THE BLOG
24/10/2013 08:09 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Ukip Challenges David Cameron to Withdraw Support for Turkish Accession

This week the European Union agreed to resume membership talks with Turkey. The EU's European affairs ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, said the talks would restart on 5 November, after being stalled for three years.

When he visited Ankara on 27tJuly David Cameron strongly backed Turkey's application to become a full member of the European Union. Mr Cameron has fundamentally misunderstood Turkey's geographical and trade position.

Some facts about Turkey:

GDP - per capita (PPP):

Turkey $15,200 (2012 est.)

UK: $37,500 (2012 est>)

Turkey pop. 80.7 million July 2013

Turkey's population today is 77.8million. It is the 17th most populous country in the world yet Turkey is little larger than the state of Texas.

Just over a quarter of its people (27 per cent) are aged 14 or younger. At current rates of increase in 2020 its population will be 100.7million and in 2050 130.4million.

Compared with the UK, Turkey's GDP per capita is $11,200 (2009 est.) while the UK's is $35,200.

Kurds, the largest minority in Turkey at 18 per cent of the population, have resisted the Turkish government's attempts at total 'assimilation'. The Turkish government has a long history of physical atrocities against the Kurds: oppression continues to this day despite Turkey's application to join the EU.

In December 1995 Turkey entered into a customs union with the EU for the movement of goods without restriction. Agriculture and services are covered now bilateral trade concessions. So trade benefits already exist.

Since that date, Turkey's exports to the UK have increased from $1.3billion to $8.2million in 2008 while exports from the UK to Turkey have increased from $2.5 to 5.3billion.

In 1995 the UK had a positive balance of trade with Turkey (plus $1.3billion) and by 2001 that reversed to a negative and in 2008 was minus $2.9billion.

We in UKIP do not understand why the EU and the British parties of Tory, Labour and LibDems acting as cheerleaders for Turkish accession.

Turkey is too big, too poor, and too different in culture to be allowed into the EU. Only three per cent of its landmass is actually in Europe, the rest is in Asia.

It is a wholly reckless policy by our government to agree to give 80million poverty-stricken people from Turkey free access to the UK when so many British people here are unemployed. And, bearing in mind there are another potential 30m poverty-stricken people from Romania and Bulgaria who will have unfettered access to the UK in two months time.

Turkey's record on human rights in recent years has been atrocious and we challenge David Cameron to withdraw UK support for Turkish accession immediately.