How Will Turkey's EU Membership Effect Peace and Security in the World and in Europe?

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During its historical development, European Economic Community which is established by six west European countries in 1957, proceeded successfully in the path of common market through monetary union. Now with its new members European Union, evolving a common security and defense policy, is trying to achieve the goal of political integrity through the union.Seeking for a major role in international relations; EU attempts to create a military force and this is taken in to a great consideration by Turkey.

It is prettty hard to guess,from today’s perspective if EU will achieve its goal for reaching to political integrity inside its borders or not. It seems difficult to evolve one day, a united states of Europe as federalists are demanding. Is it possible one day being a “European” could be dominant all over the national identities of european citizens however the institutions and the practices just going forward. For today, the answer is no. But in the near future, this change can be expected. However in long term, politically integrated Europe will be just on target list of the Union.

The purpose of this paper is to determine Turkey’s contribution to European security and international peace when Turkey becomes a full member to EU. Turkey with its strategical importance of where it is located and met the continents is an unique country to complete the missing part of EU integration. Turkey has the potential to support the european integration as a multiregional and a multicultural country. Turkey has historical, religious, cultural and georaphical bounds with its huge land lies from Caucasus to Balkans, from Asia to Middle East. People speak different versions of Turkish from Macedonia to Central Asia. Turkey has borders next to the countries with rich natural gas and oil sources. These energy sources are reaching to world markets through Turkey or nearby countries. Addition to the Kerkük-Yumurtalik oil pipeline, Baku, Tblisi, Ceyhan pipeline will be openning soon for bringing the oil from Caspian basin to Mediterranean. Turkmenistan will be joininig in to the natural gas pipeline betweeen Iran and Turkey in the following days

On the other hand, Turkey against its economic and social problems, is the most powerful and modern country among 1 bilion people of Islamıc world when it comes to equal income distribution. In recent years except Armenia, Turkey has been in good offices with its neighbours and become an important actor throughout its region. Turkey, taking as a first priority to participate in all the economical and political organizations of western world, recently gives more importance to the regional cooperation attempts. In 2004 Turkey undertook the general secretariate of Organization of Islamic Conferences. Therefore, while Turkey’s participation is being discussed, all of these datas should be taken into consideration.

European Border’s will be changed

Above all, including Turkey as a full member, EU’s borders will widen in to the geography from Southern Caucasus to Middle East and to Black Sea. EU will be neighbours to the other problematic regions of the world after Balkans. The disputes and political tensions Turkey had confronted so far will become EU’s issues as well. Being a neighbour to these problematic regions, EU will have a chance to apply its own policies and programs to the new regions. Especially because of EU’s new dimension; Neighbourhood policy , neighbour countries to EU will evolve a security ring around EU . Thus, the disputes originating from ethnicity, religion, language in those regions will be solved peacefully by EU and EU’s prestige will arise through the region.

EU will maintain more comprehensive relations with Arabic world after Turkey’s accession to EU which had already begun within the Europe’s Mediterranean Policy. This will the result of neighbourhood policy and the example of EU’s attemtps for more effective dialogue and cooperation within the region

On the other hand. Turkey’s membership will create a suitable atmosphere for solving Cyprus problem which has been seen as a chronic issue of eastern Mediterranean in international relations for 40 years. If both Greek and Turkish communities could not settle on the common grounds under the provision of generel secreteriat of UN regarding the essence of 1959-1960 Founder treaty untill 2015, problem will be solved within the membership of Turkey. Furthermore, Turkey’s membership will provide solutions to the chronic problems between Greece and Turkey such as territorial waters, continental shelf, FIR lines and the disarmament of the Aegean islands without leading to a tension or dispute but by peaceful discussşons.

Radicalism will be replaced by moderation

Turkey’s membership will lead its neighbours Iraq, Iran and Syria; to a moderate policy line and make them draw away from radicalism In long term Turkey’s membership will stregthen the democracy and stability in Middele East, considering EU’s nieighbourhood policy.

