OPINION

Belated concerns

It is somewhat amusing to hear the serious concerns being expressed by certain European Union member states and newspapers of international repute about the likelihood of Turkey joining the EU. But these concerns have not just sprung out of nowhere. Which political analyst in Europe can claim to have been unaware of the situation in Turkey, about the delays in its implementation of EU-oriented reforms, about its weaknesses, about its shortcomings in human and civil rights? All this has long been clear, and EU states had plenty of time to study the Turkish case before proceeding with the official «engagement» announced in the Commission’s report earlier this week. But most member states had found a convenient excuse to delay the development of EU-Turkish relations; the case of Greece. The only thing Greece did, however, was to highlight Turkey’s aggression in the Aegean and its ongoing occupation of northern Cyprus – citing international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions in doing so – and to stress that these realities could not be ignored by those planning EU-Turkish rapprochement. Time passed by and, eventually, the EU’s core states found that they had neither the political strength nor the time to find ways of barring Turkey from the bloc. And so it is in vain that they are now expressing their belated concerns…