Tyrkiet - EUs syge mand: En analyse af udvalgte landes nationale debatter om Tyrkiets optagelse i EU i sammenligning med EUs kriterier for medlemsskab

Charlotte S. Haustorp

Student thesis: Master thesis


This dissertation examines the official arguments made by the EU Commission as to why Turkey is not yet ready to join the EU and compares them with the national debates in the three largest countries in the Union, namely Great Britain, France and Germany. The objective is to highlight the importance of the domestic debates in the member states compared to the official statements made by the EU to Turkey on the issue of further enlargement. The dissertation is structured to answer the following research questions: ‣ Which factors determines the member states’ positions on Turkey’s inclusion in the EU? ‣ Does the member states base their positions with regard to European enlargement on national interests or common European interests? ‣ To what extent does Turkey’s Muslim background determine its possibilities of being included in the EU? In order to explore these problems areas the dissertation has included theories from the field of international relations. The theories included are realism, liberalism and securitisation. These theories are used to explain the behaviour of Great Britain, France and Germany in relation to Turkey. The official arguments from the EU can be pooled in to four key points: 1. Economical factors. 2. The Kurdish question. 3. The Turkish democracy and human rights. 4. Cyprus and the Greek veto. Neither France nor Germany, the two countries that oppose Turkish membership, use any of these arguments to promote their cause. The issue of Turkish inclusion in the EU has been securitised according to the Copenhagen School of security studies led by Ole Waever et al. Particularly Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy has successfully dramatised the issue and turned the potential EU membership of Turkey into a security threat to the national identity in their respective countries. France fears that the Turkish membership will slow down the speed of integration and turn the union in to a mere free trade zone with a competition policy. France is the largest beneficiary of the CAP and considering the fact that Turkish EU membership most definitely would require drastic reforms in that area, France worries about the future of its many farmers. Germany is concerned about Turkey’s financial situation and fears that Turkish immigrants will come in great numbers and decrease the price of labour by taking up low income jobs. Germany is home to more than 4 million Turks and most of them originate from the eastern part of Anatolia, which is characterised by a traditional lifestyle and poverty. In Germany the view of Turks is created in the meeting with a very different culture, and the country has not been successful in integration its large number of immigrants. Great Britain is the strongest support of Turkish EU membership in Europe and emphasises Turkey’s potential as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. Britain is a solid defender of a looser political union based on economic cooperation often referred to as “The English Europe”. The analysis shows that the domestic politics of the member states are of crucial importance to Turkey’s potential EU membership. In France and Germany, the leaders are convinced that the EU would not be able to function satisfactorily with a large Muslim country. France has promised its inhabitants a referendum on the Turkish issue and in Germany, the Government guarantees to follow the public opinion on the subject. This proves that the EU has a legitimacy problem with regards to Turkey’s inclusion in the EU.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages74