East vs West? Turkey and the European Union

Hoş Geldiniz students!

I was pleased to see so many of enjoyed the music scenes of Istanbul and Turkey, and also about your own musical tastes. Many of you expressed your interests in music from places varying from China to India, to Europe. I would strongly encourage you to look into what kinds of music are happening in these places, both traditionally and modern (sometimes they uniquely get blended!) A good place to start is of course the good ol Internet (I sent some recommendations out about last.fm) but there is no shortage here. If you are wanting something a little more closer and personal, a good place to look is at cultural events and universities in the Portland area. Often there are free (or inexpensive) events that are hosted to help bring cultural awareness to residents.

One thing I do have to mention as well. I have been a little occupied with my school midterms over the past week, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to personally respond to everybody’s comments from the blog. But rest assured  I did get to read them all!

turkey eu flag with mosque

This week I chose to talk about a topic that may seem somewhat political at first, but has much deeper implications in Turkey. Istanbul is well known as being the only city in the world that rests on two continents, and shows in daily life… people will often say “I have business to do on the European side..” or “I’m going to visit my family on the Asian side..” But many people ask: Is Turkey more European or Asian in general?

We’ve touched on the history of the country several times over the course of this blog, and you’ve all seen that Turkey has been ruled by various civilizations over the centuries. This gives Turkey a unique blend of feeling “west” and “east” often at the same time. While adhering to Islam for centuries, the country was pushed quite suddenly towards the West with the reforms of Ataturk. But even today, many Turks feel a sort of “identity crisis” in how to label themselves. This is one reason why I choose this week to talk about Turkey and the European Union.

In Short: The EU

EU Map

The EU is a group of countries that have formed a union based on a common market (for example, most members have the same currency, the Euro), common political and cultural views, and common law. It started half a century ago, and has slowly evolved into its current form.  When a new member state wishes to join the EU, they have to go through a series of tests and checks to make sure that their economy, politics, and societies are in-line with the common EU values. Just last year, Croatia was the newest member to join, before that many of the former Soviet countries in Eastern Europe had joined. These countries viewed as a step towards more stability, more prestige, and having a better livelihood for its citizens. Turkey however, has been applying for membership for over 20 years and is still a candidate in waiting. (as you can see from the yellow shading in the map above)

This has caused some bad feelings on both sides. While many leaders of the EU have vocally supported Turkey trying to join and Turkish leaders attempting to join, the people of both sides have often felt different. In Europe, there are some who worry that Turkey would be “a burden” for the rest of the Union. If a country joins the EU, people and workers are allowed to travel across borders very very easily and European worry that many Turks will come to their countries and take jobs and use government assistance. Some also worry that Christianity is a common European value and the addition of a Muslim country, with sometimes different ideals will change this

turkey_and_europe_947785

The Turks initially were very excited about joining the EU. They felt that they were just as European as the other countries, and that they wished to be a part of this Union. But the EU has frequently cited that Turkey denies basic human rights to some of its citizens, that is hostile towards some of its neighbors, and does not allow for more freedom of speech (Turkey has the highest amount of journalists in jail because of the stories they write). All of these requirements the EU says are fundamental values that a new country must have to join.

But after waiting for nearly 20 years and with the Turkish economy actually doing better than some European countries, Turks are starting to rethink if they actually want to be in the EU

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If you  take a look at this graph from a few years ago, support IN Turkey has gone south over the years, with more people thinking that they can survive as a country on their own.

EU GraphSo why the change in opinion for both??

Well, Turks have been involved in Europe for years. After the second World War, when Germany and Europe were in ruins, the German government began a program to bring Turkish migrants to the country to help rebuild Germany. During the 50’s till the 70’s, tens of THOUSANDS of Turks especially lived in Germany. Everybody thought that once the work was done, they would all return home. But many of them stayed, because living in Germany turns out to have been much better. They got payed better wages, they had better services, they started families and lived their lives. After English, Turkish is the next most spoken language in the country. But for a long time, the Turks were treated like second class citizens. They were reluctant to learn German and incorporate into German society and the Germans viewed them as a nuisance. This has thankfully started to change and the two societies are living amongst themselves better. When I was in Berlin a few years ago, I would walk through little neighborhoods where everything was spoken in Turkish, I didn’t hear any German! I could have been in Turkey for all I knew!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel eating a Döner Kebab. Turkish food is probably the biggest cultural export in Germany, almost everybody eats or knows the food!
German Chancellor Angela Merkel eating a Döner Kebab. Turkish food is probably the biggest cultural export in Germany, almost everybody eats or knows the food!

