There's no denying that Britain's potential exit from the EU is one of the biggest issues on the table right now for the political union. However, at the other side of the continent is a country in a very different position to the United Kingdom and that country is Turkey. Whilst Britain ponders over its biggest decision for a generation, Turkey is undoubtedly united in a wish to join the European Union.
Turkey is a country that desperately longs for a place at the European table and as you're likely already aware has wanted that place since as far back as 2005. However, the country's entry into the EU has consistently been stalled by a number of countries, including of course, the United Kingdom. Only this weekend did UK Chancellor George Osbourne tell Andrew Marr that Britain would essentially use its veto time after time to prevent Turkey gaining its European seat.
Given the Eurosceptic leanings of our country right now, it's very little surprise that the government are pushing against Turkey's bid. But what many people don't take into consideration is that there's actually a good number of benefits to Turkey joining the EU and it's time we understood them.
Anyone who keeps abreast of international politics will already be more than aware that Turkey is a member of NATO. Not only does Turkey provide NATO with a political stronghold in an unstable region, but unbeknown to many, Turkey actually has NATO's second-largest army. Turkey is a country that's an awful lot more powerful than many people give it credit and that's something Europe needs right now. The continent is already facing pressure from neighbouring Russia and terror from further afield, so surely the more strength Turkey can provide, the better?
Also worth remembering is how very different Turkey is to many other countries in the middle east. Turkey is a democracy and an incredibly stable one at that. However, considering instability in the region, it's partly our responsibility to assure the continued to stability of Turkey as a country and the only real way to achieve that is by increased political union with the country.
One aspect of Europe that many of us like to forget is how we regularly use the continent's free travel arrangements to hop over for a summer holiday in the sun. Whether it's an action-packed family holiday in Disney Land or a relaxing break in Spain, British people absolutely love holidaying within the EU. Turkey could only add to that; it's already a country rich in culture and history. It'd be an awful lot easier to take advantage of that if Turkey was a member of the EU.
On the other hand, there's still going to be many that argue Turkey isn't geographically placed as part of the European Union and it's still far too big for the EU to absorb. However, the EU is already home to a large number of countries that bring an awful lot less to the table. Whether it's the country's thriving economy or military strength, the reasons why Turkey should have a place at the European table are only growing.
That being said, David Cameron will surely want to remain pretty quiet on the issue of Turkey's EU membership until Britain has decided its own fate.