Turkey being with close relations with Israel besides the continious relations with the Arabic world through Organisation of Islamic Conferences will give EU new horizons for undertake new initiatives within the region. After the termination of British mandate over Palestine in 1947 and the disputes followed by Venice Declaration in 1980 Europe will again get a chance to evolve a iniative over Arab-Israil conflict by the help of Turkey’s membership .

Aftermath the collapse of Soviet Union, because of the sovereignty struggle of Central-Asian Turkish Republics, Turkish-Russian affairs got into a crisis as well, but nowadays it gets better and better. Trade volume between Russia and Turkey increased and Turkish entrepreuners invest in russia additional to the Central Asian countries. Especially the close collabaration about enegy issues, make these diputes leave behind . In the case Turkey’s membership, not only energy transfer will be more stable but also the conflicts throughtout Caucasus will be face to face with a new begining

Karabagh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and at the end concluding with Armenia’s occupation of 1/5 of Azerbaijan solids has not been solved by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) so far. This is one of the reasons why Turkey closed its borders to Armenia. On the other hand the disputes among the Georgian autonomous states and Georgia’s central government are turning into conflicts. After Turkey’s accession EU’s border will be widened until Caucasus and this will cause these radical and separatist groups loose their power and the cooperation and moderation among the states will be increased.

Besides, the effect of Turkey as an EU member over Central Asian Turkish Republics having close culturel bounds with turkey; will enpower projects and the programs of Turkey within Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency. The relations of EU within the technical aid program (TACIS) will open a way for political liberalism in this region and lead them to parlimentary democracy and market economy instead of a one-party governance.

Turkey’s membership will provide EU a chance to increase its political power in Balkans. In 2007 after Bulgaria’s and Romanian’s accessions, the numbers of states out of EU will be so few in Balkans. Crotia also has been declared as a candidate state in June 2004. Turkey has close relations with Macedonia, Albenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Balkans. Therefore Turkey’s membership will comfirm the targets of these countries for being an EU member state in the future. Within the Turkey’s accession ‘southern politics’ will stregthen inside EU. After the accession of Sweden and Finlandia, evolved of a “northern dimension” will be face to face with “southern dimension” after Turkey’s accesion

In the state of Turkey’s accession, EU will become a major actor in the disputes and the conflicts in the regions are surrounding Turkey and will effect peace, stability and democracy as a problem-solver.

Clash of civilizations would be invalid.

The membership of Turkey shall prove the invalidity of clash of civilizations. After September 11 attacks, the ideological war between the poor countries which Islamic countries are part of it and the West becomes more important. However EU is the provider of the half of the humanitarian aid, in undevelopped countries still being blamed as a part of the widespread expression “prodigal son of emperyalism era”. These radical ideas shall be limited by Turkey’s EU membership. EU will prove that they are not only a rich christian’s club and radicalism will limit its influence in the sense of terror and violence.

Turkey’s membership shall show that one should not be christian for being a member of EU. As a matter of fact EU never defines itself with christianity. During the convention talks, this idea was argued but at the end christianity was not addressed by the Convention. Religion is not a common value for EU. EU defines itself addressing human rights, democracy, freedom, fundamantel rights and right of law instead. Freedom of thought including freedom of faith and religion, respect for different cultures and religions are the basic principles of EU. Therefore turkey’s membership to EU is a strong message, as Turkey having a different religion than the rest of EU .

Europe is one of biggest energy consumer in the world. Transferring oil and natural gas sources to Europe in a secure way shall be much more easier with the membership of Turkey and the energy sources shall enter the internal market via Turkey. Additional to the energy sources, Turkey’s membership shall raise the efficiency of land, sea and air transportation between Europe and Middle East.

