- Turkish diplomat in charge of EU accession talks resigns – cites “personal reasons”, but speculation is that he had got pissed off not only at the slow pace of the talks (especially thanks to French reluctance to even consider the prospect of Turkey joining) but also at the slow pace of reform within Turkey itself, necessary before it signs up.
This could screw a few things up. Either for good or ill, depending on your point of view – and opinion is split among the pro-EU camp as much as the anti. Because, let’s face it, Turkey’s position is pretty much unique, and it’s bloody tricky to work out what would be best – for them, for the EU, or for every other member state. Will it invite more problems – thanks to an EU border with Iraq, for example – or enable renewed dialogue with the Islamic world? Will it boost the EU’s economy, or lead to an influx of Turkish organised crime? Either way, the carrot of EU membership has prompted a number of reforms in Turkey which are long overdue – withdrawing it now could reverse the gains in human rights seen in recent years. Which can’t be a good thing, surely?