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Belatedly, European Union shows interest in Ankara

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

WASHINGTON – The European Union has indicated a renewed interest in having Turkey as a member, but after of getting snubbed, that Islamist nation may not have that much interest any more, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

One of the issues that has put off the EU in the past is Ankara’s efforts to settle the long-lingering problem of its Kurdish minority.

Now European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has signaled that the organization wants Turkey to join its ranks of 27 countries, just as the E.U. is going through serious economic difficulties and has increasing resistance to border-free passage of workers from other E.U. countries who seek work.

In recent years, Turkey’s interest in joining has begun to wane, given all of the past refusals it has encountered.

The E.U.’s latest offer may be an indication of desperation – of wanting to open new markets at a time when economic recession still grips many of its members.

This reality has given Turkey second thoughts about joining, although publicly it says it’s all for it.

Turkey’s possible membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its position regarding Syria and its close ties to the United States have renewed European interest, even though the E.U. and Turkey in the past have had problems with Turkish immigration issues, along with increasing attacks on its citizens, especially in Germany and France.

To the E.U., however, Turkey has shown a greater influence on the Arab world, which has only increased its appeal.

In 2012, E.U. trade with Turkey amounted to $115 billion.

Sources say, however, that while the E.U. in Brussels has a new optimism for Turkey becoming a member, a majority of the European population isn’t so happy over such a prospect.

In what appears to have some racial undertones, many Europeans, especially those in France, have long favored a “privileged partnership” for Turkey, which gives Ankara some kind of status but not full E.U. membership.

Sources say that Turkey lacks a “European” character.

And then there’s a recent report titled “Turkey Watch, EU Member States Perceptions on Turkey’s Accession to the EU,” that referred to an opinion poll that showed France, Germany, Austria and Greece were strongly opposed to E.U. membership for Turkey.

According to the poll, up to 71 percent of the population has expressed opposition. Greece has historical problems with Turkey while Germany, France and Austria appear to show a racial, ethnic and religious bias. Turkey is predominantly Muslim.

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