU’s most powerful countries, and way less than half of Italy’s national debt. They do have a higher unemployment rate, but with the help of the EU, probably because only 7% of their population is over the age of 64. Most of the population is Turkey is of working age so with a high unemployment rate, we see a lot of Turkish workers in Germany and other parts of the EU. This is just another reason for Turkey to join the EU since they have workers in EU member countries that do get benefits form the EU for working in those countries (like the ability to work in another EU member state after working their current job for so many years.)
    The bottom right picture depicts something that I have mentioned earlier. France has a referendum on Turkish acceptance to the EU. It has now been changed to a majority vote in parliament and with the current government in charge, a majority for Turkish acceptance is near impossible.

  20. All these photos share the commonality of Islam in Europe. If Turkey was to become a member of the European Union, it would be the first Islam country in the organization. The top left photo portrays the perception the European Union seems to have about Turkey wanting membership. The photo on the middle, left-hand side shows two protesters standing in support for Islam in the European Union. Turkey’s application for membership has highlighted how concerns over cultural differences impact European Union policy. But, contrary to popular belief, Turkey is more similar to Europe than many believe.
    Turkey was one of the founding members of various European organizations that still exist today. Turkey was a charter member of the United Nations and was invited to be part of the foundings of the organization. The country entered in World War II on the side of the Allies and later became a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey has also been involved with other European Organizations, like: the Council of Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Western European Union. The point is Turkey has been a fundamental member of all of these organizations that are recognized by Western Europe. The country has always been regarded as Western European, even during its Ottoman Era, when it was called the “Sick Man of Europe.” Turkey originally applied for membership before the Copenhagen Criteria and yet it is required to satisfy all 35 chapters of the Acquis, which has set back its membership by decades. Now, Turkey is suffering from membership lag and the general public is advocating it is not worth their energy to keep trying to join the European Union.
    The top right photo highlights poll responses in November 2006 and June 2007 about the most important benefits of European Union membership. In that seven month time span, the percentage responding barely changed. Most of the respondents believed that the most important benefits of the European Union membership was economic development and lower unemployment with 23%. Only 10% of responders believed that European Union membership would increase Turkey’s international influence. Clearly, the general public does not believe that by allowing Turkey to join the European Union it will increase their chance at world dominance.
    The bottom left photo illustrates Turkey’s economic performance compared to selected European countries. Turkey is growing annually by 8.9%, while Germany is the closest at 3.6%. Also, private consumer spending is increasing annually by 6.8%, with France only at 1.5% growth annually. If Turkey was to be a member of the European Union, it would become one of the largest countries, population-wise and economic-wise in the organization. The European Union would have an increase in its economic ability with the inflow of revenue coming from Turkey. Also, the general public would benefit with employment and increase in services. Before Turkey can join the European Union, it must establish a satisfactory Customs Union Agreement, outlining its economic and trade policies.
    The bottom right photo expresses France’s opinion of Turkey’s membership. The sign roughly translates into “Turkey + Constitution = No, I’ll keep France.” (I did not take French, so I apologize). France has been one of Turkey’s opponents in joining the European Union. France passed a law that Turkey’s accession into the European Union had to be voted on by their general public. Greece adopted a similar policy and both policies are respected by the European Union. With these policies in existence, it is an automatic denial of Turkey’s accession into the European Union. As of today though, France has abolished its voting regulation, but Greece’s is still in place. But, talks between Turkey and Greece have been improving over the last few years.
    Overall, Turkey’s membership into the European Union would force the organization to redo its cultural policies to incorporate a new cultural society. The European Union would finally get some diversity into its program that could better its policies and regulations and in turn, better the world. On the other hand, the complete opposite could happen and the European Union could go into turmoil and dissolve. The later may be exaggerated, but it is the perception of many and must be considered. Unfortunately, it will still be a few years or a decade, before the world finds out if Turkey will ever officially become a member of the European Union.

    -Brittney Stump
    740 words

  21. Cameron Baker
    26 April 2015

    All of these pictures work together to show the reluctance of the EU to admit Turkey as a member country.
    We see the leader of Turkey, president Erdogan, appearing to be knocking rather violently on the door that represents the EU. This can be interpreted as Turkey and its people are becoming extremely irritated and tired of their attempt at an EU accession. The look on his face in the cartoon is annoyed and confused. While there are obviously conditions that Turkey still needs to meet to gain approval by the EU, this cartoon is simply showing how tired Turkey has become in its attempts to join. They are at the point where they just want the EU to finally open the door, for they have been “knocking” since 1961. This picture also brings up the fact that Erdogan and his government are extremely suppressive in terms of the press. He does not like the way he is portrayed in political cartoons, and because of this, Turkish reporters are often persecuted. Just one more thing that Turkey does that the EU doesn’t approve of. Also, it is important to note that the eyes peeking through the door seem to offer the perspective that the EU is scared of Turkey and what it stands for. This may be the fact that Turkey is a Muslim nation, and the EU may see that as a threat, or perhaps the fact that Turkey is such a large nation with a large army, which also could be interpreted as a threat.

