Fifty Years of Migration, Fifty Years of Waiting: Turkey, Germany and the European Union

in German Politics and Society
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This article describes and analyzes the complex relationship between Turkey, Germany, and the European Union over the past half-century. It asks why numerous other countries have jumped the queue and managed to gain entry, whereas Turkey has been left knocking at the door, presented with increasing obstacles through which it must pass. The role of Islam is examined as a motivating factor in the exclusion of Turkey. Also, the historical memory of the Ottoman Empire's relationship with Europe is discussed. The mixed reception and perceived problems of integration of the large population of people from Turkey and their descendants who arrived in the 1960s as "guestworkers" is put forth as a key obstacle to Turkey's admission to the European Union. Contradictions in policies and perceptions are highlighted as further impediments to accession.