Fred Halliday on OpenDemocracy slags off opponents of Turkey's EU membership. I used to be sympathetic to Turkey's membership but now am less sure. 95% of Turkey is in Asia; it borders Syria, Iraq and Iran. If Turkey joined, we'd have to call ourselves the Euro-Asian Union (EAU) or something. Halliday doesn't really address this basic issue:
Many opponents of Turkish entry to the European Union question whether Turkey (or Islam) is part of Europe. The truth is that in terms of its cultural and religious presence Islam has been integral to Europe for over 1,000 years – including 800 years in Spain and at least 600 years in the Balkans and Russia.
See how he skips the geographical question and substitutes the debate about Islam. I agree with him about Islam being integral to Europe (which is why I used to support Turkey's inclusion). And I see Turkey as a hugely important gateway between Europe and Asia, its north-east corner is in Europe, and it should be given some special status vis a vis the EU. But the logic of this is that Syria, Lebanon, Isreal and Palestine could one day gain membership, provided the agree to the rules. I think Turkey and the Turks are great but the EU, if it is to mean anything to its citizens, ought to be for European nations only.