So because there are already so many Muslims living in Europe, this is part of the argument anti-Turkey-into-the-EU people make; what if more come? what if they don’t work? or what if so many come that they can change our laws?

When I was sitting with my roommates talking about this issue, they asked me “Isn’t it the same way with immigrants coming from Latin America to the US?” After I thought about it a bit, I think they are definitely some similarities between the two issues. You have groups of people that are coming here to America hoping for a better life, but they face lots of challenges and are not always welcomed with open arms.

Another friend of mine here made a different analogy: “It’s like when you are children and you make a fort. You say to your friends ‘If you are this tall, you like this food, and this music, you can join..’ but then when some kid you don’t know comes and says like all these things and they wants to join, you tell him no”

There are lots of factors that play in this process, probably why it doesn’t look to have a solution anytime soon. Cultural, religious, political parts play in the picture. For the time being, Turkey will remain a neighbor of Europe.

Some questions for you all now:

1. What were your thoughts on this blog?

2. Thinking about the tense relationship between EU and Turkey, what are some similarities that you can see elsewhere in the world. What I mean, people wishing to join another group/country often have various struggles, what are some of these?

3. Thinking about the analogy of the fort, was there a time when you witnessed somebody being “selective” like this?

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67 thoughts on “East vs West? Turkey and the European Union”

  1. I thought this was was more about the geography and government of Turkey, and not about the customs.
    I think the reaction of the EU and Turkey, is kind of like a slave-Turkey( in a slightly exaggerated form) fighting to freedom-the EU. The slaves wishes for freedom, but is being held back. Once the slave is free,(continuing to the next question) he/she may not be welcome in society due to his/her skin color or race.

    1. Breanna,

      You are correct, it is a little more of a different topic. But how Turks identify themselves turns out to be a big thing underlying the culture. When you boil this pot, what is left often is the question of ‘europe or asia’..

    2. I started to think of the Falkland Islands War. The people should get to decide which unions they want to be part of, and which they don’t. If you are representing all the people of Turkey, then you should decide where you allies. If someone who likes all those things in the fort analogy comes along, then they may be your friend some day

  2. I liked how the Turkey was very exited to join the EU, and thought they were be like the rest of the European countries. But then the EU decided they couldn’t join their Union because of some of their laws they didn’t like. And an example of people excluding others would be like no rights for people with other skin colors in some countries. Or for believing in another religion. I have witness a kid in 2nd grade who couldn’t speak english very well and he was from Africa and was scolded by teachers even though he didn’t understand anything. Kids would let him join but one time kids started to not let him join, it was really hard to see that happen.

    1. Eli
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Integration into anything new is a scary experience I think… because my family served in the military, we moved around a lot and I remember the anxiety of starting at a new school a few times. You look to see what the other kids do, you wonder if you should do that too…same issue I think for other cultures adapting to new ones!

  3. I thought it was interesting how, in the beginning, Turkey really wanted to join the EU. Then, later, as the EU refused for years, Turkey became less and less excited. Once you don’t get something, you can get bored of the prospect of getting it, which seems to happen here. `The struggle between EU and Turkey reminds me of many things in the world. As already stated, illegal immigrants coming into a country such as the USA is very similar. Also, many years ago (in the US), if there was a black person trying to get a job, some employers/ companies would turn them away, just because they were black. I don’t remember any examples of people being ‘selective’ in my life.

    1. Caroline
      You brought up a valid similarity. All people haven’t been treated equally in our country, and even today many still struggle uphill with this. Minorities (of any kind) face a difficult challenge of integration, because they want to be treated the same as others, but may not want to give up some parts of their identity. Finding the middle road is often a tough road 😉 Such is the case with Turkey finding out ‘where it belongs’.

  4. I thought that this blog post was very interesting especially how Turkey really wanted to be a part of Europe but after the EU said no they decided that maybe it was for the better and that they were more well off being independent. It was kind of like how when you want something but you can’t have it, so your pretty upset, but then later you relies that more good has come out of you being denied something than if you had gotten it originally. I have never personally witnessed this kind of exclusion but have certainly read about it many times.

    1. Susan
      Interesting remarks! I think many Turks are starting to have this same realization that they can “do it on their own”, while still having good relations with their neighbors. It’s that old saying, “patience is a virtue” maybe!

