Europe’s prejudice hinders Turkey to join EU - expert
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10
By Jamila Jafarova - Trend:
The EU has a lot of prejudice towards such Muslim countries as Turkey, Director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University Paul Levin told Trend.
"A certain part of the residents of Europe does not want Turkey to become an EU member," Levin said. "This is the official data."
"Most people in Europe understand that the EU is not a religious or cultural association," he said. "Nevertheless, there is a perception among the public that Turkey differs from Europe in terms of culture and religion. This prejudice negatively affects the relations between the EU and Turkey."
"At the same time, the need for political reforms in Turkey and the EU also plays an important role in the EU-Turkey relations, as there are no other problems between the sides."
He said that Turkey is a strong country and the EU needs such a member.
"This has a positive effect on the negotiations between the sides," he said.
The official talks on Turkey's accession to the EU resumed in 2005.
Turkey has fulfilled 65 percent of its commitments to the EU for accession to this organization.
Turkish deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, said earlier that Turkey's accession to the EU is no longer attractive for the country's citizens.
Arinc said that previously 75 percent of Turkey's population supported the country's accession to the EU. But currently, this figure has dropped to 20 percent.
Earlier, Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said the negotiations between Turkey and EU can't continue in the format required by the organization.
He said that democracy in Turkey is at a higher level than in some European countries.