Turkey to EU: Call us when you're ready

Given the strength of Turkish foreign policy and its youthful population, why would Ankara now want to subordinate itself to a group that more resembles an aging diplomatic country club?

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    It's a great time to be in lovely Istanbul, taking in the Bosphorus and all the historic sites by foot. The scenery on Turkey's political landscape is every bit as dramatic.

    Consider Turkey's statesmanship today in Tehran (along with Brazil) to try and resolve the ongoing Iranian nuclear standoff.  

    Or the Turkish parliament's vote over constitutional amendments. 

    In the backdrop lies the increasingly inconsequential issue that used to dominate news on Turkey - its long stalled bid for EU accession.

    Just last week I was concentrating on this subject at a majestic retreat in Austria courtesy of the Salzburg Global Seminar

    For five days I deliberated with a group of distinguished Turkish and European diplomats, politicians, business people and scholars, all eager to explore how the Turkish accession project might conclude. 

    I suppose I showed my own hand when I enquired out loud, with news of Greece's financial crisis and the puzzling EU response, why Turkey should anyhow want to join? 

    Chatham House rules applied, so I can't say what others felt (though my hypothesis was shared). I did get an interesting "on record" insight from Turkish parliamentarian and AK party executive committee member Suat Kiniklioglu


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