Turkey and European UnionWhen life ends, cells begin to separate, decompose, decay, and smell. When life is at the very beginning, cells start to multiply, differ and merge to one unity – one living body. It is perhaps one of the basic principles in all the universe. Whatever political system people try to develop it fails after time if the system is far from basic universal principles. Therefore, the system that binds countries and nationalities in one unity is on the right track. The schedule to create the European Union is old a half century. More and more countries are becoming EU member states or candidates. It is big responsibility for EU government to monitor, control, and make decisions for such large piece of the world. Currently, the most problematic country applying to join EU is Turkey. Although many Europeans firmly protest against joining Turkey, doing so would bring many advantages to both EU and Turkey since Turkish economics is very quickly growing. Turkey in EU would create new economic and trade strategies and mutually improve prejudice and moral deficiencies in all cultures.
Economy in Turkey was transforming over twenty years. While they were active in macroeconomics and oriented to international business, Turkey has developed most economic sectors. Despite Turkey has encountered some obstacles, its economy has become flexible to fluctuation in the world. Europe should admire Turkey for its ability to renew its economics. They experienced two significant crises since the World War II. In November 2000 and February 2001 when debt to GNP ratio almost doubled within the year, economic activity decreased and unemployment increased. However, during last years Turkey was able to make a huge step in economic growth. They focused mainly on financial markets and banking sector. They put their effort in supporting a sustainable development of macro-economic balances, stabilizing the money and foreign exchange markets, and restructuring the banking sector. Reforming process included privatization, social security and agriculture, telecommunication sectors and energy, and many parts of public sector that include public financial management. From 1993 to 2002 economic growth culminated about 2, 8 percent on average. In 2003 economic growth reached to 5, 9 % and in 2004 it raises to 9, 9 %.
This growth level was the peak of the growing, but Turkey still monitors economic growth about 5-6 percent on average (Turkish Embassy, n.d.). Considering that many other much smaller countries have had long-term difficulties to cope with inflation and economic stabilization, Turkey showed their excellent capability in economic policy to survive in the competitive world which is one of the basic requirements for becoming a credible member of the European Union. Turkey is also placed in very good strategic location between Europe and Asia. This land is one of the most important key points that require infrastructure to develop transportation and communication. This area will also be attractive to energy suppliers. This could develop business connecting Europe with Turkey, Turkey with Central Asia, and Black Sea Economic Cooperation countries. Thus Turkey could become a crucial bridge between Europe and the biggest continent all over the world (Turkish Embassy, n.d.). Moreover, structural changes in economic area that Turkey has passed will be suitable for foreign investment. Therefore, if the international trade within the EU penetrates Turkey even more in future, it will cause a positive effect on economics between EU and Turkey. That would certainly work because Turkey experienced its most significant growth in foreign trade just after neglecting its import substitution policies.
It is worth to point out the fact that Turkish GNP increased by more than 50% after they opened new markets within the wide range that covers countries from the far Asia to Latin America. Turkish external trade volume has increased by more than 160 billion dollars in 2004. The overall GNP was 301 billion dollars in the same year. Another interesting point is the fact that Turkey earned about 2, 9 billion dollars in 1980 and 63 billion dollars in 2004.Turkey has also decided to take advantage of their location to make business with energy. Besides having strategic place they possess natural resources of oil and gas. They plane to start with a great water project consisted of 22 dams, many irrigation networks, and 19 hydroelectric power plants situated inside and outside their country. It is considered to be one of the 9 biggest projects in the world. It is called the Southeastern Anatolian Project. It will control 28% water potential in Turkey and irrigate 17 000 square kilometers of ground which will create 50% of more arable land. 22 water power plants in the project will supposed to produce 27 billion kw/h of electric power (Turkish Embassy, n.d.). Those power plants could use their quantity of electric energy to supply plenty of new big factories.
Irrigation networks could help to produce more agriculture products and create many new work opportunities in EU. On the other hand, Muslims were often accused of breaching human rights or freedom of speech. In some cases they can embody real threat. They use to diffuse fear among common people. Huge amount of Muslims behave really dogmatic and fanatical in their belief. Certain Muslim obsession intrudes people’s freedom. People might have fear to freely express their opinion or openly say what they do not like about Muslims. It is unforgivable when someone in his or her faith kills human beings. For example, in November 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by Muslims because of his movie about violence against women in Islamic society (BBC, 204). The film, based on reality, portrayed dark aspects of Muslim manners in their community. The script of this movie named Submission was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo Van Gogh. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a 34 year-old woman who abandoned her Islamic faith.
