After the attempted coup in Turkey, which the world’s media is still attempting to figure out, it should have been clear to anyone with an interest in the subject that the country’s prospects of becoming an EU member state had gone into reverse, and that was from a position that had already deteriorated in the recent past. This might have been thought to curb the appetite of the Europhobic press to pretend otherwise.
But that thought would have been misplaced, as the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker have revealed this morning. There has been no let-up in the scare stories coming out of the Murdoch Sun where Turkey and the EU are concerned; after all, both are full of people who talk foreign, and the latter has a big majority of Scary Muslims (tm). So, in defiance of reality, the paper has told its readers that the Turks are still on their way.
In today’s editorial, we read “After two days of terror and political violence, it’s time to talk Turkey … Instability in the region has worsened following failed military coup”. It has? How? “The West has welcomed the failure of the military coup in Turkey but the instability in the region has worsened … IS leaders, already revelling in the massacre in Nice, will be rubbing their hands in glee at the turmoil of our deeply-divided Nato ally”.
So it sort of might be less stable, then. But then comes the whopper: “Turkey also uses control of its hundreds of thousands of mostly-Syrian refugees waiting to head to Europe as a blackmail tool to try to hurry along EU accession … Remember, this is a country in discussions about joining the EU, with visa-free access to mainland Europe already on the table”. Let’s take this nice and slowly, shall we?
Visa-free access to the Schengen zone does not cover the UK. And it already includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, the USA, Venezuela, and the Chinese Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macao (among others). All their citizens aren’t coming to invade us either. The Sun is bringing up a red herring to try and scare its readers (again).
Moreover, the “discussions about joining the EU” have gone so slowly that the Turkish accession process has not even opened half of the chapters that must be completed successfully in order for its application to even be considered. There was much excitement among Europhobes that the Financial and Budgetary Provisions chapter had been opened at the end of June this year. But 19 of the 35 Chapters remain unopened.
On top of that, whenever Recep Tayyip Erdogan rants about the death penalty, he knows it moves his country further from a successful application to join the EU. Turkey is in no hurry to jump through all the accession hoops, and no amount of refugee bargaining will change that. But it doesn’t matter to the Sun, where this will be wheeled out time and again as part of Murdoch’s stick to beat the Government of the day.
Turkey will not join the EU in most of our lifetimes. Full stop, end of story.