A 'United States of Europe' would be weak without Turkey

Published 12.12.2017 01:48

Brexit surely has not favored the EU. With Britain out of the equation, the EU has been declining both economically and politically since the country was a problematic yet powerful EU member. In this new situation, the EU has to plan savings in many aspects. Even worse, Britain used to play a major role in terms of the foreign affairs and security policies of the EU. Pointing to British military bases located on Cyprus is enough to illustrate this. They will not be the bases of the EU any longer. As Britain is one of the most powerful and active countries in military terms in the context of foreign affairs and security policies, it will not be easy for the EU to fill the gap created by Britain's departure.

The EU now has only two countries that are capable of operations on an international scale, Germany and France. I do not underestimate countries such as Spain, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Denmark, but they have limited capacities.

As U.S. President Donald Trump lately proved with his Jerusalem announcement that he cannot make healthy decisions, Russia and China have started to take on new roles in the world order as superpowers, while the EU's capacities and abilities have declined in terms of competition.

Therefore, we can understand the logic of former European Parliament president and German Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz's suggestion of forming a "United States of Europe" (USE). Although the 2025 goal he set seems impossible, we believe that such a discussion will favor the EU. Also supported by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Schulz will bring forward this proposal during his coalition negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel tomorrow. We do not know to what extent the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) leader Merkel and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) leader Horst Seehofer will favor this proposal, but it would be wrong to argue that it is hard to deal with the problems of the EU in the presence of Germany's own problems.

Public opinion polls show that the electorate in Germany and the EU do not favor this proposal. But to be honest, neither the EU nor the common currency would exist today if decisions were made based on polls. Then, many EU countries, including Germany, would still have capital punishment.

As an EU candidate, Turkey is closely following all the debates about the future of the EU and the continent since they directly interest Turkey. Although those with anti-Turkish sentiments do not favor Turkey's EU membership, Turkey is the only country that can fill the gap created by Britain's departure. As a matter of fact, those concerned about the interests and future of the EU have to choose an EU that grows stronger with Turkey's contribution over a powerless EU without Turkey. Turkey will be a great acquisition for a future EU military. Likewise, with Turkey's membership, defending the EU's interests would be much easier in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, Balkans, Caucasus, East Asia, Africa and the entire Islamic world.

There are many additional benefits the EU would gain if Turkey were to join the EU, especially in terms of the internal affairs and economic future of the bloc. So, in the context of USE debates, we have to consider the common future of the EU and Turkey and Turkey's EU membership. If it wants to offer an alternative to the U.S, which has a horrible record of democracy, and protect the interests of a better world with a USE project, then it would not be wrong to argue that this is only possible with Turkey's contribution.

In the current world order, the EU can retrieve its power only as a United States of Europe that incorporates Christian and Muslim countries.

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