She did not mean to offense Islamic people, but to get others to pay attention to what Islamic women have to face. She wanted to disclose this violence because as she stated, many Dutch are concerned about saying it loudly. Those Dutch do not want to cause religious tension or to be considered racist. The movie is about four constantly abused women. one was forced into a prearranged marriage with a man she hated, second was raped by her uncle who consequently made her pregnant, another was whipped because she made love with her boyfriend, and the last one was regularly hit by his husband. There were verses from Koran written on a naked woman’s body shown in some scenes. This Koranic script was mixed with red traces of a whip on her skin. The script on her body said that man might treat woman disrespectfully, and that those who were guilty of adultery were supposed to be punished with 100 swipes of whip (Simons, 2004). It was beautiful art form how to picture the crazy idea written in Koran. It was as if the Koranic scripts were just wounds on human body.However, if Muslims commit homicide against people who openly show the cruel picture of Islamic society, they just make this famous no matter how much this picture is trustworthy.
Slaughtering Theo Van Gogh in short time after publishing the movie Muslims just confirmed their violent nature in real life. They cause only hatred in such a way that will create just difficulties in Turkish effort to join the EU. Nevertheless, it does not mean that EU should isolate this culture from the other cultures. Just in the opposite way, UE should open their eyes and integrate this culture in its society in order to improve morality and ethics. It is clear that it will not be easy; therefore, Turkey still has to wait for EU accession. No doubt any woman or man does not like a moral codex that allows treating them like animals. Yet even animal rights ban such a manners. It is more than probable that if Muslim people were practically integrated in society that valuates different ethics, Muslims would be sooner or later positively affected in certain way. In Netherland, the movie Submission launched a debate on Muslim questions related to adaptation and modernizing Islam in the EU. Among 16 million people in Netherland there live one million Muslim in there. There are still more and more Islamic women who are less afraid to speak out about violence against them. Ali Hirsi belongs just to this kind of women who would like to widen the message that they are unsatisfied in their degrading role.
They believe that Islam can exist without brutal manners like genital cutting, or changing women’s freedom just to slavery in their house (Simons, 2004). People can see Islamic women wearing scarf and sun-glasses on their faces hiding large bruises around their eyes. It is possible to see such women walking down the streets even in developed Europe today. Some Dutch nurses were shocked after they experienced many situations when a scared young girl went to undergo surgery to conceal from her future husband that she was not a virgin. Ironically, on the wedding day such Muslim woman stays side by side with her Muslim man while she is stitched up by Christian, atheist, or Jewish hands. Some of those fighting women argue that such transformation of Islam should be heading just by Islamic women especially in Europe (Simons, 2004).Of course, not just Muslims are supposed to make moral changes, but also the Europeans. People in Europe or wherever in the world have developed huge porn-industry, for example. Western culture is strongly affected by media that gradually strengthen explicit porn in order to remain them exciting to people. If people grown in Asian cultures wanted to maintain their virtues and moral values, they should rather stay in the community of their own religion. Therefore, if EU wants to take advantage of strategic Turkish location between Europe and Asia, they should respect the values of the eastern cultures originated in India and China as well.
They should realize that forming the UE is a stage of evolution of the entire civilization throughout a long-term process. It is the right way to develop world peace and tolerance by patience and recognizing different habits. The more cultures EU would like to join, the more culture difficulties they have to solve now. As the experiences show, the way how to develop human society and integrate more cultures is not to create one culture, but eliminate violence and animal behavior in all societies.As a matter of fact, Turkey has long-term problems with Kurdish, their national minority. Kurdish is still fighting for their human rights, but Turkey uses harsh means against them. For example, recently, several weeks ago, Turkish military and police attacked demonstrating people by tanks, batons, tear gas, and mortal weapons. Many people who defended human rights, Kurdish trade, or politics were imprisoned, killed or injured by military. 15 people have died during this riot including young children (Thomas, 2006). This current not democratic Turkish attitude is the issue solving within the EU negotiations.
Another problem that Turkey has to solve to that they will have to pay a huge amount of money to Greek Cypriots. Guardian, British journal stated that Turkey must pay hundreds of million pounds to people who lost their houses and lands in 1974. Turkish burst into northern Cyprus and took great property of Cypriots. Now, they are supposed to give Cypriots their money. More than 200,000 inhabitants of this island were forced to leave their homes during civil war. Nikos Papaconstantinou, a spokesman for the Greek embassy in London, said that Greek Cypriots “have sovereign title rights to property and that is something the European court recognises and Turkey should do something about it if it is serious about joining the European Union.
It can't put these issues under the rug” (MacAskill, 2005). As a result, Turkey will strive to repair their reputation and pay their debts because EU joining is strong motivation for them. Consequently, proposal to Turkey to become EU membership had positive effects to serious questions.Finally, considering all consequences, process of merging Turkey with EU could make huge progress on the way to create democracy. It would be also something like a little step to a new stage of humanity. It means that people would fulfill their mission as human beings. Thus the world composed of numbers of cultures could work like one living body in which every organ would work for the whole body without loosing its own identity.
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Turkey & European Union
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