Europeans could avoid truly serious thinking about Turkish membership, believing Turkey would never be able to meet all the necessary requirements. Many Turks avoided thinking about the realities of membership, suspecting the Europeans would never allow it to come true. Now all may have changed.
After the European Union (EU) accepted Turkey’s candidacy for membership at the 1999 Helsinki summit and introduced accession partnership priorities last year, Turkey outlined a national programme to meet the political criteria. Pretending had to end.
For the ﬁrst time, Turkey had to think seriously about what the criteria meant and the result of complying with them. In the debates that followed, serious reservations were revealed among those in power.