Argument: Turkey is not a European country

Issue Report: Turkey EU membership

Supporting Evidence

Turkey does not belong in Europe: Sarkozy, AFT, Sep 20, 2007 – PARIS (AFP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy reaffirmed on Thursday he did not believe Turkey should be admitted to the European Union, while calling for a “true partnership” with the mainly-Muslim nation.
“I do not believe that Turkey belongs in Europe, and for a simple reason, which is that it is in Asia minor,” Sarkozy said in a prime-time interview on TF1 and France 2 television.
“What I wish to offer Turkey is a true partnership with Europe, it is not integration with Europe,” said the president, who recently appeared to have softened his opposition to Turkish membership of the European bloc.
Public hostility to Ankara’s entry to the EU was seen as one of the reasons for the French rejection of a draft EU constitution in a 2005 referendum.
France has said it would not block discussions on Turkish entry if a group of “wise men” was set up to debate the EU’s future over the next two decades — a proposal which received a lukewarm welcome in Brussels.

Tom Spencer. “GOOD REASONS FOR SAYING NO TO TURKEY”. August 19th, 2004 – 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?