17th Apr 2021

Most Turks keen to join EU

  • The Bosphorus: most of Turkey lies geographically outside Europe (Photo: EUobserver)

The majority of Turkish people today favour joining the EU despite worsening Franco-Turkish relations and a partial freeze on EU-Turkey accession talks.

Sixty two percent said they would vote "yes" to EU membership if there was a referendum, while 27 percent would vote "no," a May survey by Ankara's MetroPOLL research centre said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The "yes" vote was bolstered by political turmoil within Turkey, with the country's highest court currently threatening to ban the ruling, pro-EU, AKP party for breaking rules on secularism in state institutions.

Turkish support for the EU peaked at over two-thirds in late 2004. It declined after the opening of EU-Turkey accession talks in 2005, hitting lows of 30 percent in 2006, before creeping up to the 50 percent mark in late 2007.

"If it is constantly discussed in a general way whether Turkey belongs to Europe or not, then this will fuel Turkish people's feeling of not being wanted," Turkey's foreign minister, Ali Babacan, told German newspaper FAZ in an interview Sunday (1 June).

Turkey would itself be ready to join the EU by 2013, he added.

Mr Babacan's comments point toward French president Nicolas Sarkozy's frequent remarks that Turkey is not a "European" country in cultural terms, unlike EU enlargement hopeful Ukraine.

The French parliament last week supported calls to hold referendums on future EU membership of large countries such as Turkey, with Eurobarometer surveys suggesting several European countries would vote "no."

EU-Turkey accession talks are set to restart in late June in the areas of intellectual property rights and company law, but remain frozen in eight other areas due to Turkey's trade dispute with EU member Cyprus.


Does North Macedonia really exist?

Its language and history give North Macedonia its identity for president Stevo Pendarovski, but, for Bulgaria, neither of them are real, in a dispute holding up EU enlargement.

Spain to recognise Kosovo if it gets Serbia deal

Spain would be prepared to recognise Kosovo if it clinched a deal with Serbia, Madrid has said, in the first positive signal of its kind since EU-brokered talks resumed.

Kosovo to restart EU/US-led Serbia talks

Restarting talks on Serbia relations will be the new Kosovo prime minister's top priority, he said, but will the EU or the US lead the process?

News in Brief

  1. EU postpones decision on labelling gas 'sustainable'
  2. MEPs call for mass surveillance ban in EU public spaces
  3. Greek and Turkish ministers trade jibes in Ankara
  4. Biden repeats opposition to Russia-Germany pipeline
  5. Navalny in danger, letter warns EU foreign ministers
  6. Lithuania keen to use Denmark's AstraZeneca vaccines
  7. Gas plants largest source of power-sector emissions
  8. Study: Higher risk of blood clots from Covid than vaccines


Montenegro's membership can inspire the European Dream

Today (15 December) I come to Brussels with a simple purpose: to present the credentials of my country, Montenegro, to become the next member state of the European Union, writes prime minister Zdravko Krivokapic.


Does North Macedonia really exist?

Its language and history give North Macedonia its identity for president Stevo Pendarovski, but, for Bulgaria, neither of them are real, in a dispute holding up EU enlargement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. US rejects Slovenia-linked plan to break up Bosnia
  2. Ukraine urges Borrell to visit Russia front line
  3. Could US sanctions hit Russia vaccine sales to EU?
  4. Polish court pushes out critical ombudsman
  5. Political crises in Romania and Bulgaria amid third wave
  6. Von der Leyen's summer plans undisclosed, after Ukraine snub
  7. Over a million EU citizens back farm-animal cage ban
  8. Three options for West on Putin's Ukraine build-up

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us