  5. I think its interesting that Turkey is on two continents. This is kind of like what the Ukraine has been dealing with, because some of the people want to be alined with Russia and some with the EU. I also think it is very different, because the EU refused to take Turkey and eventually they got tired of getting turned down. I think it’s cool how there are kind of two parts, but they don’t really have a border. from looking at the graph, it seems like the EU’s feelings about Turkey stayed the same and the people in Turkey slowly realized this and this changed their feelings.

  6. I thought it was interesting on how Turkey was located on two continents, and their cultures were completely different.
    It’s just like my brother and I, with ice cream. We both want the same out of two types, and we end up having to eat both types and not liking it at all.
    The fort thing actually happened at the party I went to. My friend turned away somebody she didn’t know, and took in everyone else that she was familiar with.

  7. I thought that it was interesting that the same thing is happening in a few different places. Some people don’t like something if it’s new because new things scare them. My brother and his friend like to exclude me just because they don’t like what I want to do.

    1. Alex,

      New things tend to be scary for a lot of people. From a social perspective, many in Europe are not that familiar with Islam except what they see in the media, so they are hesitant about bringing in a large muslim country into the EU. But I think it’s through exposure, even little bits at a time, that we learn something is not as different. Kinda like riding a bike or going on a big roller coaster at first maybe…

  8. I liked how Turkey is into joining the EU at the beginning but as the years pass they don’t approve so much any more. Also I liked reading the bit about Croatia just because I went there last year! It is really cool how Turkey is on two different continents that are so different.

    1. Zoe,

      It was interesting to find that out also, because only 15 years ago or so, Croatia was one of a few countries that was involved in the Balkan Wars. There was widespread violence, corruption, and issues that plagued the country. However after years of stability and peace, they were able to join the EU. Some think it will take more time for Turkey, but like you said, people seem to be less patient for this!

  9. I thought that this post was really interesting. I don’t usually follow news and current events like that, because it usually just depresses me, and I don’t really like feeling depressed.

    1. Maura,
      I wished I could offer some better news, current events tend to be a little more on the not so positive side. But that’s often a motivation for many to make a change! Glad you found it interesting!

  10. 1. I enjoyed this post a lot because of the issue of acceptance. Particularly the analogies that your friends used. The situation is similar to immigration in the US, and definitely reminds me of selfish little fort builders.
    2. This situation is similar to our immigration issues, and the way that Ukraine is torn between two different “clubs” or “forts.”
    3. There are countless times that I have personally witnessed people being selective. From where my family sits to eat dinner because they “don’t like the look” of someone nearby, to my friends picking the chocolate out of trail mix. I guess it’s just human nature or something strange like that. Maybe it’s just our instincts, or we think something bad could happen, but sometimes, humans are truly ridiculous.

    1. Fiona

      Glad you enjoyed the post and that you took away something from it!
      Humans are indeed interesting creatures at times, that’s why the field of social psychology always something new to look at 🙂
      The movtivations of where people people make their choices is how to disseminate these, in the case of Turkey it often gets over-boiled down to simplistic terms “are we european or asian?” I’m still not sure what either of those mean but I guess it means something more specific from them!
      Confession time: I am also sometimes a trail-mix picker, although I gravitate more to raisins 😉

  11. This post was interesting to read since immigration has long since been a choice for many countries to either accept or reject, like how some people are racist towards others even though their government is allowing others to immigrate into their country. Racism is also one of the struggles others might have while immigrating to another country, so is maybe how every country has their two sides: One side that’s supporting to accept some choices and another that’s arguing to reject those choices. Lots of times I’ve seen people being selective, from being racist to just not letting that one kid in. For example, at my old school there was this kid who transferred in from China. It took a little while for him to fit in, still learning English and sometimes swearing, not knowing it wasn’t something to say in school.

    1. Jonathan
      I enjoyed reading your observation. Racism is definitely one way people may choose to be selective. Being sexist, ethnocentric, based on religious or economic status or because they don’t share the same ideals are others. Immigration is the process people relocating from one place to another, but acculturation (something I am keenly studying) is the process of people adjusting to a new place once they have arrived, and also looks at natives views towards them. This is often when you see people being selective or welcoming, newcomers learning the norms of a new place or rejecting them.

