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Turkey's EU Membership's Possible Impacts on the Middle East
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One objection forwarded about Turkey's EU membership is the prospect that the EU will border the Middle East. The implicit assumption that this objection carries is that the EU is distant to the Middle East and only through Turkey's membership can it border the region. Nevertheless, even at the present stage, the EU is much closer to Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine with the newly joined Cyprus. Similarly, the Greek islands, Malta, Italy, and Spain, all EU territories, are closer to North Africa than Turkey. Moroccan refugees virtually swim through the Gibraltar to seek asylum in Spain. It is possible to say that Turkish borders are much better defended when considering the ease in crossing the Spain-North Africa or Italy-North Africa boundaries. In line with the terrorism of the 1980s and 1990s, Turkey's Middle Eastern borders are highly protected and illegal trespassing is at a minimum. Even if we disregard all these facts, it is an established reality that millions of immigrants from the Middle Eastern countries live in the EU countries and that the immigration goes on with a steady increase. In other words, the Middle East is speedily and uncontrollably settling at the heart of Europe. With all these figures, is it possible to say that what protects the EU from 'meddling' with the Middle East is a 1000 km-tract of land? With the current state of technology, is the EU hiding behind the pretext of Turkish lands in order to distance itself from the Middle East?

There is no doubt that even if the EU separates itself from the Middle East by oceans, it will still want to be an influential actor in the region, and will not be able to avoid that at any rate. Even now, the Middle East is at the center of the EU's troubles anyway: The Middle East profoundly affects the EU with oil, terrorism, migration, human trafficking, narcotics, arms proliferation, etc. At the present state of affairs, the EU is affected from problems originating from the Middle East but lacks the means to tackle them. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a typical example. By allocating its vast resources to this region and others, the EU has difficulty in obtaining results. It has been unable to attain a role in the Middle East on par with the US. Neither in terms of impact, nor in prestige, has the EU risen to the status that its efforts warrant. On the other hand, the September 11 attacks and the Iraq War clearly depict that Middle Eastern events are going to affect Europe, just as they do with the rest of the world. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer confirms the vitality of the Middle East in the EU's interest:

"Before 11 September 2001 attacks I had been skeptical about the EU bordering Syria, Iraq and Iran. But now, it is strategically important

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