Were it admitted to the EU, Turkey would be the most populated country and the first to be predominantly Muslim. Though its accession would have little effect on the European Commission, it would dramatically affect the European Council. Despite these many positives, some negatives make many weary about Turkey's inclusion. Agriculture is a major concern of EU policy. As Turkey's inclusion would affect voting power, Turkish concerns could change the common agriculture policy. Also, the European Union allows free movements of citizens among member nations. "A free flow of [Turkish] immigrants could destabilize labor markets around Europe.
Though many of the members today feel that the presence of the Turkey would definitely create an impact on the growth of the European Economy, an equal number of the members feel that Turkey cannot be included into the EU as it is not geographically apt to be called 'European'. Its accession talks have since been delayed by a number of domestic and external problems. Several European countries such as Austria have shown their reluctance to allow Turkey into Europe. The issue of Cyprus continues to be a major obstacle to negotiations. European officials have commented on the slowdown in Turkish reforms which, combined with the Cyprus problem, has led the EU's enlargement commissioner to warn of a crash in the negotations with Turkey. Despite these setbacks, Turkey had closed its first phase in negotiations in June 2006.
Based on what it views as lukewarm support for its accession to the EU and alleged double standards in its negotiations. France and Austria have indicated they will hold referundums on Turkey's membership), the Turkish public has become increasingly euroskeptic in recent times.
Arguments favoring Turkey's membership in the European Union
An important in the favor of Turkey's inclusion is the rapid economical growth it has been achieving in the last 4 years. Although the current GNP per capita is still lower than all of the other new EU-countries, the current economic growth rate suggests that in a few years, Turkey will have overtaken Poland and Romania. In addition, Turkey has a young population. That, combined with the size of the country, and its growth rates, constitutes a major dynamism and a good opportunity for the EU. (Barry.M.Rubin, 2003)
Relationship with the NATO
Atlancist countries outside Turkey have always felt the inclusion of Turkey into the European Union would help counteract France's completely oblivious stand against the US. In countries like France, Netherlands and Germany, this is viewed as a point working against the country. Turkey is a strong regional military power which could give the EU more military capabilities. The Turkish Armed Forces are the second largest standing armed force in NATO after the United States Armed Forces, and they are the strongest in the Muslim world.
Many countries in the west believe that the inclusion of the country in the EU would cement its alignment with the west. Many people in Turkey also believe that the Turkish inclusion could actually result in less military influence in the country and more stable Government. It could also improve in sustaining the economy.
The Energy resources
Turkey has now become the Energy hub of the continent. Direct piping between Russia and Iran carries natural gas to Turkey, which is planned to be distributed to the