  12. In a way this can be a bit related to racism but not that much I can understand why the EU doesn’t want Turkey to join because Turkey is still part of Asia. But now Turkey doesn’t really want to join as much because they can see that the EU doesn’t want them and even if they do join they could be discriminated. There are some things Turkey can change like rules regarding freedom of speech but they cant change their culture or religion. If it were up to me I would have allowed Turkey to join in the beginning and not discriminate against them. Also I just found out that Turkey is COMPLETELY DEBT FREE! I don’t really recall anytime I have seen discrimination personally,but in America some people who apply for jobs are not given the job because of race,gender or beliefs.

    1. Asmaa
      You hit on a good point. Turkey’s path to get into the EU created some positive effects such as creating a more liberal economy, introducing certain freedoms, etc. The point you made about Turkey clearing away it’s debt is partially true. Turkey owed a HUGE amount to the IMF (International Monetary Fund), which is a global ‘bank’ sorta, that helps finance lower developing countries when they are in trouble. Turkey was able to finally pay off the debt to this organization, however, it has started to rack up a lot of debt with private loaners (normal banks and lenders). While it is not out of the woods, clearing up its IMF loan was a huge achievement that helped Turkey become less an “under developed country” to a “developing country”

  13. I found it interesting that turkey was both in Asia and Europe. What I wonder is that if turkey was all the way in Europe if they would have been accepted. There is a struggle happening right now in the U.S. with homosexuals because people have been discriminating them and gay couples can’t even have the same rights as straight couples. I cannot recall a moment when some one was excluding me from something but I seen and heard about it all over the place

  14. I thought it was interesting how Turkey originally wanted to join the European Union, but wasn’t and isn’t officially in the EU. Therefore, Turkey has to thrive on its own. Eventually, they became more well off than some countries in the the EU. So maybe it was a good thing that they weren’t accepted in the EU, racism and cultural issues aside.
    Struggles people have wanting to join another group or country include having to learn the language and customs of the society. Learning a new language and culture is really hard especially when you are in it; it is kind of like: sink or swim.
    I think everybody probably has been selective in their lives, and they have been selected to. Bullying isn’t something that can be completely eradicated, but it is how we respond to that which counts. We can be really negative about it and hate on the people that are turning us away, or we can just hold our heads high and move on.

  15. This blog post is very informative about the geography of Turkey. But Turkey was founded in 1923, so where was it then? It doesn’t seem like Asia desperately needs Turkey, and neither really does EU. Turkey used to want to be part of the EU. at first, meaning they didn’t really want to be alone, or Asia. Now, They don’t want to be part of the EU. So they have a completely different government, culture, etc. So if they were to join the EU, then they most likely have to change. Something like this is Scotland becoming independent or not. As for being selective, it’s hard not to be selective, or bias. I mean, if I built a fort, it would be so big, I might not even be able to see the people I invited, because I need my tree-houses big.

  16. Hi again,
    I thought it was interesting that the European Union wouldn’t let Turkey join them, dispite Turkey being mostly European. I can see the point of view of both sides, but that doesn’t mean the reasons are good! Europe doesn’t want Turkey to join the EU because they’re afraid Turkey will wreak the econamy in multiple ways. Turkey want(ed) to join the EU because they believe(d) they were European, too, and they want(ed) to be part of the Unity, too
    I don’t know any other reasonable examples of the relationship between Turkey and the EU.
    I can’t think of any spesific times I saw someone being ‘selective’, I probally did dat without thinking about it! (I know this information is hard to believe 🙂 )
    I can’t wait for your next post!
    ~Luke

  17. I thought this blog was definitely a sort of different from the rest because instead of talking about the culture of Turkey it talked more about what problems/rivalries it has with other countries and how they affect it. Turkey relationship with the EU is most definitely like the Latin american immigrants and I completely agree with your other friend’s analogy. The EU are being completely hypocritical and selective.
    I can’t think of an example of the top of my head of an example where I have seen someone be selective but I’m sure I have run into situations like that and will continue to do so.

    1. Stuti
      It was a bit of a different take..mostly because one of the major underlying tones in culture is how do people define themselves..and in Turkey this has been stigmatized to a concept of ‘west vs east’ sometimes, leading to a question if Turkey belongs in the EU. It also raises a lot of questions of how culture and politics intersect. Hopefully you found it interesting though!

