Turkey — in the EU, Ukraine — in NATO?

This week’s NATO summit in Vilnius was accompanied by a number of serious geopolitical discussions. While two of the issues discussed were the possible accession of new members to NATO, namely Sweden and Ukraine, during the discussion of the first issue, Turkey raised the question of its accession to the EU. Thus, if in the case of a possible victory of Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the presidential elections in Turkey, many hoped only for a possible pro-Western turn in the country’s foreign policy, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who lost the elections, surprisingly began to implement it himself, as we have already written (https://golosislama.com/news.php?id=41773). Strictly speaking, however, for Erdogan Turkey’s desire to join the EU is not a turn, but the programmatic goal with which his party was founded and came to power in the late 1990s, and for the implementation of which, after coming to power, he did a lot in the first decade of this century. That is, even when his current opponents Abdullah Gul, Ahmet Davutoglu, Ali Babadzhan and others were part of Erdogan’s team. The reasons why this did not happen have been discussed many times, including on our website, so there is no need to repeat them. But it is worth asking questions — first, what would be the strategic advantages and disadvantages of Turkey’s accession to the EU, and second, how is it possible in the current situation?

The advantages are obvious — the EU is one of the largest markets for goods, services, capital and labor, one of the most developed areas in terms of infrastructure, living standards and environmental protection. Being part of such a club would be an obvious success for Turkey, which was the original goal, even under Erdogan. For us, it would be no less important for a Muslim country to become a member of this club. And not a country like Kosovo or Bosnia, with all due respect to the latter, but a country of 80 million people with a strong economic potential and one of the strongest armies on the European continent. But there is a catch, because what looks like great potential to Muslims is, for the same reason, seen as an existential threat and challenge to the opponents of Islam. Therefore, within this club, Islamophobes have two possible positions regarding Turkey. Either not to accept it into the EU as a Muslim country, or to accept it, but in exchange for adapting to «European values». And not the ones like the independence of the judiciary, the press, political freedom, which to a large extent already exist in Turkey, but the «modern» ones, with feminist, gender and radical environmentalist agendas, which are unacceptable for it as a developing Muslim country. The need for such adaptation would pose an existential risk to it. However, looking at how conservative Christian countries within the EU, such as Poland and Hungary, by the way Turkey’s allies on these issues, are using their opportunities to further their interests, «Islamophobic realists» cannot help but fear that Turkey’s inclusion in this club could seriously undermine Brussels’ positions and those forces that seek to implement this «agenda» through it. So let’s be realists too — these forces are unlikely to risk their position just to get Turkey to drop its objections to Sweden’s NATO accession. And although this «deal» has been publicly approved by Washington, it is not in its power because the United States does not decide who is admitted to the EU and who is not. This means that the forces that have not allowed Turkey to join this club so far are likely to continue to do so. So, frankly speaking, the chances of Turkey joining the EU under the current conditions are about the same as the chances of Ukraine joining NATO under the current conditions. That is, they are small. And it’s a pity, because Ukraine joining NATO and Turkey joining the EU would create a much healthier configuration on the European continent. And maybe it will happen one day. If, of course, by that time these countries, tired of waiting at the doors of the respective clubs, do not initiate the creation of new military-political alliances with their participation. Well, for the time being, they will most likely have to be satisfied with achieving more realistic goals, whether it is obtaining new weapons from NATO in the case of Ukraine, or receiving new guarantees and opportunities from the EU or its members in the case of Turkey, as it happened recently with Finland’s accession to NATO and will most likely happen in exchange for Sweden’s accession to it.

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