PCF (Communiqués de presse), France
Nov. 4, 2004

The perspective of Turkey's membership of the European Union.

Statement of the French Communist Party.

The opening of negotiations with Turkey with a view to its joining the
European Union is provoking debates that go to the very conception of
Europe: what meaning must we give to this Union? What future do we want
to build for it?
The French Communist Party is actively working for a community of
solidarity between the European peoples; a Europe mobilised to achieve
social progress, democracy, the rights of human personality,
sustainable development openness to the world and peace.
This is why we indignantly reject certain arguments put forward to
oppose this membership, playing on the fear and the stigmatisation of
"the other". They are offensive to the Turkish people and also to the
French people by the picture they give of it. They are, especially
dangerous because they feed, in their way, the pernicious theses that
humanity is torn asunder, not by the ravages of globalised capitalism
but by s so-called "clash of civilisations", by nationalisms and
Any opposition "on principle" to Turkey's membership just because it is
Turkey is unacceptable.
BUT, to envisage that a common future be built in the interests of the
peoples of the European Union and in the interests of the Turkish
people, there are conditions to be created. There are requirements that
must be made to prevail with respect to Europe and with respect to
These requirements must be satisfied in terms of democracy and social
rights Carried forward by the Turkish people, its wage-earners, by all
the progressives and democrats of Turkey and of Turkish Kurdistan, who
aspire to a real State of law, guaranteeing the exercise of political,
social and cultural rights to all men and women. These forces, in this
spirit, are placing high hopes on the perspective of future membership,
they have noted that this perspective allows and feeds the process of
democratisation as embodied in the institutional reforms already
At the same time, they legitimately stress the considerable distance
that still has to be covered to finally extirpate the use of torture,
to reduce the power of the armed forces, for real justice, a stable and
respected State of Law, for equality between men and women. The
negotiations that are likely to begin must imperatively enable decisive
advances in all these areas, accompanied by guarantees and also reveal
a new readiness by the Turkish State with regard to the settlement of
the Cyprus question on the basis of international law and with regard
to the recognition of the Armenian genocide.
And these requirements of profound transformation apply equally to the
European Union. Its institutions and its policies, that the proposed
Constitution claims are irreversible, have set up a veritable
dictatorship of the financial markets. They have set wage-earners and
whole peoples in competition against one another, making life more
precarious, encouraging delocalisations, exerting constant pressure on
wages and social rights, breaking up public services, closing the door
on the rest of the world, NATOism. This is the "model" that they
purport to impose on Turkey, at the expense of its people. Already, the
Turkish Minister of Finance is announcing that the economic reforms
being undertaken jointly with the IMF will, in five years, enable his
country to observe all the Maastricht criteria: "We will represent a
particularly attractive alternative to candidates for delocalisation"
he pointed out. And the European Commission is evoking the military
role that Turkey could play tomorrow in the context of the Common
Security and Foreign Policy and as a buffer blocking the way to asylum
Europe needs to change fundamentally and in depth so that its political
and financial institutions may favour rather than prevent the action of
the peoples, the wage-earners and citizens, for major reforms such as
security of employment and training and incomes; the upward
harmonisation of social legislation; the deployment of public services
enabling a struggle against the plagues of unemployment, poverty and
insecurity. They must extend and guarantee the fundamental rights that
its citizens must possess to enable the European peoples to build
together responses of solidarity and sharing, of common progress in the
problems that face them and to contribute to a world of cooperation and
That is the real question that runs through the process being
undertaken with Turkey, with the Turkish people: the urgency of a new
project and perspective for Europe, emancipated from the neo-liberalism
that is plunging it into crisis, which will allow it to respond to the
expectations and hopes of its people and of the world.