  18. I was reminded of am amusement park. At first, it was like all the other countries were there having fun, and the Turks were too short to go on any of the rides. Later on, they decided that they could live without amusement parks. At a park, you must be tall to go on rides: some are left out. I remember in second grade when some girls were sharing food at lunch and I didn’t get any:(

    1. Helen
      I like that analogy! It’s very true for many people also, setting a bar to an unreachable level. And as you alluded, many in Turkey are realizing maybe they “don’t need to ride this ride”. But for political and social science people, the question next will be “what will they do instead?” 😉

  19. I think it was interesting how Turkey origionally wanted to join EU, but now since they are doing well and EU less so, they are having second thoughts. Turkey partially wanting to join EU reminds me of Crimea joining Russia; Ukraine doesn’t want Crimea to join Russia, but Crimea does. However, Turkey is not as violent as Crimea right now. I have seen examples of people being selective of people; it’s called racism. It still happens, even though people are against it. It’s cruel, but true. 😦

    1. Tyler

      Interesting comparison. There is definitely a growing feeling of disillusionment in many parts of Europe and beyond, to put it simply “that the EU isn’t quite cracked up to what we thought”. This has led to some looking to new alliances (like Russia, or the Middle East, or China)

  20. I thought that this post was interesting because as Turkey grows economically and socially, the more they think that they can survive as their own country with independence from The European Union. Before, they wanted to join the EU because they were not as developed, right?

  21. I think that it’s very cool to learn about what is going on in the rear of the world so I really liked this blog. I also think that the U.S. and Mexico are kind of having problems like this. You probably know about that but Mexicans try to come to America looking for a better life here but often get caught and thrown out. Personally I think that’s not okay but we are overpopulated as it is so I think there’s faults in both ends. About the analogy of the forts I really loved to make forts when I was little (sometimes I still do). Often times when my brother wanted to come into my fort I wouldn’t let him because I didn’t like him or I thought he was just being annoying and wanting to talk to someone. Thankssss!!!!!!!

  22. I wonder how the Turkish people feel about it now, and wether if the EU is still uncomfortable with Turkey coming into the union. I do not really understand why Turkey would want to join the EU now.

    1. Nathan,
      Good question, short answer: from my own perspective from what I’ve seen and learned, a lot of the reason is they want the same freedoms, privileges, and modernity they see Europe having. But many raise the question: do we have to be in the EU to have these things?

  23. I think that initially turkey wanted to join the EU but since they were voted out they built on what they already had to become better. In my opinion i think turkey should not join the EU because in my opinion they fit in better with middle eastern countries. also this is similar to the situation going on in Palestine because the Israelis are trying to take land that does not belong to them.

    1. Abdullah

      Your thoughts are starting to become a similar one among many Turks. Whereas politically Turkey ignored many of the countries in the Middle East in the past, they are starting to build more relationships and connections with them. Many want an equal playing ground between the west and east, with Turkey being a more “self-determined neutral role”
      Thanks for the thoughts!

  24. I think it’s really interesting how initially many Turkish people supported the idea of joining the EU, but after they were excluded on the grounds of past actions, support went way down. Some similar situations elsewhere in the world are Israel/Palestine and Ukraine/Russia. Usually, however, it’s the other way around: colonies wanting to be free from their rulers. Some examples have been the 13 colonies, India, and the Republic of Texas. The only example I can really think of that I have witnessed was in first grade when I wanted to play soccer, but I was excluded. I guess it annoyed me at the time, but I got over it pretty quickly.

  25. The first part reminds me of countless incidents with my younger siblings, where someone would have something and someone else would wanted it. Naturally, the person who owned whatever it was would be like “It’s mine. Go away”. Then the other person would learn to live without it. I haven’t really seen people being selective towards each other, but I know that it happens. I mostly see it more towards onjects, like “Hmm, which candy should I eat?”

    1. Maxine
      A good comparison for sure! Sometime people tend to treat really heavy things like politics, social issues, etc as though they were child-like objects #sadhorribletruth

  26. I can actually relate to the fact that there is some conspiracy on whether Turkey is part of Asia or Europe. I remember very clearly a geography bee I had in 3rd grade. I was one of the remaining three finalists, and when it was my turn, the question was: What is a country that can be considered part of either Europe or Asia?
    I had answered Turkey. The teachers had rejected my answer and told me the correct country was Russia. I still wonder about that today. 🙂
    Sometimes it may be hard to immigrate into another country, area, or even a friend group. There will always be something different between everyone, it’s just how people choose to accept the fact. Humans don’t like change, so when it comes to welcoming someone they’re not used to, it may be a challenge.
    I haven’t really seen/experienced people being selective about other people’s race. But I know that it is always going on somewhere in the world. I just hope that one day people will learn to look at others of a different race with the same respect as they would give someone of their same race. Hopefully our generation will make the change.

