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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Friday, December 17, 2004

Turkey Invited

So as we all expected, the Turks have been given an invitation to start talks on EU membership late next year. A little grandstanding aside, it seems as if Turkey will accept the invitation sometime today. As with all such summits, the rhetoric is exaggerated and full of diplomatic intrigue. A couple of nice examples:
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the 3 October date would give Turkey enough time to allow its parliament to ratify the move.
Mr Berlusconi is obviously not up to date with the way the Turkish Parliament works. As a Dutchman commented to me recently, Turkey is a country that can change its law overnight in response to a negative piece of news in a European Newspaper. I think the date is rather of Mr Chirac’s choosing. But European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso hailed the offer.
"Tonight the EU has opened its door to Turkey," he said.
I know its what Turkey wants but I still get the vision of a cell door when I hear these words. From the Turks:
Mr Erdogan has not yet responded, but in a newspaper interview published on Thursday he cautiously welcomed EU leaders' backing for the Turkish bid. He promised to scrutinise "every word" of the EU leaders' decisions.
Meaning, we will bluff and complain and make threatening noises, before finally Kowtowing to the EU leaders some of whom have spent the last few months maligning our country, culture and religion. Seeing as Turkey is a country where the contents of the Constitutional treaty has hardly been discussed at all and where joining the EU is all about being accepted as “European”, don’t look for a rejection of this decision. Turks are already saying, we are European, they accepted us. In time they will understand that being European is a meaningless description, whilst EU membership has many costs and few benefits.

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