Seyla Benhabib and N. Turkuler Isiksel

Constellations, 2006


At a recent meeting in the American Academy of Berlin in September 2004, Joschka Fischer, then Foreign Minister of Germany, was asked about the heated European discussion concerning Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Fischer’s answer was surprising. Assuring his audience composed of liberal polit- ical and academic dignitaries that Turkey’s accession would eventually take place, may be in ten or fifteen years’ time, Fischer asked the audience to consider the following analogy: “Suppose Mexico wanted to become the fifty-first state of the USA,” he said (we are paraphrasing), “a country that is ethnically and religiously quite different from the majority population, furthermore a Third World country with a socio-economic level much lower than that of the majority. That is what Turkey’s joining of the EU would mean for us.”

View the paper hereAncient Battles, New Prejudices, and Future Perspectives: Turkey and the EU