    1. Joy,
      Robbery! I think that geography bee point should have been granted to you 😉
      I was delighted to hear of the optimism of your generation. This is a worthwhile goal to have, and hopefully can serve as an example to other peoples around the world.

  27. I find it interesting how Turkey has been waiting for 20 years to join the European Union. I’m surprised that the European Union hasn’t said yes or no by now. A challenge immigrants face today is that even if they get a job, they usually get a dangerous and low-paying job, such as farming while pesticides are being sprayed on the workers. In response to the third question, in PE, there is a group of students who consider themselves to be athletes, and are very selective about who is in the group.

    1. Ben,

      Many people have kinda likened it to a game of cat and mouse. Europe says ‘jump’, Turkey tries to jump, Europe says ‘higher next time’… But even though this exchange may not always be fair at times, it has still yielded some positive results: Turkey has undergone a lot of political and social change over the last 20 years, mostly for the better. They have brought many laws, norms, and practices up to par with global norms. But it’s still in a young stage

  28. i think my favorite thing about this post was the graph showing support of the EU. i think that russia and ukraine would relate to turkia and the EU. this is very common on a lower level with social life, like cliques.
    { Clea ❤ 😉 }

    1. Clea

      Wow, you guys stay up to date on your world news.. yea, what’s happening in eastern asia shares a lot of respects in Turkey…some are wanting the country to look west to europe, (although where in Ukraine other people look east to Russia, Turks are more wanting to be the local neighborhood tough guy themselves!)

  29. I think that it is very interesting that turkey has never been allowed in the European Union, but always wanted to be. It might be a little unfair that turkey has never been allowed in, just be cause of one small city. Anyways, it’s not my choice.
    I think there is one island trying to join the usa, it is close to cuba, and has been trying to join since about 1950. But we have never let them in due to the different language and many other reasons.
    I havent seen many other examples of this, but there is a big racism difficulty in the USA, but that’s basically all I can name off the top of my head.
    -Alex A.

    1. ALex,

      I think you’re talking about Puerto Rico (maybe I’m wrong!) but it has it’s simalarities. Many Puerto Ricans want the territory to become the 51st state, because even though they are american citizens, they don’t enjoy ALL the same rights (their delegates can’t vote in Congress) PR citizens can’t vote for the President. At the same time, many are okay with this situation, as they enjoy different tax breaks, have more freedom in governing their affairs on the smaller level, and can travel freely to the mainland. Thanks for the response!

  30. 1. it was interesting. Can you do a post about the domestic political situation in Turkey? Like, are there political parties, what is the organization of government, etc.?
    2. I think a similarity is with the situation in the US re: illegal immigration. Everyone is freaking out over the immigrants supposedly taking all the welfare programs and not paying taxes and all that, but they usually are not getting welfare, they’re working hard, they’re doing low-wage jobs, etc. And they haven’t commuted any crime.
    3. It depends on how you define “selective”.

  31. I thought that it was interesting how Turkey and the EU were kind of getting more annoyed with each other. It feels like when I am waiting for my teacher to grade a test and I want to know how I did. But Turkey has been waiting for over 20 years. I can’t imagine having to wait that long for something. (Unless you’re a Chicago Cubs fan.)
    Other examples of this are that Russia and China don’t allow many people to go away from their countries.
    In my life sometimes there are places that only richer people go than me like the first few rows at Blazer games.

  32. 1: The article was very interesting to me and also made me think what it would be like to want to become united with other countries and people, but because of some fear of immigration, you are turned down, over and over. Also, being the only dual-continent city must lead to a certain amount of discrimination, right?
    2: People immigrating would probably have trouble finding jobs because employers might be racist, even without realizing it.
    3: I have seen this, at our school there is a very tightly packed group of kids who do not like to be friendly to others or invite them in unless they feel that the new kid shares their values.

    1. Luke

      The concern over immigration is a very big one in Turkey/Europe. There is often biases on outsider groups, whether they are realized or not. Glad that you touched on this topic.

