Published in Russian Studies in History (Vol. 57, No. 2, 2018)
EU keep put down Turkey joining effort just put Turkey (as a Nation not just Erdo Sultan), more and more believe that they have to carve their own way independent from West. Turkey media and forums also always put that Europe will never agree on Turkey in NATO wholeheartedly and only US is what matter for Turkey continue in NATO. So the way I see the Turkey continue objection toward Sweden and Finland is bargaining toward US and not other Euro.
EU has several requirements that needs to be met before a country can be let in. Turkey has the last few years moved further away from meeting those requirements. Those requirements are also the reason why EU has made it clear that it will take some time before Ukraine is ready to join.
"Turkey is a key strategic partner of the EU on issues such as migration, security, counter-terrorism, and the economy, but has been backsliding in the areas of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. In response, the General Affairs Council decided in June 2018 that accession negotiations with Turkey are effectively frozen. " Turkey (europa.eu)
"Erdogan and his AKP, a conservative party with Islamist roots, came to power in 2002, following a decade marked by political instability and a financial crisis. The AKP advanced economic and political reforms to bring Turkey closer in line with EU standards, and the country’s economy grew by 7.5 percent
on average annually between 2001 and 2011. On foreign policy, the AKP’s motto was “zero problems with neighbors,” and Ankara aimed to expand Turkey’s influence by building trade ties, encouraging democracy, and emphasizing its Islamic identity.
But by the late 2000s, the AKP had become more authoritarian. It consolidated control over media organizations, purged the military of perceived dissidents, prosecuted and jailed critics
, and quashed protests. In 2016, Erdogan seized on an attempted military coup to crack down further on his perceived opponents, who he alleges are led by Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in the United States who was once Erdogan’s ally. Through a referendum the following year, Erdogan replaced the country’s parliamentary system with a presidential one; abolished the office of prime minister, among other major changes; and effectively rendered himself Turkey’s sole power holder.
Erdogan has engineered an assertive shift in foreign policy that focuses on expanding Turkey’s military and diplomatic footprint. To this end, Turkey has launched military interventions in countries including Azerbaijan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria; supplied partners such as Ethiopia and Ukraine with drones; and built Islamic schools abroad." Turkey’s Growing Foreign Policy Ambitions | Council on Foreign Relations (cfr.org)
If Turkey had decided to work towards meeting EU requirements instead of basically doing the opposite the last 10-15 years, the relationship to EU would have been very different. The EU has strict requirements regarding freedom of expression, democratic processes, legal processes, etc.
Regarding trust and Turkey: A recent and highly relevant example is that both Sweden and Finland asked Turkey if they would support NATO membership before
they sent the letters to NATO to start the application process. Naïve Scandinavians actually believed what they were told repeatedly (and not just by Erdogan in person but also at various levels in the Turkish administration): Turkey said they would not cause any problems and support the applications. Clearly Turkey lied, and clearly Finland and Sweden is losing trust in Turkey as a result. Turkey is still blocking negotiations, BTW: Turkey rejects Nato offer of trilateral talks with Sweden and Finland | Financial Times
Argument that saying Russia destroy working relationship with West that they're build since 90's, in my sense only half right. Half right, because it is very doubtful EU will ever accept Russia as equal partner. Just like with Turkey, EU deep down will always suspicious on both of them, and seems the feeling are mutuals.
Many EU countries including Germany, France, Italy worked hard to improve relations to Russia. The war in 2008 and even more so the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the involvement in Eastern Ukraine the same year, not to forget killing of (or trying to kill) several people in Western countries, and interference in democratic processes in several Western countries clearly did not build confidence. In spite of all of this, Germany and others insisted on working towards "normalizing" the relationship. However, all trust and hope of normalizing the relationship for a long time to come, vanished February 24 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine (again) in spite of telling Macron just hours before that they had no intentions of doing so.
Since you use soft words like "suspicious" etc. I would also like to bring a few other arguments in. The world of sports is very important to many people, and although many argue that politics should stay out of it, that's clearly not the case in Russia. As you are well aware Russia has a horrible track record of organized, state sponsored cheating over many many years. From Sochi to Beijing: Russia's tainted history of doping at Olympics - Sports News (wionews.com) Timeline of Russia’s doping cases and cover-ups - OlympicTalk | NBC Sports
One of the whistle blowers is living a fearful life in the US, afraid that Russia will find and kill him: ‘The Kremlin wants me dead’: Russia's sports doping whistleblower speaks out | Russia | The Guardian
Other countries have been cheating in sports as well -- however to my knowledge nobody has done as systematic in so many different sports and over so many years as Russia (perhaps the exception is the USSR). It is also disconcerting that the whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov needs 24/7 FBI protection to stay alive -- after all it's "just about sports" right? Still Russia wants to kill him.
It is an uphill struggle to build trust when you look at the whole picture.... Enough is enough. Russia is out in the cold and must remain there until Russia changes behavior. Trust has to be earned, at least in the "Western cultures". Perhaps this is different in the "Asian cultures"?