    In the top right image, there is no label on whose poll this was, but it can be inferred that this was a poll taken among the Turkish people in regards to what they think of Turkey joining the EU. Obviously, we see that the popular opinion is that a Turkish accession to the EU is becoming less favorable. Also, there is a significant percentage of people who don’t even know what benefits might come from an EU membership. This is notable because it shows the apathy of the Turkish people, which is something that plays into how the EU nations view Turkey and question its allegiance as a potential member.

    The picture of the women in the veils brings to light once more the Muslim question in the EU and how it serves as an underlying theme in the EU’s consideration to accept Turkey. Because the European Union is traditionally Christian for the most part, the Muslim culture in Turkey is something that the EU is not used to, and because of this, it is a constant problem because the EU must learn to accept or continue to deny. As such, it is a double edged sword. One, because the EU may become quite progressive in accepting Turkey and its Muslim culture. Or rather let it continue to serve as a barrier to Turkeys accession.

    The next picture shows us a strong argument for why Turkey should be accepted. The economy in Turkey is growing at an alarming rate, and the EU would most likely benefit greatly from its membership. Not only is the growth evident, but it is the amount of growth that makes a Turkey membership so enticing. The growth is larger than some of the strongest members of the EU like France and Germany, and because of this it would seem that countries like that would want a slice of the pie, and ultimately accept Turkey. Not only is the growth significant, but a mutual benefit would be achieved because the EU membership would no doubt lower Turkeys unemployment rate. But even though this is the case and even if Turkey passed all of the requirements and chapters of the EU, they still need to gain approval from each and every country. And as shown in the bottom right picture, this may not be easily accomplished in places like France and Austria, where anti-Turkey opinion is very strong. This is something that needs to be addressed because if this persists, they will never gain the approval they need.

  22. The bottom left picture is of the economic factors in reference to Turkey’s EU accession. Their economy was at highest in 2011 under new leadership and was drastically higher than the rest of Europe’s. Europe was facing a lot of instability financially but Turkey’s national debt of GDP was much lower than average. The growth of the economy could also be attributed to it’s size, but still, it continues to thrive in economically hard times even though it has high unemployment.

    The bottom right picture is a picture from the National French, a French right wing party. This part has great holds towards Turkey wanting to join the EU, as well as most of France and other European countries. A lot of why France doesn’t want Turkey to join the EU could be because of internal EU interest in strengthening other members that are struggling (such as Italy, Greece, and Spain). Several countries have said that they will hold referendums about Turkey’s membership to the EU in order to keep Turkey from countries for several reasons.

    The top left picture is another illustration of the EU’s reluctance of Turkey becoming a member. The picture is of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, knocking on the door of the EU while the other members appear to be looking out. The looking out of the EU door represents how unresponsive the EU is being to Turkey wanting to get accepted, whenever they have been trying to for a very long time. Turkey has been faced with more and more hurdles and resistance from the EU and EU member in hopes that Turkey will not be accepted (or maybe just give up?).

    The top right picture is a poll representing the public’s opinion of the EU, and what benefits of the membership are most important to them. Overall, from 2006 to 2007, not too much changed on the percentage responding Good or Bad to the EU. The poll very well represents the obvious concerts of the European union, as they struggle with their economy. 23% want economic development and lower employment. It kind of shocks me that a pretty steep 19% “don’t know” what benefits are important to them. Free movement of citizens throughout Europe was the second most important benefit of the European Union membership, which makes sense in reverence to all the ordinances and regulations in place now restraining that freedom.

