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Is Turkey part of Europe & EU or Asia? – Enlightenment

Does Turkey belong to Europe & to the EU or to Asia? - Enlightenment

To this day, the so-called land of the three seas keeps trying to become a member state of the European Union to become, but ultimately without success.
This matter has already been discussed in various professional circles and still causes great disagreement. The debate about Turkey has been going on for decades. First of all, this began as early as the 1960s.
Many different aspects have to be included and taken into account in these discussions. From geographical location to culture. Ultimately, however, everything revolves around the one crucial question. Turkey belongs to Europe or to Asia?

The beginning of a European controversy

The first cooperation between the EU and Turkey was early on. An association agreement was signed with Turkey in 1963. This was followed by several political agreements over the years.
But since 2004 this controversy has really flared up again. At that time, the European Union was enlarged by ten new members and the entry of further accession candidates was examined and planned. As early as 1999, Turkey was assumed accession talksand since 2005 these have been repeated again and again.
To this day, however, Turkey is not in the EU and that of course raises the question of “why”?

What are the main reasons against Turkey's accession ?

  • One of the many arguments why Turkey is rejected is its geographical location. Turkey is often seen as a bridge between Europe and Asia, although only 3 percent of its area lies in the south-east of Europe. The remaining 97 percent are clearly in Asia.
  • The city of Istanbul is particularly unique. The so-called heart of Turkey is also the only city in the world that is located on two continents at the same time, Europe and Asia.
  • An even bigger argument than the geographical location is the political situation in the country. Turkey has a presidential system. This means that the President is endowed with additional powers, since he is also the head of government. The current President is Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Unfortunately, the relationship between Erdogan and the European Union is characterized by tensions.
  • Scandals about human rights violations and a lack of freedom of expression are unfortunately not uncommon under Erdogan's leadership in Turkey.
  • Journalists are repeatedly imprisoned, minorities tortured and women's rights ignored. These reasons make it impossible for the Western world to accept Turkey for ethical reasons alone.
  • The history of the country has been influenced primarily by the Middle East and Central Asia.
  • The European connection and common ground has been there over time never existed.


Several attempts to admit Turkey to the European Union have already failed.
Geographically speaking, the vast majority of the country is in Asia. Without clearly noticeable changes in the country, related to human rights and politics, the dream of joining the European Union will not come true in the foreseeable future.

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