Monday, August 23, 2010

Turkme or Turkeu!?

No, the title is not a typo.

As you might know, Turkey and the European Union have been in the process of admitting Turkey to enter the union of nowadays 27 countries. This process has been, to say the least, complicated and uncertain to be completed. Is Turkey worth of becoming an EU member or should it be focused on the Middle East?

Decades ago, Turkey showed its interest of becoming a member of the European Union. After starting a Customs Union with the EU things look promising for further cooperation between the two parties. In 2005 the negiotiations commenced. 5 years later, entrance of Turkey looks further away than ever, partly because of the behaviour of Turkish politics, ignoring agreements made earlier and partly because of the attitude of some EU members, with the French government on front, fearing the great influence Turkey will have in the union.

In my opinion Turkey should become EU member, purely based upon economic motives. Turkey provides the EU a great potential of industrial and labor force. With its relatively young population, some demographic problems in Western Europe can be tackled. For example, The Netherlands is about to experience a great lack of personnel in the care branch. The so called 'baby boomers' (people born right after the end of WWII) turn 65 soon, retire and need more care for the upcoming 20 years. Meanwhile the gap that arises can't be filled sufficiently by the local youngsters, so it seems necessary that labor needs to be 'imported' from countries like Turkey.

On the other hand, Turkey provides lots of opportunities to the EU. Although the economic activities are mainly concentrated in the western part of the country, a lot of great spots elsewhere provide investors value for money. Of course it takes guts, but if taken, Turkey can become the jewel of the EU...

So, will Turkey be part of the EU (TurkEU) or of the Middle East(TurkME)? I sincerely hope for the first, perhaps because of my own interest. It'll take lots of effort, based on one thing in particular: trust. Trust in the future, trust in stability, trust in the ability to cooperate.

Day Opening - August 23

Austin City Limits Music Festival