Turkey's Membership and the European Union

The European Union is an economic and political union formed by European countries in order to strengthen the continent's political alignment as well as its financial standing. Established after WWII with the goal of increasing economic power and togetherness. With this, the European Union member countries were expected to be economically interdependent and to promote peace and unity on the European continent. This union has evolved from its economic mandate to a political union throughout time. This has significantly modified its goal, which is now more focused with increasing peace, stability, and prosperity.  Over this time the European Union has been able to improve living standards among their member countries. Due to this a one unifying factor called the Euro currency has been put in place and is acceptable and used within the member states. The European Union membership has grown to 28 countries with Turkey being incorporated through the accession process.
Membership of the European Union
Accession into the European Union is solely governed by the article 49 of the European Union constitution. This section 49 stipulates clearly the critical conditions a country interested in joining the union must meet. Thus the European Union membership is not assured on application but must undergo the vetting process and credentials acceptability. Thus for accession, the applying country must be a European state and must uphold and embrace the universal values of states and endeavor to promote them. Conformity to the governing treaties in which the union is founded must be maintained, before accession.
Turkey's accession to the European Union.
Turkey as a nation has seen their quest into joining the European Union marred with rejection by the governing council. Turkey has therefore seen denial over their membership request due to their failures to confirm with the principles of the union. With Turkey's main undoing being their inability to uphold human rights and the rule of law. Due to the 2016-2017 turkey purges, on the 24th November 2016 turkey was voted out of the European Union membership by the European Council. This later prompted the government of member states to completely suspend Turkey including future talks due to their failure to drop their autocratic rule on its citizens.
Attitudes towards the European Union accession
The European Union membership is a process that has been majorly affected by the involved groups and symbolic concerns. In these situations, the member countries objectives believed that they must coincide with the perceived gains. Thus for countries to get into the union, there must be a clear outline of what they stand to achieve in the long run. Member states do have self-interests in the European Union in which they are expected to have and uphold realistic interest approach that stands not to affect the other member countries. According to a survey in the turkey by early 2000s, only 26% of the population was against the European Union membership with an average of 57% of the population being for the Accession to the European Union.
Regarding political affiliations, member countries have different political alignment and ideologies. Turkey being an area of major interest into the matter was consistently opposed due to their hard political stand and beliefs. Turkey experienced an aristocratic form of governance by the ruling political party that was so opposed to the European Union principles and developmental treaties. The European Union are great upholders of democracy and humanity and expect their membership to put their citizen's interest at the forefront. In this kind of political alignment, the union hopes their member countries to foster unity among their citizens and promote their standards of living. The turkey government through referendum have been able to distant themselves from the European democracy and now view themselves as more of central Asian. This has been politically instigated with the aim of promoting what the ruling political powers believe is the best approach for their citizens.
Religious and ethnic identity according to the survey has also broadly affected the European Union membership. This is because of the freedom of worship and religious alignment within a given country or nation. This religious and ethnic identity has impacted the attitude toward the European Union. Religion go hand in hand with Nationalism whereby every citizen of a given country have religious fundamentals in which they expect their nations to uphold. Ethnic diversity in a country is essential in defending national unity. In Turkey, for example, the minority ethnic group forms an estimated population of 30% with the majority being the member ethnic communities. These difference in ethnic diversity is a major disunifying factor in a country. The lack of disunity in Turkey due to ethnicity was opposed by the European Union Council. The European community is so strict in upholding humanity and must be highly respected and promoted by member countries.
Also amongst the major literature reviews were the result of the utilitarian concern that was done amongst the Turkish population. This concern was aimed at understanding why after several years the turkey community chose to withdraw membership from the European Union. As a result, it is clear that self-interest alongside political interest is critical in joining a union. Turkey as a nation has been thriving regarding GDP growth which is currently at 3.5%. Most countries feel the effect of joining the unions. This is because of the interdependence rule that should be upheld, whereby most nations will argue that they may be supporting other little-developing countries without gaining much from them. These countries, therefore, may fail to comply and conform with the needs and self-interests of individual countries.
Another key factor that affects most countries utmost loyalty to the European Union membership is the fear of foreigners. Most nations Turkey, for example, tend to fear foreign indulgence and interference with their national stature. Every country is inclined to a sense of selfless without being affected hence the rules governing the free movement of people amongst member nations may be against the rules of member states regarding the same. Turkey according to the population survey was against foreign interference in their affairs and attempt to try and change their daily running of the nation. As to this factor, Turkey has been convinced that there is more freedom in self-dependence as compared to joining the European Union.
The European Union has made tremendous success in unifying member countries as well as promoting peaceful coexistence amongst them. Human rights and freedom, as well as democracy, has been their language. Turkey is opposed to this kind of unproductive unity according to them as the economy has continued to grow despite the European Union rejection. Turkey accession has been marred with various challenges, and as a result, they have eventually resorted to self-reliance.
The European Union within the Europe continent has been fruitful in their quest. It is very evident that this unity promoted by the union has led to tremendous economic growth as well as improved living standards amongst member countries. There have been economic, social and political developments in the member states. Turkey as a major point of reference has faced challenges regarding accession due to their difference in ideological values. Turkey has seen growth and development over the years without this kind of support from other countries. It is therefore very clear those specific attitudes towards the European Union accession has been challenged by political affiliation, religious and ethnic identity, fear of foreign threat, and utilitarian consideration alongside other factors.

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