“One must tell clearly to these great people that are Turkey that they are meant to be the heart of the Union of the Mediterranean but not the heart of the European Union.” – Nicholas Sarkozy
Worried about bringing 78 million people of Turkey into the European Union and its impact on voting rights in the region, French President does not want a mass of Muslims to determine fate of its region. Turkey shares borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria and one would wonder what is really European about Turkey. Yet Turkey has chosen to be best in class economy, striving to close off inequality, stabilizing democracy and blessed with a trove of young people when likes of Germany have an ageing future.
The miracle of Turkey makes one believe that a decade is a long time in the history of a nation. Just a decade ago, it was mired in acute economic paralysis visiting IMF’s shop to heal its bleeding sore. Now Turkey has dumped the IMF and can take a swipe at the likes of Greece stuck in the Euro with no saving grace of monetary devaluation. Turkey seems to me like Nigeria after founding its space in global map after being a patch of vassal states known as the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Empire was a Muslim clan that existed from 27 July 1299 to 29 October 1923 before Turkey’s visionary founder Ataturk wanted independence. Rather than be mired in needless war with Israel or seeking to create a conservative Islamic territory, it has accepted a secular status. Turkey’s is the West bright pupil of the class, a model to other Arabs and prominent contributor to NATO.
According to the Economist Magazine “Turkey is now a vocal member of the G20 club of important economies. It held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2009-10. It is knocking on the door of the BRICs club of emerging giants…The average age of its 72m people is only 29, against over 40 in the EU. By 2050 its population will have risen to almost 100m. If by then Turkey has managed to get into the EU, it will be its most populous member, far ahead of Germany, which will have a mere 70m people”
Turkey is now the world’s biggest cement exporter and second-biggest jewelry exporter. Its construction orders is surpassed only by China’s. It is Europe’s leading maker of televisions and DVD players and its third-biggest maker of motor vehicles. Though it has an impoverished region with the Kurds in the south East, quarrels with the Greeks over Cyprus and an economy swollen on debts, it is taking as a step further to a great nation scoring all the class in the an untypical Arab world that has no single natural resource. It has a backyard ridden with war-mongering territories like Iran, Syria and Iraq but its economic garden continues to blossom plucking the fruits of a globalized 21st century.