Friday, July 15, 2016

Turkey And The EU

When Britain was going through its tug of war over the EU referendum, one of the hot topics was immigration from Turkey when that country joins the EU.

In 2013 I wrote about how the EU had made Turkey's accession to the EU conditional upon Turkey improving its human rights record. I said how pathetic it was that the country might improve its human rights in order to get into a club rather than that it would improve its human rights record to better improve itself as a nation.

In 2014 I wrote about how the EU executive was pushing for Turkey's accession to the EU. I suggested it was because of a fear that the country would be pulled into the vortex that is Syria and Iraq.

Now in conversation with Andrew Marr on television in March of this year, the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said with a knowing look that it will be a long time before Turkey is accepted into the EU.

No sooner said than the news is full of the new deal that is being hammered out. Turkey will do its part to stop the influx of refugees from Syria in return for financial aid and a speeding up of its accession to the EU. Meanwhile, the newspaper Zaman has been subverted and taken over by State officials and the regime is becoming more and more repressive.

And now Britain doesn't have to worry about immigration from Turkey - at least if it can negotiate a deal with the EU that doesn't take it back exactly where it was when it was a member.

But still for me the big question is not about immigration but about allowing Turkey - a country that has a dreadful human rights record - to accede to the the EU.

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