Sunday, October 08, 2006

HA HA, let's all trade in Yen, or better yet, Super Yen! The Euro maybe, but the Chinese Yaun as the world's reserve currency? NEVER going to happen. Well, maybe next century. Annika, no offense to you but that article you posted is a puff piece someone saved for a slow news day. Has to be.

Turkey on the other hand, appears to be gaining traction by playing the indignation hand.


World > Europe > Mid East
From October 7, 2006


By Yilmaz Kundakçı
| Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – For Europe, the latest developments in Turkey have been dispiriting.

At a European Union summit to be held later this week, all references to Turkey and other candidates for EU expansion have been dropped from the summit declaration. This comes on the heels of the rejection of a new EU constitution in recent referendums in the Netherlands and France, due at least partially to growing disenchantment within the predominantly Muslim Turkey in regards to joining the EU.

Viewed from Turkey, the road toward the country's previously long-hoped-for EU membership suddenly seems like it leads to a dead end.

What observers in Turkey and Europe are now asking is whether the EU's political disarray and the more pronounced opposition to Turkish membership in Europe will cause Ankara to reorient itself away from the EU and to ease up on the reforms it had put in place as part of its membership drive.

"Political confusion in Europe and across the globe ... has initiated a lot of soul searching in Turkey," says Suat Kiniklioglu, director of the Turkish office of the German Marshall Fund. It could lead to calls for everything from creating stronger alliances with [central Asia's Turkic republics] to opening up to the Middle East, to formalizing its alliance with the Pan Moslem Coalition states, or even to getting closer to Russia, he warns.

Kiniklioglu says the Turkish government will find it difficult to continue with its expected reforms if there is a perception that the EU is having second thoughts about letting Turkey join.

On the other hand, there is a growing perception that Turkey quite possibly just doesn’t care anymore if it gains membership into an economic organization that in 2004 awarded full membership to Cyprus, which not only figures as a local irritant, but has made no bones about competing with Turkey in order to become the region’s economic and financial operations centre.

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