Summary: Turkeyu0092s EU membership application is fraught with more difficulties than that of any other country to apply. The EU has been unwilling to rule Turkey out, but at the same time it has not fully committed to accepting Turkey as a member. At this point there is no definitive way to determine whether the EU has dealt with Turkey as it would with any other country with a similar human rights record but less controversy. It is only possible to evaluate what data exist and estimate where that should place Turkey in the accession process. By looking at data from Freedom Houseu0092s Freedom in the World survey of political rights and civil liberties, this article suggests an alternative way of evaluating Turkeyu0092s position with respect to the EU. The evidence here suggests that Turkey is not yet as advanced in democratic reforms as other candidate countries have been, and therefore the EU cannot be blamed for its hesitance thus far. But it also indicates that Turkey is in a position different from all other candidates and that it could benefit from more active engagement than the EU is now offering. Turkey is a valuable ally to Europe and the West as a whole, and the EU should encourage positive trends in any way it can.
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