After a long and winding road through political and cultural obstacles, Turkey faces its moment of truth at a European Union summit beginning December 16 which will see the 25 state bloc decide on the issue of the Muslim nation’s accession to the EU.
Turkey is confident that the December summit will see the EU agree on starting membership negotiations without delay while observers believe that the European political reality could mean Turkey will be given extra conditions in its bid to join the European Union and could face at least another decade of waiting for its final accession.
Some EU governments, backed by a significant part of European public opinion, are worried by the prospect of a country of 70 million entering the union, citing cultural and religious difference as well as job worries.
But Turkey remains focused despite these new hindrances. After pushing for accession for so long, the EU summit could be the beginning of the end of the long wait. Here DW-WORLD catalogues Turkey’s quest for membership in 2004 in a series of articles.