Tom Spencer. “GOOD REASONS FOR SAYING NO TO TURKEY”. http://www.publicaffairs.ac. August 19th, 2004 – GOOD REASONS FOR SAYING NO TO TURKEY
The division between Europe and Asia goes back to 220 BC when Eratosthenes wrote ‘Europe’ to west of the Bosporus and ‘Asia’ to its east. In the nineteenth century geographers and historians were very clear. They divided the Ottoman Empire into Turkey in Europe and Asia Minor. All that remains of Turkey in Europe is the toe of land flanking Istanbul. To argue that this makes Turkey a European nation in geographical terms is flimsy. Is Spain an African nation because of its enclaves on the North African coast? If Gibraltar belonged to Morocco rather than Britain, would we have said yes to Morocco’s application to join the European Union? One could of course argue that Turkey should not be the only geographically non-European member of the European Union and that Morocco and Armenia would make excellent candidates. But if Morocco, why not Algeria? If Armenia, why not Azerbaijan? The Treaty definition requiring candidates to be European would have been exposed to “mission creep” of the most flagrant kind. Timothy Garton Ash, while arguing the case for Turkish membership, does admit that he would “hate to plead the case in any historian’s court that Morocco is not a European country, but Turkey is”.