Personally I am rather for Turkey's admission into the EU.
Why are many people here so reluctant to see Turkey join the Union?
The first reason, I think, is history. The little most Europeans know about Turkey comes from school, and that is about invasions, crusades, etc. So Turkey appears like the oldtime foe.
The second reason, closely related to the first, is religion. People fear that were a Muslim country (and a big one, for that matter) to join the Union, proselytism would spread much faster than it already does.
The third one is the feeling that Turkey is not yet a democratic country, that minorities are not treated fairly, and you can add the idea that Midnight Express does not completely belong to the past and that Turkey remains a heavily militarized country.
The fourth one, especially in France, is the fact that contrary to Germany, present-day Turkey refuses to endorse any part of the Armenian genocide, and actually denies that there ever was such a genocide.
Point 1 belongs to the past IMO.
Point 2 has to be taken into account.
Point 3 is probably much exaggerated.
Point 4, I think, stands to reason, and Turkey should not be so overly proud as to refuse to do what Germany did.
I am not sure that joining the Union would be all benefit for Turkey either. It would be tough especially for the local automobile industry (there is no Turkish automobile company stricto sensu, but most cars running there have been made in the country). Some areas probably are not ready for competition with Western products.
But I still believe that both sides have more to gain than to lose from Turkey's adhesion.
Turkey is not, at least not completely a European country. Last summer, I felt that without criticizing Atatürk's reforms in any way, Turkish people were more eager to speak of their Asian roots. Now, as i-girl said, Turkey, quite like Greece actually, is not entirely Oriental either. It stands between two worlds, and that may not be necessarily a problem. Socially, I really don't think that Turkey is farther from Western European standards than several of the Central & Eastern European countries due to join the Union in less than two years. Neither is it economically. And politically, of course populism seems to meet a lot of success there, but, as a French citizen, I don't feel like teaching lessons on that matter
Most of all, I am very pessimistic about what might happen if the EU retains its reluctant attitude towards Turkey. Turkey has passed a number of laws this summer which, indeed, must now be converted into facts, but still denote a strong political will. I think that Turkey has already proved its determination to solve tough problems in several occasions. We can't act as though they had done nothing, or just trifle. If we keep our doors closed, we will probably be offering millions of votes to extremist parties, and to Muslim fundamentalists, to begin with. Last elections were won by an Islam-based party, but (officially) in favour of turkey's joining the Union. Now, we mustn't carelessly feed the following discourse: "You want to be Westernized - the West doesn't want you. You preach for equality between sexes - it is hardly more than an illusion, and women lose protection while gaining nothing real." Etc.
I might be mistaken, but I frankly believe that having Turkey within the EU is not only more logical, but also safer than leaving it out and letting it (not now, but possibly later) turn into a stronghold of hardliners, and a wall between the West and the (Middle) East.
Well, that's just a small part of my opinion on that matter