Argument 1: Turkey does not belong in Europe
Only 3% of Turkey’s landmass is calculated to be in Europe. The other 97% is geographically, historically and culturally outside the European continent. The identity of Europe, which has evolved over thousands of years, is based on the heritage of antiquity, Christian and Jewish traditions, humanism and the Enlightenment. On the other hand, Turkey has historically been dominated by the old Turkish nomadic culture of Central Asia, the Ottoman Empire and Islam. Turkey’s EU membership would change the character of Europe and thus destroy the ideological basis for political dialogue. The Islamic collectivism is incompatible with the liberal societies of European countries that provide the individual with his freedom. This fundamental contrast would make it difficult to reach consensus within the European Union after the accession of Turkey.
Turkey would also be the most populous country of the European Union and therefore would be a strong weight in the political arena of the community. It would be only a matter of time until other non-European states apply to join the Union. Countries of the Mediterranean area such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia would start knocking on Brussels’ door first. The Union would lose its ability to make decisions and eventually disintegrate.
Argument 2: In Turkey, human rights violations are the norm
In Turkey serious human rights violations are still part of everyday life. This is indicated not only by renowned organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, but also by the European Commission in its annual progress report. Every day, people are mistreated; representatives of state bodies are tortured or even killed. The Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) document thousands of such cases every year. The situation of women in the Turkish society is also still difficult. When compared to their fellow women in European countries, not only are they more frequently victims of domestic violence, but they also face the so-called "honor killings" threat. Above all, the press and freedom of expression is subject to restrictions and is subjected to increasing pressure.
Despite contrary assurances of the Turkish government, the full legal equality of the Kurdish minority, with about 15 million members of nearly 20 percent of the total population of the country is, still outstanding. In practice, the Kurds in Turkey are still discriminated against both politically and economically. The armed clashes between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party, PKK, which seeks an independent state, have in recent years, increased again in focus. The genocide of Christian Armenians (1915-1917) left approximately 1.5 million victims in the Ottoman Empire and is still denied to have happened by official Turkish side. Critics such as the Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, who call the Armenian genocide murder, is facing prosecution and social ostracism. The European Parliament has stated several times that the recognition of the genocide of the Armenians by the Turkish government is a requirement for the inclusion of Turkey into the EU.
There is no real religious freedom in Turkey. Minorities such as Christians, Jews and Alevis are still discriminated against. Their communities are not recognized by the Turkish state as legal entities. This means that they may not acquire property, build houses of worship or for personal use. There have been repeated violent assaults of national and Islamic extremists against religious minorities, which are directed mainly against Christians. In the beginning of the 20th Century one-third of the Turkish population was Christian. Today only 0.6% are practicing Christians. Turkey is still far off from fulfilling the Copenhagen Criteria, which require each candidate to respect human and civil rights and respect for and protection of minorities.
Argument 3: Turkey's accession brings heavy costs
Turkey's membership would bring financial burdens to the community. Even if the Turkish economy would grow by 5 percent each year, it would take about 40 years until the country reaches 75 percent of the income level of a core EU member state. Because of the relatively low power of the Turkish economy in the backward rural provinces of Anatolia and the importance of agricultural sector, Turkey would permanently need large money transfers from Brussels. If Turkey was an EU member in 2007, the country would have been entitled to structural aid amounting to EUR 15.3 billion. This figure represents 35.2% of all funds that are available by the Union's structural aid fund.
Argument 4: The prospect of membership has encouraged the Islamisation of Turkey
Before Turkey can join the European Union, the government, economy and society have to be reformed comprehensively. The ruling AKP under Prime Minister Recep T. Erdogan, has his political roots in the Islamist movement. Above all, the army is traditionally regarded as the guardian of the Kemalist constitutional order, which is the foundation of secularism. Important features of Turkish secularism are the control and management of the (Sunni) Islam by the state and the ban on religious parties. The military therefore assumes a special position in Turkey. At the same time the advancement of Islamisation in Turkey is developing in a way that is becoming more visible in everyday life. The institutional pillars of the Turkish Republic founded by Ataturk, which include, the armed forces of the State President and the Constitutional Court are eroding rapidly.
Argument 5: Millions of Turks would move to Europe
Turkey now has more than 72 million inhabitants. Because of this high birth surplus, the Turkish Statistics Institute estimates that by 2023 the population would have surpassed the 90 million mark. By 2050, the UN statistics show that the population in Turkey would have reached 105 million. If Turkey were to join the EU, the country would not only be the largest member state, but also the only country in the community with a dynamic population growth. Officially, unemployment in Turkey is around 10 percent. The actual ratio should be but three times as high. Even with a long-term continuation of economic recovery, Turkish companies will not be able to offer sufficient employment opportunities. Experts therefore believe that many Turks would use their right to free movement and immigrate to Europe. Turkish scientists estimate a potential immigration pattern of up to 15 million people in the first 10 years of membership. Experts also fear that millions of migrants from North Africa, the Middle East and the Turkic states of Central Asia will take advantage of the barely controllable Turkish land borders to enter the country via Turkey to Europe.
Argument 6: The geo-strategic argument is a sham
Turkey states that through its accession, the country could act as a model for fundamentalist Islamic countries in the Middle East and therefore increase the security of Europe. This is a total sham. As a formally secular state, the country is not an accepted model in the Islamic world. Moreover, the Turks are not particularly liked in Arabia, because of Turkey's 500 years of brutal colonial rule of the Ottoman Empire. As an ally of the United States and Israel, who is also a member of NATO, Turkey is in the Orient as an apostate country that has sold out to the West. As part of NATO, Turkey has already been incorporated into the Western security architecture. Turkey's membership in the EU would be of no great value to the Union's security policy.