Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sarkozy: Turkey and the EU

Some frank commentary from French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy on Turkish chances for membership in the EU (and his counterproposals)--in today's National Interest online:

TNI: Do you think that Turkey, if it meets the conditions set by the EU, has a place in Europe?

NS: Whether Turkey meets the conditions for entry or not does not solve the problem. On this matter, I have always been clear: I do not think Turkey has a right to join the European Union because it is not European. But just because Turkey should not become a member of Europe does not mean that it should be shunned by Europe. Who could seriously argue that the closeness of links between Turkey and Europe, that are the fruit of a long common history and a sincere friendship, should be destroyed if Turkey did not enter the EU? Turkey is a great country that shares a number of our interests and our values. Therefore we must strengthen our ties with the country through a "privileged partnership".

But we should go further and offer to the countries in the Mediterranean the establishment of a "Mediterranean Union", in which Turkey would be a natural pivot. This Union would work closely with the EU. It could organize periodic meetings between its chiefs of states similar to the model of the G8. There could be a Mediterranean Council, like the European Council. The foundations of this area of solidarity and cooperation would be a common immigration policy, commercial and economic development, the promotion of the rule of law, the protection of the environment and the promotion of co-development, with, for example, the creation of a Mediterranean investment bank based on the model of the European version.

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Does Sarkozy mean an MU of Islamic Nations, plus Lebanon and Israel; or, more likely, an MU that includes France, Italy, et al?

The former is basically an UNWELCOME rug that has no chance of getting off the ground in the forseeable future, and the latter is only marginally better in that respect but would create huge coordination issues on the economic side. Both look like obivous non-starters.

One of these days, the Turkish elite is finally going to realize that, no matter what they do, they're not going to get in. When that happens, foreign investgors and the Kurds are going to be the first to know.
I think he has in mind a body that would include all Mediterranean countries--EU and non-EU alike--but would primarily focus on creating a body that would parallel the EU.
Any serious Muslim intellectul would have & could have told you that Turkey does not belong and cannot belong in EU.

Look at the novel "Red" by Orhan Hamuk - a lamentation of the loss of Perso-Islamic culture of Turkey and replacement with precisely nothing.

I also agree that the Med. Council is a pipe dream; what is the point?
Sounds good in theory: pragmatic implications are very dangerous.

It's really too late to change horses on this now, without a real backlash.
Do we want Turkey to slide back to Egypt? That's where the trail ends -

-secularists seize power, face islamic protests, reinstitute mass repression, welcome back to the preconditions for 9/11.
Kojeve, according to Howse, included the Arab states in his vision of the European community. It was a Mediterranean empire based on a common sensibility towards leisure along Aristotelian lines. France first has to solve the Arab problem within its borders, as do other European nations. It is essential that they succeed, for their social systems require an influx of workers to maintain their standard of living for the aging population. As Said remarks, this is a clash of definitions rather than of civilizations.
when it comes to geography, it's absolutely right to support that Turkey is not a European country. I don't think that the European boarders are in Iran, neither that a piece of land (less than 1/25 of the total area of Turkey)on the European side validate a country to be called European. Much more European, to me, is Ukraine, rather than Turkey. Politicaly, Turkish have many times declared that what mostly counts for them is the access to European money; they much more care about receiving rather that giving, either commercially or culturaly
Turkey the bully boy of the med.They have and are bullying all their weaker neighbours Syria/ Greece daily violation of Air space by fighter planes)/ Kurds(
another genocide??)/ Cyprus ( Occupation) /Armenia(Genocide)Iraq ( about to invade).They dare not attack Iran or Russia. The so called ottoman Empire left nothing but destruction and ruin. Do we, the Europeans really want such a country in Europe just because America and their pet puppy Britain wishes it?
What exactly is "EUROPEAN"? You mean the people who live in that off-shoot peninsula from Asia?

And who the hell is Sarkozy? What the hell is France? What has the French ever done in world history with the exception of pouring perfume over their stinky body odor?

People like Sarkozy actually make people like Putin seem nice.
I honestly think Sarkozy is mixing his very well known racist personality with public sentiment in France against EU and Foreigners in France and making up self created political dogma by using Turkey. Anyone who has been to Turkey knows that Turkey probably is, if not more, as European as Cyprus or Malta which is stone throw away from Africa. Economically it is richer than Romania, Bulgaria and few other new comers to EU. It has a vibrant economy. It is historically very much European as one third of Europe was called Turkey for about 500 years. Furthermore, Turkish history, despite the cultural genocide it faced in last 80 years, still exists in cultural fabric of peoples of certain Eastern European countries and entire Balkans, including the Greeks . Its population not only had provided the gene pool to the peoples of Europe on the west side of Bosporus as accepted by anthropologist but they constitutes the cradle of European people as proven but genetically sampling (recent study by University of Bologna had proved that closest genetic relatives of Etruscans who are considered to be the original Romans are the people of today's western Turkey). In addition, great number of European peoples emigrated to the today's Turkey after the establishment of Republic if 1920s constituting a great portion of Turkish population.

The only argument left is the religion slash culture. That is a very racist and fascist argument, saying something like "Son, you cannot married to her, because she is not a Christian". We all know what this type of attitude leas us to, remember Germany in 1930s and 40s....I wish those who oppose Turkish membership had a logical and sensible argument, but they do not. They can only count on populist opinion polls of their countries' racist constituencies...I have one think to say to EU citizens... Wake up Europe, we live in a world of equality. Practice what you preach!
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