In the last forty years, Turkey has had a trade agreement with the European Union. It first applied for membership of the European Union forty years ago. These requests have been meeting a polite resistance, until ten years ago. The condition that the European Union required from turkey before its accession into the Union is massive political and economic reforms in Turkey. Also, Turkey was required to pay considerable attention into the Human Rights violations into their country before they could be given the membership status. In 1999, Turkey got an acceptance by the EU leaders to have a candidate status of the European Union Membership. The members of the European Union react differently toward Turkey’s accession to the EU. For example, Germany and France have been key campaigners against Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Also, countries such as Greece and the United States have particularly been optimistic towards Turkey’s accession and candidacy in the EU. In fact, these countries argue that this would raise the economic status of Turkey and improve the chances of this country to timely end poverty.
A country usually gets considered a candidate for EU when the examination of its application for EU membership triggers the EU council to formally recognize the country as a candidate of the European Union. The acceding countries of the European Unions are usually required to complete the negotiations with the European Union council and signing the accession treaty provided by the European Union. This treaty has policies and the terms and conditions of membership of the European Union. Mainly, France position towards Turkey’s accession to the European Union comes out as a direct objection by President Sarkozy.
In the attempts to resist Turkey’s accession into the Union, France has made attempts to cut negotiations between Turkey and the European Union. These negotiations are mainly on the following five grounds; regional policy, financial and budgetary provisions from the Union, economic and monetary policy, rural development and negotiations in Institutions and agriculture in Turkey. The regional policy made by Turkey seeks to make them fit into the European region through the maintenance of good interpersonal relationships. Secondly the Financial and budgetary provisions are adjustments made on the economy of Turkey in order to make it possible to Integrate it with the EU. Institutions and Agriculture in Turkey were also made policies to enhance their growth which would have a positive bearing in the performance of the European Union. The economic and Monitory policy was developed by Turkey in order to craft a work plan that could be used to help Turkey stabilize their economy to enhance positive economic growth. The rural development policy was made by Turkey to help the country improve the lifestyles of their people living in rural areas. All these policies were objected by Sarkozy to prevent Turkey’s entry into the EU. This was When Turkey was busy performing economic changes to make them suitable in the EU, president Sarkozy of France, during diplomatic talks in Germany blocked the economic policy that had been developed by Turkey to help them readjust themselves into the demands of the Union. The reasons that president Sarkozy opposes the five polices that could be very beneficial to Turkey in their accession to the EU, as he argued during his campaign is that Turkey is geographically not a part of Europe. The opposition of these five policies of Turkey has caused the relations between Turkey and France to be extremely strained. The President of France does not perceive the issue of Turkey’s Candidature, the same as the Muslims in France. The thesis of this paper argues the religious reactions of France to Turkey’s candidacy to the European Union. Islam phobia as a social issue has been critically analyzed in the paper to show the impact of the Turkish French relations on the performance perception of the candidacy of Turkey to the European Union.
The first article whose thematic concerns have been analyzed in the Literature review is the Newsweek article by Mir Shakir Ur Rahman ; Turkey Hopes France will drop Objections to European Union Bid. This article begins by discussing a meeting between France current president and Turkish president. The predecessor of Hollande was Nicolas Sarkozy. The article describes the relationship between Turkey and France with regard to Turkey’s accession as a member of the European Union. This issue is used in the article to show the relationship between France and Turkey (Shakil-ur-Rahman 2012). During the reign of Nicolas Sarkozy as the president of Turkey, he was the greatest critic towards Turkey’s accession to the EU. The article has importantly remarked that the future of the relationship between Turkey and France lies in Turkey’s accession to the Union. The author makes it to appear that Turkey’s accession to the Union will have an Impact in the strained relationships between Turkey and France. The optimism of the current president of France gets analyzed in the article regarding Turkey’s accession to the European Union. This article can be criticized for only giving hints on the nature of the relationship between France and Turkey in the 1990s. The author of the article uses the current happenings and circumstances to save the fate of Turkey’s accession to the European Union. It focuses more on the future of the relations between France and Turkey than the historical relations between these two countries. The author should consider using the aspects in the article to make an improved argument to enhance the explanation of the historic relations between Turkey and France. The author of this article has shown the relationship between Turkey and France by the use of historical happenings. However, these happenings are negative and they may shape a negative perception of France’s perception on Turkey’s accession to the EU (Del Valle 2004).
