There are very good reasons for letting Turkey join the European Union. Turkey is an important country, a developing democracy, a vital cultural link to the Islamic world and a physical link in terms of running pipelines to the middle east free from the clutches of Moscow. We would benefit from having a Muslim member of the EU, and helping Turkey avoid becoming Iran is in our interest.
Despite all that, letting them in will destroy the EU. Yes, destroy it, and here’s why: There’s huge public opposition to it from amongst ordinary Europeans. I know people of moderate opinion, who have no interest in politics, who suddenly become aggrieved at the idea. Is it racism? No doubt, many opposed to Turkey are racist. But there is more to it than that. There is a feeling that the EU has lowered its standards of late (I bet I don’t have to name the two countries in question) and that Turkey will be let in without being a free, democratic nation by European standards. And that’s not the worst part: The worst part is that there are snooty types in Brussels who dismiss these views, and feel that the great affairs of state such as this have nothing to do with the hoi-polloi.
They will be seriously mistaken if they take that view, because Europeans will point to the incoming Turks, and they won’t vent their anger on them (Well, the nazi scum will, but nothing new there) as much as associate the EU with them.
The EU forced the Turks on us. The EU is the problem.
There is talk, to gasps of horror in Brussels, of referendums in the member states to decide this. The people will almost certainly vote no. Brussels would be far better suited trying to figure out a way to convince ordinary Europeans that Turkish membership is a good thing, rather than trying to block ordinary Europeans expressing their democratic views in a ballot.
The alternative is that they may awake to discover that the people are no longer debating Turkey but the union itself.