"'Alliance' or 'Clash' of civilizations?
El Pais Spain | JOSEP BORRELL
The European Council decided earlier this month to begin talks with Turkey on membership of the European Union. Prior to this, the European Parliament had voted in favor by 407 to 262 (with 29 abstentions) on admitting Turkey. We are witnessing a historic moment. Sitting between Europe and Asia, and at the crossroads of history, Turkey is not just any candidate: its future incorporation, or not, into the EU will impact either on the so-called clash of civilizations that some insist on provoking, or on the alliance of civilizations that many of us desire as the guarantee of shared peace and progress.
The Turkish question has divided Europeans as they seek to understand the geographic, historical, and political boundaries of Europe. For many years, we have avoided the issue. The existence of the Soviet Bloc provided the answer: the Iron Curtain imposed our frontiers. Its disappearance has forced us to look at the aims and ambitions of an EU that some would like to see reduced in size."
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