The second article of the Literature Review tackles the concept of Islamophobia in France. Islamophoba is the irrational fear against Muslims or the hatred against Muslims. The article by Bruce Crumely; France’s Crusade against faith in the Time magazine shows the rise of Islamophobia in France. As the author articulates in the article, secularism which has been traditionally creating a religious expression within the public domain. The article has touched on issues such as the unfair treatment of Islam (Blair 2009). The stigmatization that comes with being Muslim in France could be the shaper of the Frances opinion on Turkey’s accession in the European Union. The author makes it to seemingly appear that the support of Turkey’s accession in the European Union by the French Muslims is because of the unfair treatment that these Muslims face from the majority Christians in France. The fact that Muslims in France form the second largest part of religion in France could explain the reason why the conflict between France and Turkey can be explained on religious terms. However, the author fails to establish the link between the supports of Turkey’s accession into the European Union. The truth is that most Muslims in France support the accession of Turkey in the European because they know that France failure to support Turkey’s accession into the European Union comes with the great heights of Islamophobia in France. Since most French citizens are Christians the author explains that they would not support the accession of a Muslim country, Turkey with reasons of self preservation (Cagapty 2007).
The third article in the Literature view embeds on the Reasons for France resistance to Turkey’s accession to the European Union. David Blair’s article; Will Turkey’s Membership Dream come True? The article perceives Turkey as a secular democracy and a long standing Member of NATO. The author has argued out the reasons against the Turkey’s accession into European Union by France. He argues that France main reason for resistance is the fear that the Muslims in Turkey would change the siltation in France, whereby the Christians appear to be more superior to the Muslims (Blair 2009). Also, the article presents the argument by the former president of France that Turkey is not a geographical member of the European continent. This has raised sentiments in turkey which have developed a conflict between the former president of France and the prevailing circumstances leading to Turkey’s accession to the European Union. The article has also mentioned the idea that acceding Turkey as a member of the European Union could be used to show that this Union is not a Christian club. By the use of the ideologies used by France to resists the candidature of Turkey in the European Union, France argues that Muslim organizations do not insist on the act of acceding Christian candidates in their unions so that they do not get referred to as Islamic hubs (Vassiliou 2006).
The author has also used the Turkish genocide of Christian Armenians as one of the reasons that France has against Turkey’s accession to the European Union. The expulsion of twoMillion Greeks from Turkey and the execution of so many Christians in Turkey is a reason that France uses to strongly resent the issues of Turkey’s membership of the European Union. Turkey’s ties with NATO and Israel are also the reason why France does not feel supremely comfortable with their candidature in the European Union (Blair 2009). France also knows that Turkey has a bright future in the European Union, upon its official accession. To block this from occurring, France resists the membership approval of Turkey. The author of this article has played a tremendously prominent role in shaping thee papers’ literature review. However the author explains the state of affairs from the French viewpoint. Therefore, it is necessary for the author to change the sentiments in the article (Vassiliou 2006). This would be a positive step towards the making of a non partisan article. In fact, one would call this article, A France perspective of the accession of Turkey into the European Union. Therefore, there is an ultimate need for the author to change the tone of the article. This would educate the learners without having a loophole of some bias.
On 2006, George Vassilo in an article Entitled why Turkey should Join the European Union has used the article to argue for Turkey’s membership of the European Union, even with France resistance. The author articulates that failure of the European Union council to make some countries to be a member of the European Union would translate to religious conflict in Europe at large (Blair 2009). The new economic realities of Europe call for accession of countries into the European Union, in order to increase the performance of this Union. However, vices that have hit this international institution, and are significantly related to Islam phobia in France. The Discrimination against people with a Muslim origin, or at least worship Muslim religion in France is the greatest cause of division in Europe. The Turkish France Relations are becoming better every time with the removal of Nicolas Sarkozy from the throne.
Amidst globalization, the European Nations which were the initial founders of the European Union such as France have caused stagnation of the Union. They have recently voted against the idea of expanding the European Union to entail more countries and the creation of more policies to enhance better performance of the Union than before. France has been one of the nations opposing these liberal developments with reasons that are embedded on religious grounds. The heightened cases of Islamophobia in France have caused the fear among the Christians in France, who dominate the religious power in the country (Del Valle 2004). These people fear that their interest in the European Union would be threatened whenever Turkey’s accession to the European Union could be approved. Also, the sentiments of the French resistance have been evident in the relations between Turkey and France, ever since the 90s. These sentiments have been found to cause religious conflict between French Christians and Muslims on matters regarding Turkey’s accession to the European Union (Vassiliou 2006).
