TURKEY IS NOT PART OF EUROPE
Valery Giscard D'Estaing, the former French president and chairman
of the European Union's constitutional council, caused a stir by saying
in Le Monde on Nov. 8 that Turkey's entry into the EU ''would destroy
Europe.'' The following excerpt from a longer interview with Global Viewpoint
editor Nathan Gardels in February, 2000, shows Giscard's long-standing
PARIS -- The way the Turkish question has been handled by the EU seems
to me unrealistic. Almost no one among the European leaders is ready or
willing to accept Turkey as a full member of the European Union. Moreover,
it is unfair to the Turks to lead them to believe there is a good chance
for them to join.
There are two reasons that make it impossible. First, except for Istanbul,
Turkey is not located on the European Continent, but mainly in Asia. Second,
if we start admitting countries not located in Europe, by which criteria
do we reject membership by any state? If we want to have a real, deep
integration, it must be with people of comparable conditions, politically,
economically and culturally, all located on the European soil.
Look at Morocco. Like Turkey, it is very close to Europe. We have a lot
of friendly links. We want to establish a special relationship with North
Africa. But no one has seriously suggested that Morocco join the EU.
I don't see how Turkey, though one of our most important neighbors, is
any different from Morocco in an historic sense: It is simply not historically
consistent for it to belong to Europe.
I know America keeps pushing Europe to accept Turkey. But what would they
say if Europe suggested that Mexico become the 51st state of the United
(c) 2002, Global Viewpoint. Distributed by Tribune Media Services International.
For immediate release (Distributed 11/11/02)