Turkey has been talking with the European Union since 2005. Mainly due to its failure to recognize Cyprus, the process for admission to the Union has been stalled. The European Union (EU) has also been divided also as to allowing a large, mainly Muslim nation should be admitted.
During David Cameron’s visit to the country he strongly criticized opponents of Turkey’s membership to the European Union.
“When I think about what Turkey has done to defend Europe as a NATO ally,” Prime Minister Cameron said, “and what Turkey is doing today in Afghanistan alongside our European allies, it makes me angry that your progress toward EU membership can be frustrated in the way that it has been. My view is clear: I believe it is just wrong to say that Turkey can guard camp but not allowed to sit in the tent.”
Robert M. Gates, the US Secretary of Defense, pointed out in an interview recently that if Turkey was looking more eastward it was “in no small part because it was pushed and pushed by some in Europe, refusing to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought.”
Mr. Cameron made reference to the French veto of Britain’s bid to join the EU in the 1960′s, “We know what its like to be shut out of the club.” French and Germany are the main countries blocking Turkey from EU admission.
Mr. Cameron argued that those that opposed Turkey fell into three categories: those that see the economic power as a threat, those that want Turkey to pick either the East or the West, and those who misunderstand Islam.
Turkey has stated they will not join new EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was “definitely against nuclear weapons in our region and routinely say this to Iran.”