Although the Islamic world has had a particularly potent influence on the development of the European Union science, philosophy and technology, it can be relegated to a civilization status to European Union. Modern immigrants of Muslim faith get considered as outsider immigrants in their respective nations (Arikan 2006: 14). This happens even when they have the documents that they are European Union citizens officially. The bad news to them is that they cannot elevate themselves from this discrimination. France in particular was against this form of migration. This is because it considers that to be true European Union’s immigrants must be of certain ethnic and racial origin (Flanagan 2008: 55). The article used in the literature review of this research reveals that the Luxembourg European Union council summit, which took place in 1997, brought another defeat to Turkey’s ambitions. The Luxembourg summit did set up an accession that was a two tier which showed that Turkey did not accepted as a candidate (Akçapar, 2007: 78). This was due to the religious and ideological differences that Turkey had with France. Some religious factors, which were an obstacle, were influential to the procession of Turkish accession to the European Union candidacy (Risse 2011: 90). Most Turks believed that this decision was taken because of the religious factors and cultural peculiarities of their country (Carkoglu 2003: 69). This impression first got fuelled by the statement made by the European Union Christian Democratic Union, specifically by the French. It was said that the European Union was in the big process of building a better civilization in which Turkey has not even a small place. Some other concerns that ensued had a political nature (Flanagan & Branne 2008: 92). At 1999 Helsinki summit, the European Union, under the influence of France, made confirmations of Turkey's Candidacy to join the European Union. This was only if it made fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria. This made the government of France consider the Turks as still not worthy of being in the European Union.
According to the Authors of articles, the European Union finally determined to give support to Turkey to have its membership application approved, but France still was still resistsnt to this provision. France had other opinions about this. Under their former president Jacques Chirac, the position in which French had on Turkey was believed to be obscure in a way. Chirac supported Turkish membership openly in the run up to having the accession negotiations (Çak%u0131r 2011: 11). However, he came under considerable pressure as most Frenchmen opposed Turkish membership. Nicholas Sarkozy, the next president made the French position a little bit clearer. He achieved this by spelling out his strong position regarding Turkeys’ membership during his election campaign explicitly (Çak%u0131r 2011: 11). The French president also decided for a national referendum to decide the membership question. The answer for this was expected to be a no. This was due to the French protectionism and having a fear that a larger influx of Turkish workers was likely to solidify his position (Altun%u0131%u015F%u0131k & Tür 2005: 34). Sarkozy proposed having a Mediterranean Union as an alternative. However, this union would be of substance which is left undefined. In addition, Sarkozy in August 2007 made a proposal for appointment of wise men committee (Wendicke 2008: 23). This committee would make a research of where the European Union boundaries marked.
The European Union has readily approved that committee idea, but has also made a compromise that would at least publicly avoid covering geographical order (Altun%u0131%u015F%u0131k 2005: 17). Turkey political elites have traditionally perceived the membership in European Union as a religious identity question. However, there had been a little opposition to European Union membership within Turkey (DannrEuropean Unionther 2012: 15). The Islamist AKP has only adhered to this consensus recently. However, since it first got elected in 2002, the government has made the European Union membership one of its main projects. The growing hostility from the French side and a possible religious deception regarding membership has made Turkish enthusiasm for membership plunge. Today only a quarter of its population thinks that their country will ever be a member of the European Union.
From the foregoing, it is undoubtedly vivid and clear that France opposition to Turkey’s candidacy to the European Union can be explained in Religious terms. A lot should be done to reconcile France citizens so that their religion positively integrates with Turkey’s religion. Therefore, Turkey has a long way to go before it gets accepted as a European Union member. There are also signs that the army is not interfering with them, and some western European Unions countries such as France are slowly recognizing Muslims. This is due to their ever-increasing immigration. European Unions in general and the French in fear that Turks are going to become a substantial part of their population despite the fact it will take time. There is a belief that until then, the political and economic concerns and concerns besides religious identity will hinder Turkey from its full acceptance as a part of European Union.
In the recent past the reaction of France Towards the accession of Turkey into the European Union has faced a considerable change. It is now a bit more optimistic and is inspired by globalization and modernization of the European Union Instead of religious conflict. Islamophobia has been tamed considerably by the French citizens with a change in perception regarding Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Today, France, through its diplomatic relations with Turkey, has shown that it is fully aware that modernization and democratization of Turkey is a key lever towards the performance of Turkey, hence the improvement on the relations between Turkey and Europe. To solver the predicament of Islamophobia in and poor relationship between Turkey and France, there is an ultimate need for the nations involved to work on their diplomatic relationships. The accession of Turkey into the European Union would cause a reduction in the cases of terrorism and violation of Human rights against the European Islamic nations. The strained relationships between France and Turkey have relatively changed with the changing demands in the European Union.
The perception of the accession of Turkey into the European Union by the France should not be on the basis of religious identity. Religious conflict is only a cause of conflict and a formidable enemy to the development of the European Union. When countries are recruited into the European Union with a religious bias, the Union would prevent the entry of countries that may positively contribute to the performance of the Union in terms of goal achievement. Therefore, diplomatic Interventions should be carried out to enhance the active performance e of the European Union. The accession of members in the European Union should occur on the grounds of fairness and Justice. This is a key way to enhance the co existence between member states of the European Union. The European Union council should be keen on the members it recruits into the Union. The members such as France should maintain good diplomatic relationships with countries dominated by other religions. Therefore, the European Union should be keen to during the expansion of its member countries. This would result to the European Union being formed by counties that have warm diplomatic relationships; the issue of religion would play a decidedly minor role in this case.