Europe Turkey

Turkey Cracks the EU Wide Open

It is an open secret that the European Union has been dragging its feet to keep Turkey out for decades because it is a Muslim majority country and the size of its population and economy is just too big for the union to absorb. However, the most recent developments, notably the upcoming summit where the members states are supposed to argue sanctions over Ankara, proved that Turkey has been indeed too big for the embattled union regardless of the membership status.

The European Union has already been suffering an embarrassing blow beyond repair to its image by the so-called Brexit. The Union has not managed to negotiate a successful way-out with the UK. It has been the biggest headache for Brussels but recent disunion over how to implement policies on Ankara has been overshadowing the Brexit issue. Greece and France have been lobbying to place sanctions on Turkey for most notably its recent EastMed hydrocarbon exploration activities in contested waters. France wants to have a say in the EastMed while having no coast there and Greece literally wants to own the area and confine Turkey to a little more than a swimming distance on its Mediterranean shores. The EU leaders will argue in Brussels on December 11/12th if Ankara should be sanctioned or not but the Turkish issue has already cracked the European Union and experts predict that the pro-Turkey block led by Germany would prevent any sanctions on Ankara.

EU Council chief Charles Michel said “We will have a debate at the European summit on 10 December and we are ready to use the means at our disposal,” to Euroactiv but he carefully refrained from using the word sanctions. The same sources claim that Germany, Spain, Italy and Malta would block sanctions against Ankara. Bulgaria, Hungary and some other countries have also reportedly been on Turkey’s side. Several other people point at immigrant issue to justify the stance of those countries but in reality almost half of Europe are just siding with Turkey against “spoiled” Greece and France. 

French president Macron has been endangering the unity of the EU to reportedly cover up his own political failure at home. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Emmanuel Macron has turned into nothing but a trouble for France and France should get rid of him as soon as possible. “Erdogan exploring the clear divisions in French society,” said Turkey-based journalist Nasim Chowdhury. Erdogan’s call may have some backing in France considering Macron received only 25 percent vote in the first round of presidential elections.

There have been several reports recently that Turkey and Israel have been looking for ways to restore full diplomatic ties. Signing of maritime agreement has also been on the agenda of both Ankara and Tel Aviv. If that happens, Greece and its backer, France would not have much else to pursue in the EastMed.

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