The journey towards a new destiny for Turkey began when EU member states reached an eleventh hour deal to start accession talks with Ankara.
There is a sense of relief on the streets, but plenty of foreboding about what the long and tortuous negotiation process might bring – mixed feelings that are reflected in today’s newspaper editorials. “The European Union will never take us in. I am as sure of that as I am sure of my name. Today Vienna is in the driving seat, tomorrow it will be Paris,” one man said. “It looks like it will take quite some time for Turkey to become a member. It would be better if there wasn’t such a long waiting process,” another man commented. Not only is it long, it also affords Turkey-sceptics such as Austria and Cyprus plenty of opportunities to sabotage Ankara’s bid. They may not do that, but objections could still bog down the process – frustrating Turkey and its EU supporters who believe membership will bridge a cultural and religious gap between East and West.