Logo de Turquie Européenne
Home > Revue de presse > Archives 2007 > 04 - Articles d’avril 2007 > The Turkey of France’s presidential candidates

The Turkey of France’s presidential candidates

Friday 20 April 2007, by Beril Dedeoğlu

Source : Today’s Zaman, 31-03-2007

During the presidential campaign in France, candidates answer questions about various issues in order to reveal and reinforce their point of views. Turkey features frequently in these questions.

In fact some candidates expose their views about Turkey without even being asked. Nicolas Sarkozy, as one of the main candidates, has not changed his views since the beginning; and it would not be wise to expect a change now. But Sarkozy, who does not think of Turkey as a European Union country nor even as a European country, needs more time to convince other EU member countries.

The other eminent candidate, Segolene Royal from the Socialist Party, appears to be more realistic by saying that the simple refusal of Turkey by the EU would be a mistake. She has declared on television station France 2 that Turkey is not actually fulfilling membership criteria and that the EU needs some break in order to resolve its internal problems. She also affirms that making Turkey “the other” would not be acceptable because of the humanist traditions of France. At this point one should remember that Turkey is only at the beginning of the membership negotiation process and the openings of the chapters are exclusively decided by the EU itself. Royal did not specify which criteria were not being fulfilled by Turkey. Moreover her arguments also indicate the limits in her thinking about Turkey. She said that one should remember that Turkey is a secular country. Maybe Royal wants to ease Islamophobia, but we know that Turkey has many other characteristics that help it to stay in the membership process.

Many in France were anticipating a duel between Sego and Sarko, but Democrat François Bayrou has become more and more influential in the presidential campaign in the last few weeks. Bayrou, as Sarkozy, does not support the idea of Turkey’s membership. He is in favor of a “privileged partnership,” even its content is unknown. He says that if he is elected president he will have to continue to negotiate with Turkey, but in the end the French people will make the final decision in a referendum. This shows his political prowess as he carefully leaves every option open for future developments and conjectural changes.

Opinion polls suggest that if Royal is beaten in the first round, Bayrou can easily overcome Sarkozy in the second round. Bayrou appears to have better knowledge about Turkey than Royal, and his main difference with Sarkozy is his world vision. He admits that France needs new policies in the actual world context in apparent contrast to Sarkozy, who is labeled as pro-American. Bayrou already has more than 20 percent of the preliminary vote as the candidate who appeals to electors annoyed by Sarkozy and Royal.

We can not predict for how long Sarkozy can remain pro-American and Bayrou “pro-France” once they are elected president, but it is clear that these attitudes would not be in the EU’s favor.

Maybe the essential is a future analysis made through humanism and common values. France is one of the rare countries capable of sharing its historical experiences with the world, as well as with Turkey, and we still have time for this.

Télécharger au format PDFTélécharger le texte de l'article au format PDF

What's new on the Web

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow site activity RSS 2.0