Overall, Turkey’s membership shall have a positive effect on EU’s mobility and capabilities and increase the political power of EU which used to be limited to economical success but now also with its political integrity. Besides the ideological war between Europe and third world countries which has been going on in a historical perspective shall be decreased and the radical factors shall be limited in the Islamic world and these will effect EU’s political power and prestige in a good direction

European security will be reinforced

What will Turkey’s full membership contribute to the military force of EU? This should be answered after being certain about the status of military cooperation in EU when Turkey shall become a member. European security and defence policy as a key study regarding the future of Europe is confronting some problems because of the delicate nature of security issues. As these problems are affecting Turkey, also affecting the views and attitudes of Turkey

Military cooperation is being runned by the intergovernmental level among the EU member states. There is no sign of evidence showing that the military perpective of European integration will stay the same or change untill Turkey’s full membership in 2015. In the future military cooperation will include defence functions beyond peace force missions?

On the other hand, the military cooperation managed by the intergovernmental level will change its nature in the future? Or will it be included to the common policy areas? What will be the approaches of the EU member states regarding to their NATO membership or non-membership, to the new perspective of military cooperaiton of EU while EU can’t even make its member states join the peace forces as a full attendance Finally, shall EU undertake the responsibilities of NATO’s content in the following years?

The answers can not be given to these questions at the moment. EU’s military cooperation is being managed still under the provision of Maastricht Treaty. However some limited revisions within Amsterdam and Nice treaties had been made about military cooperation, there were no drifts from the general framework. In other words, military cooperation is being managed by the second pillar; Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP). The decision-taking procedure of second pillar; having intergovernmental character is differing from the communities pillar; and almost all decisions about defence and security are taken unimaously.

The history of EU’s military cooperation had its basis in the foundation of the communites. The European defence community project was rejected by French parliemant in 1952 so it never came in to force. After that, the cooperation in defence never came to agenda again because untill cold war ended, NATO acted as the defence actor and filled this gap in the european integration process

ESDP will improve

The military cooperation which came to the agenda with Maastricht Treaty for the first time, was kept so limited. However it was stated in the second pillar “all the subjects about defence including military subjects”, in the implementation, military cooperation was restricted to Petersberg tasks. The content of Petersberg tasks being accepted by Western European Union (WEU) in 19 june 1992 includes huminatarian tasks, search and rescue, peace-keeping operations .

Petersberg tasks, was added to EU by Amsterdam treaty revised Maastrict treaty with an appendix. As a result, the limits of military coopeation within EU is being determined by Petersberg tasks now. Nonetheless CFSP had improved by the time and called as ESDP.

The prime minister of Great Britain Tony Blair and the president of France Jacques Chirac came together at St.Malo in 4 December 1998 and founded ESDP envisaging EU to intervene the crisis and to have the capacity to act alone and leaning on the view that EU should be supported by a sufficient amount of armed forces. In this meeting, the issues were British and French leaders agreed on were the content of ESDP. There stated; the conflicts which NATO is not an intervener party, EU should have a suitable structure and military capacity to take decisions instead.

In June 1999 Cologne summit and December 1999 Helsinki summit, the content of ESDP became more clear. Accordingly, ESDP is the capacity of taking decisions on its own and intervining to the international crisis without the participation of NATO. Also in the summit it is decided to evolve emergency intervention force consisting of 60 thousand soldiers, supported this force by air and maritime forces and had the infrastructure of this force to be gathered in 60 days and able to stay in the mission location for 1 year.

The tasks of immidiate intervention force is determined as a peace force mission and member states are agreed on gathering this force in the case of need instead of keeping it permanently. In nice summit, it was declared that ESDP is a part of CFSP and for the implementation matter 3 new units “committee of policy and strategy, military committee and general staff of EU were founded. Committee of policy and strategy as a permanent organ of these three determines the strategy of EU in a state of crisis. Military committee is assigned to seek for dialog and coopeation chances with non-EU countries and international organizations during a crises and it includes the representatives of the member states in the level of defence minister. The duty of general staff of EU is to observe the military developments, maintaining coordination with national and international military executives and maintaining military coordination in the implemantation of CFSP decisions

It is obvious that the content of military organization inside EU is different then classic definitions. The dimensions of the cooperation in EU is limited to a peace force. The most common problem of the mechanism is EU demanding to utilize the capabilites and facilities of NATO in order to avoid duplication in the operations of immidiate action force and this is a state which all NATO members should give consent.

