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Turkish Accession to the EU: the “Piranha’s” Threat and the German “Ghost”

procedure generates dilemmas that the EU must deal with. These dilemmas are by definition pertinent to “power games” and EU cohesion and they are classified as follows: Firstly, if Turkey meets the Copenhagen criteria, then it will be eligible to become a full member state and an EU leading country. Are the Europeans released from the Vienna and Christian-club syndromes (Barysch 2007, p.4, Ripperton, n.d.)? Are they ready to accept the leading role of a Muslim country, which is duly a devoted US ally? Secondly, what might occur, if Turkey meets the Copenhagen criteria, but the EU and especially some of its leading countries say no, serving their own political interests? Will the Euro - Turkish relations get into a crisis? How dangerous would such a crisis be? What will the role of the US be? Will the US - as a superpower and the most significant actor in the global and European affairs – prevent, or stir up such a crisis? The answer is simple: it depends on the US national interests (Charalambides 2010, pp.191-194)! Of course, in such a case, the “third road”, which means the “privileged partnership”, will be the only way out (Charalambides 2010, pp. 204-205). Besides, there are political forces in Turkey alleging that if Ankara fully implements the reforms required by the EU and furthermore establishes a western type of democracy, the Turkish state may be in risk of collapsing. Why? Turkey could not keep together - imprisoned within a black box - all the existing social and political contradictory forces that Turkish society is composed of. In the current period, the “Pandora’s box”, where all these contradictory forces are enclosed, is under pressure. If the box blows up, the Turkish political system will find itself in a very risky situation. At this point we must note that the Turkish system has been maintaining its coherence as a result of the Turkish democratic deficit. Whilst in Europe the main variable, which keeps the system in coherence is democracy, in Turkey happens quite the contrary. From this point of view, Turkish accession to the EU has a twofold character: in case of a full Turkish membership, it is not only EU cohesion which might be at stake but Turkish cohesion as well. Thus, both the EU and Turkish cohesion should be the result of “double phase” reforms based on democratic principles. These reforms should aim at rendering the EU institutional system functional and Turkey an open and democratic political system. 88

YIANNOS CHARALAMBIDES

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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