We saw a new and important step in the EU and Turkey's relationship last week. What is sad is to see that without the ongoing migration crisis, the EU would never have agreed to move forward in the relationship. Without the inflow of refugee, the EU would probably never have remembered that Turkey is a candidate country and that its accession negotiations must remain on track.
We know, however, that international crises have played an important role in every membership process in EU history. So maybe we should just admit that the refugee crisis will play the accelerator role for Turkey. Having said that, we must not forget that this crisis may have helped the opening of new negotiation chapters, but it will not be enough to close them and make the accession a reality. In order to close the chapters Turkey needs to accomplish everything that is required in the specific chapter and then persuade the EU countries that Turkey is progressing in human rights, democracy and rule of law.
It is not easy to foresee how the accession process will unfold from now on as we know that mutual mistrust between the EU and Turkey remains intact. Even if the two sides were ready to accept Turkey's accession, without having the U.S. and Russia to accept this membership, which represents a huge shift in the global strategic balances, the accession will not happen.
One might guess that Turkey as an EU member would have more clout in the Middle East and that Middle Eastern societies would appreciate that a country with a Muslim majority would be able to have a Western level of democracy. This would make Turkey a more attractive country and an example to follow.
There are some other risks and advantages as well. With Turkish membership, the EU would become a direct neighbor with the Middle East. Then Europe could reach the region through Turkey. But maybe the problem is there; maybe the EU does not want Turkey to become an essential part of its plans concerning the region. On the other hand, the United States does not seem to like that the EU is getting too close with Russia or Iran, so it would prefer the EU coordinate its actions more with NATO member Turkey. In other words, the U.S. would be in favor of the Turkish accession.
Russia, too, would probably not be too disturbed by Turkey's accession to the EU.
We know that Russia wants to somehow develop its relations with Europe. It is also known that there are serious problems between Germany and Russia, which in turn harm Russia's relations with the EU. Maybe this is because Russia has provoked a serious crisis with Turkey, knowing that it will push Turkey toward the EU, thus balancing Germany's weight in the union.
But what if Turkey becomes an EU member and still remains a key player in U.S. strategies in this vast region? What if Turkey becomes a part of the EU-U.S. free trade area? That may disturb Russia a lot.
To be honest, the EU, the U.S. or Russia have not yet decided what is best for them: Turkey in the EU or out the EU? Maybe that is why bombs keep exploding in Turkey's cities. It is as if the PKK and DAESH are "sharing the burden," as one attack is carried out by one of them and the following by the other.
It is the EU and Turkey's relationship that is suffering because of this atmosphere. There are many players that object to Turkey's accession, so maybe one should lo§ok at the one who does not want it most and focus on it concerning the terror attacks.