Parag Khanna: I actually don’t care whether or not Turkey officially becomes part of the Europea Union. As far as I am concerned, it already is. And everytime you go to Turkey, you see more and more ways and which is Europeanizing [sic]. It is a process that is being going on for over 40 years. Fact is that Europe and Turkey is almost fully integrated into the European economy.
There are plenty of obstacles down the way. There is a variety of [inaudible] and quotas and other mechanisms that slow down the free exchange between Turkey and Europe. But the volume of investment from Europe into Turkey is absolutely enormous. It is far larger than from United States or Russia or anyone else, for that matter.
And the number of Turks living in Europe and earning money there and sending it back to Turkey is also enormous. It is well over a billion dollars a year of capital that comes back.
So, in all of the important tangible ways, Turkey already is very European. In all of the less important, but politically symbolic ways, like whether or not it happens to be member of the EU or not, it isn’t a member, it is a discretionary member.
Recorded on: 3/3/2008