Therefore it is important to see the overall photo when we consider EU’s military force which Turkey joined. When it came to agenda, Turkey being non EU but NATO member EU should ask for its consent. The disagreement solved after long discussions. According to what they called Ankara agreement, immidiate action force is dealing with a region nearby to turkey, EU should ask for a consent from Turkey. Secondly, they agreed on the principle that immidiate action force can not be used against a NATO member state . Therefore the disputes of Aegean sea and Cyprus between Greece and Turkey shall be kept out of the missionary field of immidiate action force

Turkey has a focal location because of the proximity to the conflict areas which remain in the definiton of mission of ESDP. Even though, not a member of EU, Turkey contribute a lot to the EU peace force directly or indirectly so far , in Crotia, Bosnia Herzogivina and Kosova and in Macedonia Turkey joined to the peace force under the provision of EU with its police and military force.

In future after Turkey’s membership the military capacity and the capability of EU will be reinforced. Turkey is not only big in population and geography but also big in the numbers of soldiers comparing to all Europe.

Besides, Turkey’s contribution to Europe’s security will not be only limited by military force. Turkey’s contribution which has been continuing with dual agreements will increase more, after the membership for the threats towards security and stability such as international terorism, organised crimes, human trafficking and illegal immigraiton. In the issues concerning third pillar, Turkey will lead EU to reach their goals . Therefore the fight against organized crimes will be stregthened and the problemetic regions which Turkey is nearby will be effected positively.

With Turkey’s membership EU will get rid of being an economic giant and a political dwarf. It will become a regional military force which take decissions and implement them. Also EU will reach its foreign policy goals easier and the influence of EU in new geographies will be increasing. EU will improve its power to impose sanctions more in Arab world, Balkans, Russia, Caucasus and Middle East with Turkey’s accession.

The tension between west-east will reduce

Turkey’s accession to EU will contribute to international peace and security besides it will open a gate that both sides will utilise from it. Firstly Turkey’s membership will lead the concepts of European identity and being an european being excluded from the narrow definitions of solid geographical and religious concepts.

Secondly, Turkey’s membership will certify ;EU is not a christian’s club. Nowadays, both in EU and in outer world, some are adressing the christian values and concepts while they are talking about the indicators evolving European identity. However during the inter-governmental conference for European Convention, this kind of attemtps took part and the president of Convention Valery Giscard d’Easting supported them, but in the final act of the convention the religion had not been adressed.

The truth is neither geography nor religion are the key factors of EU. The key elements of European identity was stated in second part of the constitution in the “Charter of Fundamental Rights”; “the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law” .

Turkey’s partnership will assure, European identity is based on universal values. Turkey internalizing western values for 200 years, EU’s image will change in a positive way in international arena especially among third world countries when Turkey becomes a member. Hostile thoughts from emperyalist era against Europe will be replaced by the thoughts of mutual cooperation and understanding. For centuries being a bridge between western and easteran cultures, Turkey’s membership shall limit the thoughts of racism, xenophobia, prejudices against some religions and identities, etnical and religious radicalism and anti-semitism inside and outside of Europe.

Turkey’s membership is also important for showing islam and modern world can be in a co-existence. Turkey as a succesor of Ottoman, chose secular state model since the Republic until now. It is possible to mention problematic areas of Turkish model because of its own characteristic, but still among Islamic societies, Turkey is pointed as a model country.

Despite of the moderate religious life and parlimentary system, if EU excluded Turkey regarding its religion or another reason, EU values would be argued once again and the tension between west and third world countries based on the emperyalism era would be relightened. This could cause new tensions and problems for the Muslims living at the EU member states. 14 million Muslims are living throughout EU member states such as 5 million in France, 3.4 in Germany 1.5 in Great Britain and 500 thousand in Holland.

In this point Turkey’s EU membership will lead these anti thoughts against Europe fade away among Islamic world and third world societies. Propoganda against Europe shall loose its power and Muslims shall get rid of the idea of discriminaton against them and Huntington’s theory of clash of civilizations would be wrong. This’d cause the weakening of radical thoughts and the growing threat of their terrorist attacks and help the international peace and security would maintain.

