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Liberal MPs question Turkey's accession to the EU

Thursday 29 November 2012

Turkey's accession to full membership of the EU was called into question by the governing Liberal party VVD on Thursday during a parliamentary debate on EU expansion.

'There has been no progress on Turkey's accession for years; not on the position of Cyprus nor on the freedom of minorities,' VVD MP Mark Verheijen told parliament. 'Apart from the money it would cost, there is also the question of whether accession is still realistic.'

Verheijen said one should ask if Turkey still wants to become a full EU member. 'People will think it is strange we are still discussing this, when the EU has its hands full with its own problems,' he said.

Verheijen also questioned the money Turkey has received over the years to improve its systems for accession. 'They have had €6bn since 1999 and will get another €860m this year,' he said. 'This means Turkey is being rewarded for the delays, even though it is a strongly growing economy.'


During the debate Barry Madlener, an MP for the anti-Islam PVV, said Turkey has been taken hostage by 'an Islamic mafia under the leadership of Erdogan and Gül'. He also described Albania as an 'Islamic den of thieves'.

This led Alexander Pechtold, leader of the D66 Liberals to threaten to walk out unless Madlener moderated his language. The PVV was called to order by the debate chairman.

Should Turkey join the EU? Have your say using the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (18)

according to the latest polls more than 75% of the turks doesnt want to join th EU ! Why they would, as they have more than 7% growth since many years while the EU doesnt exceed 1%.
The EU has a lot of problems and no bright future on the sight: financial instability, aging population, huge budget and ressources discrepancies, R&D is moving to asia ...

By Bird | November 29, 2012 3:10 PM

One could question the reverse: has the EU done the necessary to move the accession discussions forward or have they constantly created artificial roadblocks? France has prevented many discussion chapters to be even opened to debate, and Cyprus has been, as always, vetoing everything based on their small calculations.

I think Turkey should eventually be part of EU but both sides need to make efforts to bridge the gaps.

By vedzer | November 29, 2012 3:49 PM

Yes, the PVV ought to moderate its language. The art of language has many ways to communicate opposition to proposals and ideas in a civil manner. (Question to D666, do the Christian parties walk out when you dismiss their beliefs?)

NATO members which are part of the EU should ask themselves first if Turkey is still an asset to NATO, if not, block Turkey from becoming part of the EU. As well, I would also want to know if Turkey demands more from NATO than it contributes.

My other litmus test on EU-membership would be Cyprus. Does Turkey want to settle old claims or not? The Cyprus question needs to be settled before any progress can be made.

By Albert Kuyerhuis | November 29, 2012 7:01 PM

Liberal MPs question Turkey's accession to the EU. This is an impotent cultural question for Turkey as sitting between to stools Europe and Asia it must choose. Religious factors play an important role. The symbiosis between a christen military and a Muslim government will be decisive.

By Terence Hale | November 29, 2012 7:16 PM

Turkey is so much better off going it alone. If Turkey wants to join the Eeuww, then give the Turkish citizens a referendum.. if you dare!

By The visitor | November 29, 2012 7:54 PM

Wow aren't you a happy little bird today! Don't worry so much

By Neo | November 29, 2012 10:39 PM

Look at PVV's comment: Although no one would admit, religion has always been the invisible barrier against Turkish accession. Turkish economy , education and social life have been improved so much and even exceeded some already EU members' . But still, people are shocked when they see me drinking a beer "aren't you muslim, you shouldn't be drinking" . hah. come on guys, we were not muslims in the first place (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaman). And still at least half of Turkey doesn't practice islam. They believe in God and carry on like the rest of the modern world do. Of course Turkish community in NL is another story.But still in general we are more like a European country than an Asian one.

By theTurk | November 30, 2012 12:19 PM

As a Turk I am aware of many superiorities of (west) european countries but I am also uncomfortable with Europe's arrogancy towards other region nations. No Turk ever has this kind of attitude towards any nation. People from poor African countries or Syrians who run away from war or even Europeans come to our country and we never lord them over. We have already stronger economy than many EU countries. That is why I don' t feel a need to become a member of EU because I value humanistic relations which I think is lacking in Europe.

