Turkish society split over entering Eurozone





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Published on Jun 18, 2011

If you talked about Turkey and the EU ten years ago, Turkey's hopes of joining would have been inseparable from joining the euro. Not anymore.

Turkey's attitude, in short, can be summed up very simply.

SOUNDBITE Suat Kiniklioglu, Turkish MP, speaking English: "We are very glad we are not part of the euro right now."

Turks on the street seem to have a wide range of opinions on the euro at their country's doorstep.

VOXPOP (in Turkish): "Europe's economy is worse now, Turkey's is improving. Turkey is improving in all fields, but Europe is going backwards, so we do not need them."

VOXPOP (in Turkish): "Turkish people are using the euro as an investment to earn money. Euros are more reliable than Turkish money. Turkish people do not want to save their money in lira."

VOXPOP (in Turkish): "If you invest in euros you get more than lira. The Euro's also stronger than dollars. Having said that I don't want to risk investing."

But academics analyzing public opinion have found a common logic in decisions about the euro. People polled do not care about wider economics, but about their own personal finances.

SOUNDBITE Ebru Canan-Sokullu, Bahcesehir University, speaking English: "My pocketbook economy is actually the only important factor that will make me a Euroskeptic or a Europhile."

The public opinion analysts are keen to point out that further economic integration into Europe does not just mean money, and that people should not only think about their pocketbook economics.

SOUNDBITE Ebru Canan-Sokullu, Bahcesehir University, speaking English: "We have to take into account the freedom of movement of labour, the freedom of movement of service. These are all integrated in each other so it is not only exchange of money or leaving Turkish lira and adopting euro."

One thing everyone does agree on, however, is the mess the Eurozone is in.

Whereas Turkey's economy grew per nine cent last year and over ten per cent in the first quarter of this year, Europe -- especially southern Europe -- has come to the point of catastrophe because of excessive borrowing. Greece has so far been the worst hit. This and others' economic disasters have meant appeals for bailouts.

SOUNDBITE Ilter Turan, professor of political science, Bilgi University, speaking English: "This makes it difficult for national governments to defend constantly pouring more money into the coffers of irresponsible or inefficient members."

With increasing tension in the EU over economic mismanagement, some foresee big problems ahead.

SOUNDBITE Sukru Sina Gurel, former Turkish Foreign Minister, speaking English: "Economic co-operation based on a single currency in Europe is going to be history in the near future."

Meaning that Turkey will likely remain an independent trader for some time to come.


Turkey's markets are famous to tourists and traders alike. Taking that mercantile spirit to Europe seemed like a good idea once, but with all the riches now at home, and not in Europe, it no longer seems like such a profitable move.

Thanks and credits go to Russia Today http://rt.com/ for allowing me to download and use the content shown.


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