Skip to main content

Is Turkey Giving Up on EU Membership?

Turkey’s Middle East policies would benefit from joining the European Union.
Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis talks during an interview with Reuters in Istanbul June 26, 2012. Turkey expects France to unblock talks that are essential if it is ever to join the European Union, now that Socialist President Francois Hollande has replaced Nicolas Sarkozy who was outspoken in opposing the Muslim country's bid to join the bloc. Picture taken June 26, 2012. To match Interview TURKEY-EU/ REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3483U
Read in 

You know Turkey’s hopes to join the European Union (EU) are in trouble when the state minister whose job is to get the country into the European club begins to have second thoughts about his mission. You may also know that Turkey’s influence in the Middle East would diminish if Ankara does not move forward with its EU bid.

The story goes like this: On Saturday, Sept. 21, Egemen Bagis, the Turkish minister for EU affairs and the chief negotiator with Brussels, declared that his country will probably not become a member of the prestigious European club. “I think Turkey will end up like Norway,” the minister said, referring to the Nordic country’s close commercial ties with, and lack of membership in, the EU.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.