By Ayse | November 30, 2012 2:13 PM

I think Turkey should come to terms and recognize the Armenian genocide before being considered for membership into the EU.
And, as far as the comments go regarding EU poor economics vs Turkeys' seven percent growth: EU has a much better outlook in the long term than Turkey, which is one of the reasons why they want to be a part of the EU.

By Quince | November 30, 2012 6:05 PM

I think Turkey's accession to the EU would be beneficiary for both sides. I really can not understand what's all the hassle about this. If they can meet the criteria of the accession, they should be more than welcome to join. Its dynamic, growing economy with a majority of educated young people. These are exactly what EU lacks.

One huge problem seems to be Cyprus issue, however EU has completely failed in that case. EU had already declared that before both parties (Turkish and the Greek part) in Cyprus would unite, accession of Cyprus would be impossible. And they voted a referendum, and the Greek part declined the united Cyprus and they got rewarded by the EU membership.

By Chan Chur | November 30, 2012 9:44 PM

Wow Quince, do you Armenians get paid to track down articles about Turkey and spew your "genocide" claims? Must pay well. Simple answer to Turkey and the EU: yes Turkey should try to join. It might prevent its Islamization while providing a kind of bailout to Europe.

By The Great Attila | December 1, 2012 10:13 AM

I dont want Turkey to be a part of Europe where likes of Barry Madlener live and get elected to a parliament. Europeans should be ashamed of him.

By Bertan Atalay | December 1, 2012 4:55 PM

Verheijen says: 'They have had €6bn since 1999 and will get another €860m this year. This means Turkey is being rewarded for the delays, even though it is a strongly growing economy.' Entirely forgetting the billions of dollars EU benefits from the import duty waiver by Turkey. I suggest EU politicians to be more honestly present the facts, After all this is not the Victorian times when Europeans made stuff up with impunity.

By Bertan Atalay | December 1, 2012 5:05 PM

In a nutshell Turkey, with an average age of 28.5, and the most upwardly mobile economy in Europe by far has no need for the geriatric EU with the likes of Germany and France who 'suffer' from an average age of about 46! In the last twenty years alone the Turkish GDP quadrupled in size and given another ten years it may overtake France. Furthermore it is a well known fact that the economic center of gravity of the globe will continue to shift Eastwardly toward China and in all likelihood in twenty years or less the EU will be for the most part 'irrelevant'. Hence a vast majority of Turks have no longer any appetite for the "Christian Club"!

By Bulent | December 1, 2012 10:57 PM

@Chan Chur..the greek side refused because 1) Occupation is illegal according to UN resolution 354/1974 and 2) they agree to unite with the turk cypriots but not the 100s of thousand turks that colonised the nothern part changing the population composition of the island...and according to UN again the greek part is the LEGAL goverment of the island. That was a few minor points and i hope dutch news will publish that.

By kos | December 3, 2012 4:19 PM

Before you get your usual jollies from standard claims of nonsense why don't you admit the fact that the island was annexed by Britain in late 19th century and massive immigration from mainland Greece occurred since than. Why don't you get out of the island and give it back to its rightful owners.

By Bertan Atalay | December 4, 2012 7:09 PM

Turkey is be coming richer and EU is coming poorer so maybe Turkey doesn't need EU after 10 years. Maybe Turkey gets so rich as EU. In future maybe EU will look to joining the Turkish Union!

By Deniz Bilmen | December 4, 2012 10:01 PM

@Bertan Atalay...if UN resolutions are nonsense according to u..well what can i say? I guess the Armenian genocide is also nonsense, the Pontiac Genocide is also nonsense...etc.
As for Greeks going to Cyprus well..a myth. It was the other way around, since Greek-Cypriots were oppressed by the Brits and they wanted to escape.

By Kos | December 5, 2012 9:19 AM

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