Should Turkey be a member of the EU? The Europeans are divided on this issue, which touches on the whole question of the Union's identity. Germany is one of the major sceptics. However, CDU foreign policy expert Ruprecht Polenz thinks otherwise. He emphasizes that Turkey deserves to be given full membership. Both sides would benefit from this, always assuming that Ankara fulfils the demanding accession criteria.
Membership would send a clear signal both to the Turks who live in the EU (and to other Muslim countries) that the European perception of the rule of law, human rights and democracy is wholly compatible with the tenets of Islam. Europe prefers the idea of partnership to a "clash of civilizations." And in geostrategic terms Turkish membership would clearly be beneficial for the EU.
Ruprecht Polenz is critical of the idea that Turkey should be offered a privileged partnership instead of membership, and convincingly refutes the arguments of those who are opposed to Turkish accession.