European identity will be re-identified

After the 5th enlargement EU focused on the future of enlargement. The most important event triggering the process is the full candidateship of Turkey indeed. EU and Turkey began the flul membership negotiations in 3 october 2005 under the decision taken in the EU Summit in 17 december 2004. The discussions about the future of Europe would have been begun even if Turkey had not had the candidate country status but this indeed lightened up the discussion more. Nowadays the final aim of EU which began as a cooperation between European countries after the second world war has been discussing by the public, the politicians and intellectuals and they are arguing about the concepts of being european, european identity and the final aim of integration for the very first time in their history.

Turkey, triggering the spread of the future of Europe disputes; had also opened the discussion about the prejiduces and their reality. However, the integration movement of Europe begining at the post-war era with steel and coal, leadad in to a economic and social integration; in political and military issues, it is still far away from constituting an integrity. It is accepted by lots of academicians and strategists that after Turkey’s membership, the political dimension of the Union would be complicated.

Nevertheless the prejiduces against Turkey still exist in Western Europe. It is argued that, Turkey’s membership would mislead the western european integration movement, the Turkish labor force would invade Europe, Turkey as having some oriental characteristics in its culture would be far away to confront western values.

Whereas the contributions of Turkey to the European integration are evaluated, the results are remarkable. Turkey’s contribution within full membership would be shapened depending on the stable and flexible factors. These contributions would be shapened at first by the stable factors, such as; history, geography, population and religion and so on. In the case of developing a common vision, accepting these factors as fundametal data; will determine the level and quality of turkey’s contribution to European integration

While we are stating Turkey’s future contributions to EU in the case of its membership, it should be kept in mind that, both sides will go through comprehensive changes in the following 10 years. Therefore, the structure of European integration for the time Turkey become a member would be important as well, for designating the contribution of Turkey to the Union as well as the changes and the reforms will Turkey go through.


It is obvious that Turkey’s contributions can’t be revealed in concrete and mathematical ways while the process is mutual and together and full of variables like in here. Nevertheless one thing is clear and this should be stated as: because of Turkey’s geographical and demographic structure, the effects of Turkey’s membership to EU can not be compared to another state. Turkey will become one of the important states of EU nonetheless Turkey’s accession would not change the structure and the function of EU’s institutions. The organizational structure of EU does not let a member change the basic politics and the general structure of the Union alone radically in anyway.

It is clear that : EU will emphasize its tendecy for a heterogen look and flexible integration within Turkey’s accession. These are the improvements EU is going through even if Turkey’s membership arise or not. The view after 5th enlargement, points out that EU is no longer homogenic, nothing will remain the same and a new era just started. After Turkey’s accession this change will become more clear. After Turkey will complete the membership negotiations in 2015, Turkey will bring lot of benefits to the western Europe integration movement in economically, politically and globally and in military means.

The conflicts between west and third world countires, remained from the emperyalism era will decline with Turkey’s membership. Additionally, EU shall influence the Islamic world more and EU will become an important political actor both with its neighbourhood policy and also with its mediatorship mission in the etnic and religious conflicts around all over the world, starting from; Arab-Israel conflict.

The contribution of Turkey to the military perspective of European integration with the membership would be determined more depending on the future structure of military cooperation throughout the Union. Turkey’s accession to EU shall reinforce the international peace and security. The ideoligical conflicts between West and Islam will reduce, the radical tendencies will loose support in Islamic world, the attention of Islamic societies will be drawn to Turkey model. However Turkey model is not a very succesful model when it come to the relations of state and religion, the distance from radicalism of Turkey Islam will influence both Muslim communites in Europe and also the Islamic world. This will prove the invalidity of the thesis of “clash of civilizations” and avoid radicalism in Islamic world which reaches until terorism and so the version of religion coherent to the modern world would be granted. Additional to this EU will assure that it is not a christian club.

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