  33. I think that it was interesting that the EU did not want Turkey to join them. It seems like Turkey could improve the economic situation in Europe and this post also made me wonder more about the reasons for Turkey not being allowed to join. This is different from most problems involving being part of a group is as most times it is groups wanting independence like India and England or The U. S. and England or more recently Russia and Ukraine.(Well that last one was more of an issue of people being spilt in choices but close enough.) I can’t really think of an instance where I have seen people being selective other than the normal being kids thing, not letting people play. Wait no, at ACCESS we are fairly tightly knit and now I like that but when I first came here I was left out of stuff for the first half of the year because I did not know what people were talking about.

    1. Hannah,
      Thanks for your thoughts. One of the biggest issues for Turkey in accession (joining) talks is it’s government and human rights policies. Turkey has not had a long history of stability in this area. But with most things, there are several layers. Many ordinary people are not always comfortable to include new people/ideas that they perceive different from their own. Even though Turkey may help in ways like economic growth and diversity, people wonder if they want an Islamic member, who doesn’t always see things eye to eye with them.

  34. I really liked the fort analogy, mostly because it used children and I really feel like there’s a childish aspect to this whole issue. It really is like a kid who wants to join a club. In this case, I think it’s time for Turkey to give up on the EU and move on. they’re doing petty well on their own.
    An issue similar to this is the illegal immigration in the us. I think that it shouldn’t be illegal for them to come here seeking a better life. Why do we have more rights to America then them?
    I think the issue of selectivity is common on from country’s to schools

  35. I liked today’s topic because I was interested about where Turkey stands in the world. I’ve always considered Turkey to be part of Europe. I can’t really think of another country trying to join another, but the problems they would have are what you stated. I totally agree with the analogy. The Untied States was like this to black people. They wouldnt let them drink from the same water fountains because they had darker skin. It didn’t matter that black people worked even harder than white people did.

  36. I think it is interesting that not being part of the EU made Turks want to be part of the EU less. Officially Turkey is in both Asia and Europe, but i think it is culturally in the middle east. The capitalist/communist division comes to mind. I you are in a communist country, then stay out of capitalist countries and vice versa. Also the selectiveness is with the us and its allies, you have to meet certain requirements to be the us’s ally

  37. What i loved the most was this blog was the analogy your friend used: “It’s like when you are children and you make a fort. You say to your friends ‘If you are this tall, you like this food, and this music, you can join..’ but then when some kid you don’t know comes and says like all these things and they wants to join, you tell him no”. It made me laugh.This tense relationship reminds me of Russia and the Ukraine.
    I myself have two cousins about my age that are currently my best friends and for the first 7 years of our lives we would be selective like this particularly to be able to play without younger siblings.

  38. I think it is kind strange that the EU did not want Turkey to join, Turkey is a large country and would certainly have something to contribute. I also liked what your friend said about when you are a child and have made a fort, there are certain things you have to do, or be like to join, and when someone or something is different, it is rejected. That also made Turkey want to join the EU even less, because Turkey as a nation saw that the EU did not like change or anything different. Something I learned from this post was that Turkey was a used by Germans after WWII to help rebuild Germany.

  39. 3. Thinking about the analogy of the fort, was there a time when you witnessed somebody being “selective” like this?

    I’m a little perplexed as well. Turkey would seem to be a nice addition to the EU. They would have something to offer, and could be helpful in general. I would be reluctant to learn a new language and adopt a new culture if I moved countries or something equally drastic. I definitely want to hear an unbiased report of the reasons why their request is being denied. But that’d be nigh impossible to find.
    Again, the Latinos and us Americans. In general, their life must be pretty tough if they’re looking to the US for ‘salvation’. That’d be hard to deal with, not to mention people trying to cast them out, for controversial reasons.
    . . . . . . In general, there’s always the childhood picky demeanor. ‘Nuff said, really.

  40. I think that it is interesting that the EU didn’t want Turkey to join, but it makes some sense, the EU wants to avoid any religious conflict. This makes me think about Crimea, who wanted to join Russia, but many opposed this. I notice people being selective all the time, one example on the top of my mind is an article I was reading this morning on NFL players 5 ft 10 in or under, mainly Darren Sproles. Who was one of the fastest guys at the NFL combine, but was picked 130th just because he was 5 ft 6 in. He’s now one of the best punt returners in the NFL.

  41. Its really cool that EU didn’t want Turkey to join because of religious conflicts but I think Turkey has a lot to offer to EU.

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