  23. Derek Kiyoshi Randolph Fukumoto
    Dr. Davidson
    Blog Assignment #5

    The connecting theme of this weeks photos is known colloquially as the Turkish Question. Throughout the short 20th century, Turkey can truly be defined as ‘unique’ within the context of their geo-political location and population composition. Under Ataturk after the First World-War, Turkey was the first middle eastern country to rapidly attempt to ‘westernize’ in the heart of Asia. Despite these noble efforts, and accomplishments, Turkey’s ability to continue in a secular path of modernity has continually been challenged. The pictures in question generally represent the primary issues we are facing today in the accession process.
    The main points of contention today, is determining how motivated Turkey’s political leaders –and their constituents– are towards assimilating to European Union standards. Simply by accepting that the application process was granted at all, Turkey has been granted a great opportunity to join their potential neighbors. Unfortunately the process has been long, drawn out, and ultimately has been halted by the failure to prove progress in assimilating to the chapters of acquis.
    Despite the blatant failure to demonstrate a desire to meet standards based off of political reforms, far more questions are generated regarding the debate. Not only has Turkey failed to progress, but many of the areas where they have failed are considered irrefutably unacceptable by European standards. A lack of progress in human rights including but not limited to: extrajudicial killings, increasing non-secular institutions, diminishing freedom of press and speech, and oppression of minorities. These atrocities are carving a deeper and deeper line between the turkish population who only has access to a censored version of media. Following this trend, by censoring the media, Turkey is effectively rejecting their opportunity within the EU. Sadly this is seen as a potential loss for both Europeans and Turkish nationals because had the government been more motivated, quality of life based on the Human Development Index would likely improve with greater tenacity.

  24. These pictures show various problems of why Turkey will most likely not enter the European Union in the near future. In the top left image it reflects that Erdogan, the Turkish president is not being taken seriously by cartoonists. Erdogan recently has been under scrutiny for his continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, which only lessens the chance of Turkey getting in the EU. On April 16th the European Parliament put forward a vote that urged Turkey to use the anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians as an opportunity to recognize the Armenian People. Erdogan viewed this as an expression of enmity against Turkey. Erdogan said that he wants to leave history to the historians and move forward with a common purpose. The European Parliament continues to recognize the events as genocide. (1987 EP described it as genocide). Turkey is continuing to deny the Armenian Genocide. Just a couple of days ago on the anniversary of the genocide (April 24th), Turkeys president Erdogan still didn’t use the word genocide. Concluding that they still deny what exactly took place. The president described it as “sorrowful events”. (Read at Mother Mary Church). These events have only further driven a wedge between Turkey and the EU. Turkey shouldn’t join until they recognize the events of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey views it as hypocritical of the EU by saying that they should recognize the issues of WW1 and WW2 first.
    The EU is reluctant to let Turkey in. Part of why they don’t want Turkey in is because Turkeys identity is so different from the EU’s. Turkey is a mainly Islamist country and historically, countries with Islam differed in ideologies from many of the countries in the EU. The EU fears the Islamic nature of Turkey. The middle left image reflects an increased Islamic presence in Turkey. Ataturk was the founder of Turkey and pushed to make it a more secular nation. He did this by educating the people in science. He also banned Islamic clothes in certain environments. These women wearing Islamic clothes shows that Islam is making a come back in Turkey. The EU fears this especially with the rise of Islamic Extremism in some parts of the world. For example the terrorist organization ISIS. The EU doesn’t want a country that could be volatile like parts of the Middle East.
    Another problem with Turkish Accession into the EU is the public referendums. Public referendums are often used as a way of not letting a country into the EU but not exactly saying no. They put the vote to the people and the people usually vote no. There is a split in Turkish opinion right now if they want to be in the EU. In Turkey joins the EU, it will benefit them economically. However it is unlikely they join due to how many reforms are on them and they still need to fix many human rights problems they have.

    -Tyler Arkes

  25. The photos provided this week help tell the story of Turkey’s prolonged accession talks with the European Union.

    The top left picture shows the current President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdoğan, beating on the door of the EU while current members of the group hide. This cartoon portrays Erdoğan as clearly wanting to get into the EU; however, it seems that lately Turkey and its citizens have become less ready to enter the alliance with other European nations. The main reason for using Erdoğan (holding a Turkish flag) was probably to show the most recognized symbols of Turkey, but it turns out to be ironic because of article 301. This article, enforced severely by Erdoğan, makes it a crime to insult Turkey (as the cartoon of Erdoğan is somewhat doing). Either way, it is a funny way to show what Turkey’s accession into the EU has become, they work to get in only to be shown a closed door. The cartoon could have been more amusing if nations like Cyprus (or any of “The Ten”) were in the background on a moving walkway into the EU to show how easy it was for them to get in, but still the point about Turkey’s current obstruction is made.

    The middle left picture shows two women wearing traditional Muslim niqabs only made notable by the fact that the design on them is that of the EU flag. This is pertinent to Turkey in that it helps to portray a major roadblock in there accession; they are a predominantly Muslim country. While this is not an issue that will ever actually be stated by the EU, it is a latent issue that must be overcame if Turkey is to join. This is ironic because the motto of the EU is “united by diversity” yet they still have dormant racism helping to motivate their criteria to join, even if they will not admit it freely.

