Erik Jan Zürcher, professor of Turkish languages and cultures at the University of Leiden since 1997
"In a religious and more general cultural sense, Turkey exhibits a number of characteristics that closely correspond to those present in some parts of Europe. This is not only understandable from its long history of contact with Europe and the deliberate ambition of the Turkish elite to become European, but also from the characteristics of modern-day Turkish society, with its large and mature urban middle class, political pluralism and strong growth of prosperity. The fact that Turkey`s dominant religion is Islam, not Christianity, does not change this, nor does the fact that it tends to have more in common with countries such as Poland or Greece than with, say, the Netherlands or Denmark. Turkey`s alleged un-European character is a construction, based on a very shaky definition of a European or 'Western' civilization, and on a poor understanding of Turkish reality."
Erik Jan Zürcher, 'Searching for the Fault-Line', in: The European Union, Turkey and Islam', Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy
Erik Jan Zürcher, professor of Turkish languages and cultures at the University of Leiden since 1997, and author of the widely used book of reference, 'Turkey. A Modern History'  and the survey, 'Searching for the Fault-Line', included in the Scientific Council for Government Policy`s report, 'The European Union, Turkey, and Islam'