23 September 2013
You know Turkey’s hopes of joining the European Union (EU) are in trouble when the state minister whose job is to get the country into the European club begins to have second thoughts about his mission. You may also know that Turkey’s influence in the Middle East would diminish if Ankara does not move forward with its EU bid.
The recent remarks of the Turkish minister for EU affairs Egemen Bagis, who declared that his country will probably not become a member of the prestigious European club, is the first time that a high-ranking member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is admitting how Turkey may never enter the EU. This acknowledgement can have serious repercussions about Turkish influence in the Middle East.
Barın Kayaoğlu is finishing his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. He was recently a Smith Richardson Foundation fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University. You can follow him on Twitter (@barinkayaoglu) and Facebook (Barın Kayaoğlu).