ISTANBUL – Only 17% of Turks believe Turkey will become an EU member, according to a poll by a Turkish bureau that was quoted on Wednesday in the Turkish media. Last year this percentage was 34%.
The Turkish European Foundation For Education And Scientific Studies questioned more than 1,100 Turks in eight different cities.
In 2004 Turkey was full of hope for EU membership and a majority wanted to join the union. In December of that year it was announced that the accession negotiations could start, and in 2005 they actually began. Turkey had just recovered from a deep economic crisis and was counting on more economic stability if it could join the EU. There was also hope that the accession process would be good for the democratisation of the country.
But by now Turkey is doing way better than Europe when it comes to economic growth. Since 2004 steps have been made in democratisation, but there is less of a feeling that Turkey still needs Europe.
The way some EU countries behave towards Turkey dampens enthusiasm even more: both France and Germany don’t support Turkey’s EU membership.