Heinz Brill


In the course of assessments of international situations, geopolitical factors and influences are increasing. In the case of Turkey, the special geopolitical importance of the country is stressed in nearly every international discussion. Because of Turkey’s position between geopolitical areas, and due to the altered space-powers-constellation in Eurasia, the Near East and North Africa, “geopolitics” has become a central criterion for “the new assessment of the situation” of Turkish interests. Although in its EU-policy Turkey demonstrates verbal strength from time to time, it is aware of the fact that its options are numerous but substantially limited. The reason for this is the fact that neither the markets in the Near East region and in the Caucasus, in the ECO-states, the International Islamic Conference, the D-8 Group nor the membership application for the “Shanghai-Group” do not offer any serious alternatives for the EU market for the time being. Many of these unions just exist or have failed. On the other hand, the customs union with the EU is one of the few agreements with profits to both sides. As the majority of the EU states prefer Turkey to remain a regional power with ambitions to become a superpower instead of becoming a full member of the EU, Ankara’s search for an alternative centre of gravity outside the EU will remain to be a challenge for Turkey’s politics. But utopism and perfectionism are dangerous. Thus, rational politicians will make Bismarck’s maxim “politics is the art of the possible” the guiding principle of their action. John Forster Dulles refused to take alternatives for the „Cold War“ or the European defence Community into consideration. The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill suggested his ideal solution: “The best plan for achieving flexibility is to have three or four plans for every single chance, which must be finished in detail. Thus, it will be much easier to switch over from one to the other, depending on how things develop.” When applying this solution to Turkey’s current situation, the question is whether and to what extent Churchill’s solution for a sovereign state will work here. Renowned politicians, journalists, scientists etc. believe that there is no alternative for the EU membership of Turkey. Other prominent politicians, journalists, scientists etc., on the other hand, are convinced that one wants to go the road to “full membership” and thus talks oneself into having to do it. It turns out that a possible EU membership of Turkey is prevailing in public discussions, but there certainly are alternatives.