    The top right image shows side-by-side Turkish public polls (from 2006 and 2007) on what they believed to be the ‘most important benefits of EU membership.’ In the data, we see that over the yearlong period, the amount that wanted to join the EU only slightly decreased. Also, it is important to note the most important benefit, in Turkish citizens’ minds, was the economic benefits that EU membership would provide. This is counter to what I personally thought their number one benefit would be as I thought border less travel into Europe would be the greatest gain. This is probably due to the fact that over 2 million Turks already live in Germany so border less travel would not really change much, they have already made their way into Europe.

    The bottom left image helps to show Turkey’s greatest evidence for why they should be accepted into the EU: their booming economy. The image provides data on Turkey’s economy alongside other top EU economies, namely Germany. Essentially, Turkey’s economy has improved enormously over the last decade. Most interesting is that Turkey has beaten Germany (the best economy of the EU) in overall economic growth. This economic growth is Turkey’s asset that is most desired by the EU. Turkey’s extremely stable and growing economy could potentially help to offset the struggles of the EU nations such as Greece.

    The bottom right image is the most damning evidence verifying why Turkey will not be allowed entry into the European Union anytime soon. The image shows a French flier basically saying Turkey and their Constitution do not belong inside the EU. This is important because the French and Austrian civilian sentiment could be the only thing eventually keeping Turkey out. These nations rely on popular referendums from their respective citizens on whether they will agree to let Turkey in. Currently, to become a member of the EU, a country needs unanimous acceptance from all current EU nations. As seen by the flier, France and Austria are in no rush to help Turkey gain entrance.

    Overall, the five images show the immense barriers in the way of Turkish accession into the EU. While their economy is booming, the public opinion inside Turkey and out (in the case of France and Austria) will most likely keep them out of the EU for the near future.

  26. Turkish accession to the EU faces multiple difficulties due to anti-Turkish sentiment within the EU itself and Turkey’s internal resistance to membership. The political cartoon of the incumbent Turkish President Erdogan trying to gain access to the EU depicts the restricted nature of the EU itself. It is notable the Erdogan hides the Turkish flag behind his back; Turkish nationalism has been criticized by some EU members as a potential threat. Declining interest in Turkish accession from Turks themselves is also reflected in Erdogan’s nonchalant knock on the door of the EU. Due to fatigue from having chapters of the acquis frozen and stalling of negotiations many Turks have lost faith in the benefits of potential membership.

    A poll of Turkish interest in EU membership follows the cartoon. A slight decline in the desire to continue the accession process was observed from 2006-07; respondents that thought membership would be “good” remained around the same proportion while some were more decisively negative in 2007. This is alarming to supporters of Turkish membership as over a short period of time people became increasingly negative. Almost a quarter thought that reduced unemployment and other general economic developments would be the crucial benefits of accession. This is not surprising as unemployment rates in Turkey surpass some of the EU’s strongest members. I also find it notable that approximately a fifth of people “didn’t know” benefits to membership; perhaps stalled negotiations have led to disinterest and apathy among some citizens.

    Cultural differences between Turkey (the border between the East and the West) and the EU have also caused some criticism of accession. It is interesting that the photograph of the women in EU flag-hijabs is included as modern Turkish society generally pressures against their use in favor of headscarves and more liberal attire. This particular image has been reproduced many times as a form of propaganda regarding the Islamization of Turkish society. Multiple secular Turks (particularly those associated with the government) have concerns regarding radical Islamic groups. Although the EU itself touts its diversity amongst its members many fear the potential addition of an Eastern culture.

    Although there are many barriers to Turkish membership the relative strength of the Turkish economy would be a boon to the EU upon further economic integration and entrance to the Eurozone. In light of the threat of a Grexit and high amounts of debt throughout multiple EU members Turkey’s economy could benefit European markets by moving increasing amounts of Turkish consumer spending to slowed EU economies. Turkey’s economy is growing at over double the rate of all EU members; as it becomes further removed from the Great Recession it will only continue to grow at greater rates.

    The final image of the propaganda for a “no” vote to a referendum on Turkish membership and a constitution is stark in its xenophobia with the phrase “Je garde la France!”. Because all EU members have the right to veto public referendums from France and Austria both severely threatened potential Turkish accession. Although the French referendum was later tabled this poster exemplifies the height of anti-Turkish sentiment held by some in the EU. Many barriers remain to Turkish accession.

    -Aaron Anderson

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