France's "Non" to the EU constitution has raised fresh concerns in Turkey about the country's bid to join the EU.
Turkish press commentaries voice fears that Europe may be turning its back on Turkey.
Even if there are no significant problems for Turkey in the short term, problems will indeed arise in the medium and long term. The most important problem is that the chaos in Europe could slow down EU membership talks with Turkey. Europe will turn inwards in such a way that nobody will see Turkey.
The implications of the French referendum for Turkey can be evaluated in two spheres - the legal and the political. In the legal sphere, the referendum result should not have any impact on the [membership] talks date of 3 October. But politically speaking, it can be argued that the anti-Turkey predisposition in Europe has been strengthened.
Can the EU, which finds it so difficult to take decisions with 15 members, be expected now to reach a common decision on any serious political, economic or security issue? This includes Turkey's future in the EU. In their political campaigns, French and German right-wingers have unfortunately used Turkey as a tool to attack their opponents - and are still doing so.
The EU's political atmosphere is changing rapidly. A political foundation that will enable EU leaders to put forward different proposals regarding Turkey - such as a privileged partnership and special status - is being built. This has been triggered first by the decision to hold early elections in Germany and then by the French referendum result.
Trying to change European public opinion about Turkey has become an absolute requirement... Achieving this is possible by continuing to change Turkey from head to toe - because the thing that will positively influence the European public is Turkey's presentation of an indisputably new democratic profile.
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