The point of this dissertation is to look at the official arguments made by the EU, in terms of culture and the religious inheritance, when deciding whether or not Turkey should be granted an EU-membership. After a review of Turkey's own path to democracy and the admission process, the dissertation will then proceed to analyze and compare the debates in three selected EU-member countries - namely France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The objective is to establish their views regarding the accession of Turkey in the European Union. The dissertation will answer the following questions: Which factors play an important role when member countries oppose a Turkish EU-membership? How important is the Muslim background in respect to EU accession? Is the European countries' skepticism towards Turkey an expression of national or European interests? In order to answer these questions the dissertation has included Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington as theoretical material. Whereas Fukuyama predicted that the western liberal democracy would act as a role model and something desirable for the Muslim world, Huntington disagreed and decided that the Western civilization's attempt to influence Muslim nations would eventually result in a clash between the Muslim- and Western civilization. Both, however, agree that multiculturalism has been an unsuccessful step for especially the three European nations mentioned in this dissertation. The theories will furthermore also be used to explain the role of the Turkish Muslim background in relation to the European cultural heritage and whether this has any importance to the three selected countries' attitudes towards Turkish EU-membership. The most important arguments used by the EU in the discussion regarding Turkey are human rights and democracy. Neither France nor Germany have used any of these arguments directly in their opposition of Turkey's EU accession and the United Kingdom has, as the only supporter of Turkey among the three countries, used very different arguments which only in recent years have been affected by the downfall of multiculturalism. France has shown that as a society it does not always act as the civic nation it ought to be. The French arguments towards Turkey have been centered around the fact that there is a fear of Muslims and Islam and the influence they have on the French secular system. Additionally, France has had the most skeptic population of all the three countries both in regards to Turkey as well as the EU itself. This has affected politicians from Chirac to Sarkozy and their view on Turkish EU-accession. In this context France has shown that their attitude towards Turkey also stems from a fear of losing influence in the EU. Germany on the other hand has switched from being mostly in favor of Turkish EU-membership to publicly offering a privileged partnership as an alternative to full membership. The explanation given by Chancellor Merkel is that a membership would become a burden to the EU due to the size, culture and religion in Turkey. Furthermore, there have also been concerns in Germany that a Turkish membership could lead to a flow of immigrants who wish to settle down without fully integrating, as has been the problem in previous years. As the only country in favor of a Turkish EU-membership, Britain has tried to emphasize the role Turkey could play in terms of operating as a bridge between the EU and Islamic countries. The British relationship with the US, as well as the possibilities of opening up the Turkish market for more British trade, has had an important impact on the British support. In recent years, Britain has experienced problems with its multiculturalism which has resulted in more criticism of Turkey. The country still remains more positive towards a membership than either France or Germany however. The analysis shows that both France, Germany and to some extent also the UK use national interests in their argumentations for or against a Turkish EU-membership. In their argumentations to whether or not Turkey should be accepted by the EU both France and Germany have used the Turkish Muslim background as an excuse for why Turkey does not fit in with the rest of the EU. Furthermore, all three countries often fail to take into consideration that Turkey already lives up to several of the requirements which have been set by the EU.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||82|