Sipping a lunchtime latte amid the gleaming skyscrapers of Istanbul’s financial district, banker Mehmet Canayaz debated whether the European Union should admit Turkey. The prognosis, he admitted, was not good: a dynamic, forward-looking region would end up shackled to an economy with severe debt, financial instability, and an uncompetitive workforce. Best for Turkey, perhaps, to steer clear of the chaotic Brussels club altogether.
Fed up with being rebuffed by France and Germany, proud of their successful economy, and increasingly keen to court their fellow Muslim neighbours to the East, a growing number of Turkey’s 73 million citizens are now wondering whether EU membership is quite so important as it once seemed. While nearly three quarters of Turks supported the idea in 2004, some polls less than half doing so now.
I had the same impression when I was working in Istanbul.
Source: The Daily Telegraph