Ok, it might not happen just yet, but the UK Government has decided that it should be our priority to facilitate Turkey's entry into the EU. As I understand it, our stated reason is to avoid a clash of cultures between the West and Islam. What nonsense. We are seeking exactly that clash, but not in the way one assumes. The west wants a democratic Middle East - and bloody right too - it makes business easier, makes them more disinclined to poke their tongues out over important issues when faced with military action (Iranian Nukes) and I guess we hope democracy (or our version) will provide a stabilising (and secularising?*)influence on the region. Especially when the black stuff runs out and the RPGs hit the fan. So the real reasons we want Turkey in the EU? -We get to hold them up as an example of what happens to good Muslim States, and provide an incentive for others to reform. I like to call it the Domino Effect. -They're holding us to the "Don't feck with northern Iraq and we'll let you in our club" deal made in 2002/3 -Strengthening the 'Lines of Lubrication' between where the oil lives and our 3.0l TDi engines. In my opinion, they're all good-ish reasons, but I'm not sure they're worth the hassle of letting Turkey in. With 70-odd million inhabitants, they have a lot of economic migration to give (oh goody) - and ourselves, germany, france and italy are going to have so much fun with immigrants over the next decade or so, especially when economies start to wobble (some already are). It's going to annoy the greeks and greek cypriotes (I don't care), and they seem singularly unwilling to actually do much reforming beyond the required cosmetic surgery. They approach civil rights the same way we approach Investors In People. They WILL try and solve the kurdish problem eventually - and to think we looked impotent when we tried to sort out non EU members who got all ethnically cleansy. And they will inevitably be torn between the Arab Nations and the EU on the pertinent matters of foreign policy. It will be like letting another France in. I also don't think Turkey holds enough sway with the mainstream Muslim Nations to be seen as anything other than a western pet, at worst a Pariah. So, am I missing some huge potential payoff for all this? *Is that even a word, let alone a valid point?