LOCAL > 74 percent of Turkey 'lost hopes for EU'


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DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Turks are entertaining ever-diminishing beliefs that their country will one day join the European Union, a recent poll has indicated, citing the financial crisis in the 17-nation eurozone and the reluctance of European leaders.

According to a poll conducted by the German-Turkish Foundation for Education and Scientific Research (TAVAK), around 74 percent of Turkish people do not believe the country will acquire EU membership.

The percentage of people who say “Turkey will become an EU member” witnessed a steep fall in 2012, decreasing from 34.8 percent to 17 percent in just a year.

The number of people who believe the country can join the EU moved up slightly this year to 19 percent, but the number remains very low compared to the beginning of membership negotiations in 2004.

The biggest driver behind the Turkish people’s loss of belief is their increasing economic confidence. Around two-thirds of respondents responded “no,” when they were asked whether Turkey economically needs the EU.

Both Turkey’s eye-catching success in diversifying export markets to unburden its reliance on the European market and the eurozone’s unrelieved financial troubles, which have taken the wind out of its sails, have impacted that, the report said.

European Union countries, which accounted for some 64 percent of Turkey’s exports in 2012, received only 34 percent of Turkish goods sent abroad in 2012. The EU is still the largest export partner of the country, but being able to raise its exports to new regions such as Africa, the share of which jumped to 34 percent last year from 2 percent in 2002, has boosted the country’s confidence.

In line with this perception, the emergence of the possibility of joining alternative organizations, such as the Shanghai Five, and creating new economic alliances, have reduced the EU’s lure for Turkey even further.

German negativity

Moreover, the reluctance of several powerful EU member countries, with Angela Merkel’s Germany at the top, has heightened the skepticism among the Turkish public, the poll results showed. In addition to this, growing Islamophobia and racism are other reservations.

Some 64 percent of survey respondents said they see Germany as the country constituting the largest obstacle in front of Turkey’s EU accession. While around a quarter of respondents see France as the biggest one, Greek Cyprus and Greece followed them at 5 and 4 percent, respectively.

Turkey’s membership bid has been virtually frozen for three years, held back by political obstacles and resistance in some EU countries, including German conservatives who object to Turkey’s accession on the grounds that its size would “overburden” the bloc.

The poll was conducted among 1,210 people between Aug. 20 and Sept. 2 in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Kayseri, Diyarbakır and Artvin.


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Notice on comments

Suhail Shafi

10/10/2013 2:09:49 AM

Just as well. Turkey's economic performance in the last decade makes it abundantly clear Turkey can do well without the imploding Tower of Babel known as the EU.


10/9/2013 2:58:26 PM

Baris, thanks for the ethics lecture but I don't see you doing the same to your fellow compatriots. When it comes to "ideological waffle" they are the best.

Hans-Joachim "Terrorist" Zierke

10/9/2013 2:39:46 PM

DAVE IMPALER, the "modern" Europe with foundations by the Greeks, strengthening by the Romans, stabilization by Christianity, reformation by Renaissance and Reformation was a slaughterhouse, in which those Protestants and Catholics managed to depopulate major parts of it, and "modern" examples killed some dozen millions. When some Europeans decided to end that 1000 year tradition of slaughter, we founded the EU. And of course, a democratic and human-rights-respecting Turkey would be part of it.


10/9/2013 12:59:49 PM

Thanks for reciting your romantic definition of Europe, DAVE, it's been a while! The version I remember best is the one which starts with the phrase "Europe has nothing to do with geography", then follows with the ideological waffle you've just recited, carefully worded to leave out certain groups of people unpalatable to you, while including the Christian Americans and Australians.


10/9/2013 3:52:39 AM

Murat, foundations of modern Europe were laid by the Greeks, strengthened by the Romans, stabilized by Christianity, added by over 4,000 years of shared history, reformed and modernized by the fifteenth-century Renaissance and Reformation. NO turkey is no way part of Europe.

Orkun Osken

10/9/2013 2:41:13 AM

couple of corrections read these, those letters mentioned q w x are not part Turkish alphabet there were banned to promote use of Turkish on state language those letters are used by Kurdish or Arabic speakers in Latin alphabet to write some Arabic letters. Turkey as a State some laws which defines the State and Republic can not be changed as they are the pillars of Democratic Republic. There isn't anything wrong if you wear headscarf for religious beliefs but for political view isn't right

Nikos K.

10/8/2013 11:10:49 PM

I really don't believe that AKP actually wants Turkey to join the EU anyway. A glance at today's HDN proves it: a TV presenter got fired because of her dress and new regulation gives the police the power to act pro-actively by dataining possible protesters before the even protest. I'm sure it is very convenient to blame others but things like these bring Turkey further and further from Europe and closer to Iran. After all the Sultan's goal is to establish an Islamic Republic, or isn't it?


10/8/2013 11:09:55 PM

"..did people really think, that a country, which prosecuted the usage of certain letters of the alphabet, or which prosecuted just the suggestion(!) of ending the draft, or thousands similar items " For a moment I thought you were talking about France...


10/8/2013 10:40:26 PM

@anton supertramp. Here are Wiki's GNP per capita 2012 figures . Greece $24790 , Turkey $17500. Regards

ilker avni

10/8/2013 9:20:48 PM

America america Eu payments are transit fee,s.Turkeys future lies in the east,and thats where turkeys exports go,turkey with its arab,turkic cousins in the east is where turkeys markets are growing,tourism is booming in turkey,turkish airways breaking records each year,why? Because turkey did the right thing looking to the east.
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