Turkey and the UK

This week’s newspapers ran several interesting articles about Turkish EU membership. It is obvious from several polls that there is very little support amongst European citizens. According to a poll published this week the number of Europeans in favour of EU admission of Turkey has dropped in a few months from 35 to 22%, while 40% is against Turkish EU membership.

Some key European leaders do not seem to care. Jack Straw, the UK foreign secretary, said, “Ankara’s entry into the union would be a blow to those who say there is a ‘clash of civilisations’ between the Muslim world and the West. A refusal to let Turkey in, on the other hand, would fuel Islamic extremism.”

Does anyone really believe that a refusal of full Turkish EU membership, instead of e.g. an extension of the current economic partnership, would fuel Islamic extremism? This means that we would have to allow the Turks into the European welfare system in order to prevent them from turning extremists.