It’s not just European countries that are less enthusiastic about the EU: a poll just released by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Italian Compagnia di San Paolo shows an unmistakable trend in Turkey:
44 percent of Turkish respondents said EU membership would be a good thing, down from 48 percent last year and from 73 percent in 2004.Some 34 percent, up from 29 percent last year and 9 percent in 2004, said it would not be a good thing.
It’s not just that joining a deeply troubled economic union has lost some of its luster for Turkey’s voters. Accession talks were put on hold earlier this summer by Angela Merkel’s government, ostensibly over the brutality of the Gezi Park crackdowns but more likely because Turkish accession was too unpopular an issue with voters ahead of Germany’s federal election. The same GMF poll indicates that merely 20 percent of Europeans favor Turkey’s accession to the EU club.If and when accession talks start up again, public disaffection may be too entrenched on both sides to make any further progress on expanding the EU across the Bosphorus. Chalk one up for Sam Huntington.[Photo of EU and Turkish flags courtesy Shutterstock.]