Europe, Turkey and the Middle East: Is harmonisation possible?
Bıçakcı, Ahmet Salih
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The possibility of Turkey joining the European Union (EU) has generated much debate in both the EU and the Middle East--interest that Turkey has interpreted as a clear signal that it could be a powerful regional player. Indeed, Turkey's new ruling elite is sure that it can hold an active peacemaking role in the Middle East. Together, the EU and Turkey will be much stronger in the Middle East than either could be alone. Without the EU, Turkey would face the disadvantage of dealing with Middle East insecurity and instability by itself; the EU would miss the chance to embrace a democratic, Muslim country that already takes a pro-European stance in Middle East affairs. Therefore, harmonization of Turkish and EU policies is not only possible but, to a certain extent, necessary.