Negotiations for the inclusion of Turkey in the European Union, scheduled for October 3, have a double existential problem. For Turkey, it’s about its European vocation; for the member states, it’s about our values and our borders. The hidden opening of a process that almost automatically leads, with no consultation, to the Turkish inclusion contributed to the “no” to the referendum even when this process was not different from other inclusion negotiations.
In France, the Turkish inclusion is seen in a especially negative way for reasons that have nothing to do with reality. The main reason is the fear of Islam, a fear related to the failure or the difficulties the Arab Maghrebi populations have suffered in order to integrate themselves into our neighbourhoods. France has discovered the size of its Muslim minority and fears the recruitment of the jihad followers in this population. It also fears an “out-of-control” immigration. Our leaders have not understood these fears.
I am one of the supporters of the Turkish inclusion, a civilization push that would help to firmly establish democracy in the Muslim world. This is a very important matter for us after the attacks in Madrid and later in London. In this global fight we need a pro-western Turkey under European values, but two conditions should be met to do this: Turkey’s acceptance of having negotiations based on European conditions and not on its own; and having an Europe willing to negotiate such an extension. However, none of these conditions exist. It’s true that Erdogan’s Turkey has made progress regarding human rights and Ankara signed the additional protocol on the opening of customs. But Turkey expressed its doubts about Cyprus’ recognition, thus ratifying its position. This is regrettable and, even when it were the Cypriot Greek who rejected Annan’s plan aimed at the reunification of Cyprus, it should not prevent Ankara from normalizing its relations with Nicosia. The European opinion also expects a gesture from Turkey with regard to the Armenian genocide. There’s no future if history is not recognized. Likewise, it’s necessary to normalize relations with independent Armenia.
I think it would be premature to begin negotiations about Turkey’s inclusion in the EU next October 3 if there’re no firm political gestures regarding Cyprus’ recognition or the situation in Armenia.

Libération (France)
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“[Le rendez-vous manqué turc->”, by Pierre Lellouche, Libération, September 26, 2005.