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By Senem Ayd?n-Düzgit
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Additional resources for Constructions of European identity : debates and discourses on Turkey and the EU
Both the parliamentary debates and the interviews suggest that the interdiscursivity with the clash of civilisations thesis is also widely prevalent among the discourses of the centre-left, liberals and the Greens in the EP:3 We have had enough of giving in to fear. We need a change, a sign, I would say a different policy, like the Zapatero-Erdogan proposal taken up by Kofi Annan regarding an alliance of civilisations. I am therefore in favour of opening negotiations for the sake of security of Europe’s citizens; for the sake of peace; for the sake of the fight against terrorism.
Analysis of the two excerpts above (and particularly the second) constructs a Europe that moves beyond a focus on its internal sphere towards a more global role via combating a potential clash of civilisations and related ‘threats’ such as terrorism. ’, also helps to strengthen that claim. The global role that Europe is supposed to play is discussed at more length in some of the speeches and interviews:13 In the world of the 21st century, the EU needs Turkey as an anchor and even exporter of stability and democracy in the most unstable and troubled regions in the world, where there is so much at stake at this juncture.
On membership, Turkey will become the most populous member country after Germany, with the total population of the 12 new member states being approximately 105 million. Furthermore about 30% of the Turkish population is under the age of 15, which means that Turkey has a young population, in contrast to the ageing EU population, bringing forward debates on the possible socio-economic merits of future Turkish accession. The economic situation, including wide income disparities within the country, the structure of the economy and the persistent legacy of populism, corruption and/or patronage politics are frequently cited as fundamental barriers to closer relations.