David Cameron besøkte tirsdag Tyrkia og leverte et heftig innlegg for tyrkisk EU-medlemskap. Men Cameron nøyde seg ikke med en økonomisk og sikkerhetspolitisk argumentasjon, han gikk inn for en totalpakke: et islamistisk Tyrkia vil på alle måter være et gode for Europa.

Det var denne vinn-vinn-presentasjon som tippet over til evangelisering. Camerons forsvar var samtidig en irettesettelse av Sarkozy og Merkel som begge er Tyrkia-skeptikere.

In a speech on Tuesday, Mr Cameron will say he wants to «pave the road» for Turkey to join the EU and he will criticise those who want to delay the process.

A European Union without Turkey at its heart is «not stronger but weaker….not more secure but less…not richer but poorer,» he is expected to say.

«I’m here to make the case for Turkey’s membership of the EU. And to fight for it.»

Referring to former French leader General de Gaulle’s efforts to block British membership of the EU in the 1960s, he is expected to take a swipe at some other EU countries’ attitude to Turkey.

«We know what it’s like to be shut out of the club. But we also know that these things can change.

«When I think about what Turkey has done to defend Europe as a Nato ally, and what Turkey is doing today in Afghanistan alongside our European allies, it makes me angry that your progress towards EU membership can be frustrated in the way it has been….

«My view is clear. I believe it is just wrong to say Turkey can guard the camp but not be allowed to sit inside the tent.»

Turkey opened accession negotiations with the EU in 2005 but is considered very unlikely to join in the next 10 years, partly due to opposition from countries such as France.

Turkey’s refusal to recognise EU member Cyprus, growing support for pro-Islamic parties on the mainland and the treatment of the Kurdish minority in the country all remain potential stumbling blocks.

Since 2005, only 11 out of 35 «negotiating chapters» relating to accession talks have been opened for discussion and only one has been «provisionally closed».

Regional role
Describing himself as the «strongest possible advocate» for greater Turkish influence in Europe, Mr Cameron will say that those who oppose EU membership are driven by protectionism, narrow nationalism or prejudice.

«Those who wilfully misunderstand Islam, they see no difference between real Islam and the distorted version of the extremists. They think the problem is Islam itself. And they think the values of Islam can just never be compatible with the values of other religions, societies or cultures.»

«All of these arguments are just plain wrong. And as a new government in Britain, I want us to be at the forefront of an international effort to defeat them.»

While praising Turkey’s secular and democratic traditions, Mr Cameron is likely to stress that Turkey must continue to push forward «aggressively» with economic and political reform to maintain momentum towards EU membership.

Stressing the vital role Turkey plays in the region, he will say it has a «unique influence» in helping to build a stable Afghanistan through political and economic co-operation and fostering understanding between Israel and the Arab world.

He will also deliver a firm message to Iran, against whom Turkey opposes further sanctions, saying there is no other «logic» to Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme than to produce a bomb.

«So we need Turkey’s help now in making it clear to Iran just how serious we are about engaging fully with the international community,» he will say.

Tyrkia har i underkant av 2.000 soldater i Afghanistan og har ikke mistet en eneste mann, det sier noe om engasjementet. Tyrkia er dessuten uenig med Cameron i synet på sanksjoner mot Iran.

Cameron ‘anger’ at slow pace of Turkish EU negotiations

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