Originally posted by invigorate
I had a little debate with a UKIP woman on my doorstep.
I'm thinking 70 million more customers for our goods, cheap manufacturing bases so we get cheaper goods.
Our businesses will get access to loads more resources at cheaper rates. It could just the spark that Europe needs create trade.
Turkey is really neither geographically nor culturally European, so I think probably not. However, it is very important that Europe should do as much as possible to encourage further development in Turkey - basically, it's key to future harmony between the West and the Islamic world that there should be a visible example of a successful, prosperous and predominantly secular Muslim-majority nation. The world will be all the safer if the new Egypt, Tunisia and Libya take Turkey as a model.
So I think there should be close political and economic links between Turkey and the EU, preferential trade deals could be signed, and perhaps we should offer the Turks some form of "associate membership" - which could also be extended to other countries geographically and / or culturally outside Europe, but with which close links are desirable (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are obvious examples).