Originally posted by Rufus T. Firefly
Two explanations for France's opposition, one nobler than the other:
1) Turkey's sheer size gives France pause. In the EU, the prosperous countries are big, and the poor countries that have been admitted over teh years (Greece, Ireland, Portugal) are all relatively small. Thus, admitting new countries has always had a whiff of noblesse oblige
about it. Turkey, however, is not some piddling little country; its up there with France and Germany in its population, and might just be uppity enough to point that out. I thing teh French find that intimidating and irritating.
2) France, more than any other country in the EU (including the UK), has set itself up as the guardian of "European ideals" -- roughly speaking, Enlightenment democratic thought. That's a good thing; anybody who wants to champion the Enlightenment is tops in my book. And the problem is, Turkey really isn't
on board, yet, with the whole Enlightenment thing -- they really don't get democracy, or human rights, or the rule of law. France knows this, and is very rightly suspicious.