Winds of Turkey

PersonaNonGrata

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The "Winds of Turkey" continued to blow in the European press yesterday amidst various hints that the European Union (EU) Commission's October 6th progress report on Turkey would most assuredly be positive.

Yesterday's edition of the British newspaper The Guardian writes that Turkey and Europe will gradually affiliate and that the process cannot be prevented. In the paper's discussion of the Turkey-EU relationship, it reminds that Turkey would the most crowded and poorest of the EU members, not to mention that it is predominantly Muslim.

Germany's Der Spiegel paper writes that debates within the ruling Social Democrat Party occurred over Turkey's EU membership. Spain's Al Pais paper defends that "the matter of Turkey's EU membership split the EU in half."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that "Turkey will be able to be an EU member within 10 or 15 years. The contribution of Turkey to the EU is of considerable importance."

so on so on... i really can not do any comment on this issue as i myself a turk, so i'd like to hear your opinion about a muslim country's knockings on the overall christian EU..



Peace at home peace in the world
 
Namaste PNG,


thank you for the post.

well... i suppose that i'm of two minds about it... on the one hand, it would seem to be a postive benefit for Turkey, in general, to join the EU. on the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a country not participating in such a multi-national agreement..

now... i will confess that some of the rules of the EU are obscure to me, so i do not know what rights that Turkey would have to reliquish, if any, to be a memeber.

so... to sum up... in the end, it depends, in my view, on the will of the people. do most folks in Turkey want to join the EU? if so, then i think that is a good thing for them to do. if they do not, then they shouldn't.
 
I'm all for Turkey joining the EU - and see it as an inevitability a well. The US has been trying to use British influence within the EU to push for turkey's acceptance into the organisation, as patr of the US's apparent geostrategy for the Middle East - turn Turkey into an example of a democraticed and prosperous nation of Muslims, so others to imitate and follow on.

I see no objection other than Turkey will eat up a lot of cash - but as the EU regularly looses a couple of billion from the accounts every year (it just vanishes), I can't imagine Turkey putting too considerable a strain no the EU. :)

However, you have to ask - economic benefits aside - how much turkey will enjoy being part of the EU. After all, here in Europe committees spend years and millions debating what actually constitutes "honey", and also is pretty infamous for over-bureaucracy when it comes to regulating various issues.

Also - the fact that the EU is generally seen as distant and unaccountable means that the various national votes and referendums that are coming will see the pro-Europe vote absolutely trounced - the EU makes no political (think: showman) effort to show that it is accessible to the ordinary person on the street. Because of that, the person on the street is almost certainly not going to legitimise suh a system with a pro-vote.

That's on general ratification of the new member states, let alone Turkey entering. :)
 
;(

i still dont have my opion about this eu thingy yet, yeah i know i should as the thread starter at least ..
i really dont know friends, as im not thinking about dying where i have born, not interested in one country's spesific concerns, i am of course following the news and aware of some facts and changes that are going on in turkey so let me...

let the statistics talk first:

The opinion poll was conducted under the supervision of academicians in 11 Turkish provinces (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Konya, Samsun and Trabzon ) with a total of randomly selected 2,100 Turkish women -- 200 of the women in the sample wore black veil, 600 wore turban, 600 kerchief, and 700 did not use any headwear at all.

I think the categorization of these women by the way they cover their heads is a most interesting approach since the way women cover their heads do reflect their overall political outlook in general, especially their views on secularism and religion.



Question: Are the state agencies in Turkey respectful of human rights?

Veil: No (62.7 %).
Turban: No (57.4 %).
Kerchief: No (52.2 %)
No head cover: No (65.2 %).



Question: Do you support the United States’ occupation of Iraq and Turkey’s response to it?

About 80% of the women surveyed said they were against the U.S. intervention in Iraq. 40% said they did support Turkey’s position on the developments in Iraq.



Question: Should Ataturk’s Turkey be ruled by contemporary laws or laws based on religion?

Veil: Contemporary laws (50.2 %).
Turban: Contemporary laws (72.9 %).
Kerchief: Contemporary laws (81.5 %)
No head cover: Contemporary laws (98.4 %).



Question: If your husband brought home a second wife (Kuma), would you accept that?

Veil: No (90.7 %).
Turban: No (91.9 %).
Kerchief: No (94.0 %)
No head cover: No (89.5 %).

The fact that those who object to a second wife the least are those who do not cover their heads was a bit shocking for me. If anything, I would expect 99 % or 100 % of them to object to a second wife. It seems like the “modernity” in dress does not always automatically translate to modernity in other areas of personal behavior.



Question: Can you talk openly about sexual matters with your husband?

Veil: Yes (37.9 %).
Turban: Yes (54.9 %).
Kerchief: Yes (52.2 %).
No head cover: Yes (47.0 %).

The numbers for the “turban” and “no head cover” women are reverse of what many would have expected.



Question: Do you think it is okay for your children to marry a foreigner or a non-Muslim?

Veil: No (80.1 %).
Turban: No (64.5 %).
Kerchief: No (58.9 %)
No head cover: Yes (53.2 %).



Question: Do you favor the New Year celebrations?

Veil: No, it is a Christian practice (83.6 %).
Turban: No, it is a Christian practice (61.5 %).
Kerchief: No, it is a Christian practice (49.9 %).
No head cover: Yes (84.3 %).



Question: Do you support Turkey’s membership in the European Union?

Veil: Yes (47.0 %).
Turban: Yes (65.6 %).
Kerchief: Yes (65.4 %)
No head cover: Yes (76.0 %).



and here are some comments what 'we' will bring what we will 'take' from/to EU (obvious bad usage of english:)


Turkey’s supporters say:

* The EU’s own credibility is at stake. If Ankara meets the political criteria and the EU again rebuffs it despite earlier pledges, this would expose the EU as prejudiced and unreliable.
* Turkey’s geographical location, culture and religion make it a bridge to the wider Muslim world and could help avert a feared “clash of civilisations” in this post-9/11 world.
* With the second biggest army in NATO and strategic reach into the Middle East, Turkey would bolster EU ambitions to become a serious player on the regional and world stage.
* Turkey has one of Europe’s fastest growing economies and a dynamic, youthful population which could help cushion a looming pensions crisis across an otherwise mostly ageing continent.
* The prospect of membership is forcing Turkish governments to pursue sensible economic policies, uphold the rule of law and entrench basic democratic freedoms, making Turkey a more attractive and stable place for foreign investors.
* Turkish membership could help cement its warming relations with Greece, contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem and increase stability in the east Mediterranean region.

Turkey’s critics say:

* Opinion polls show the European public opposes Turkish membership and the EU has to respect their democratic wishes.
* Turks from poorer parts of the country would flock west to find jobs — and the experience of Germany and others in recent decades shows how hard it is to integrate such people.
* Turkey’s size would impose great strain on the EU budget, with huge financial transfers needed to bring the country’s infrastructure, agriculture and administration up to EU levels.
* On present demographic trends, Turkey would be the biggest EU member by the time it joins. It would thus wield the largest number of votes in the European Council and field the largest number of deputies in the European Parliament — a situation likely to scare an already nervous European public.
* Turkey’s admission would stretch EU borders to Iraq, Iran and Syria. In an EU without internal borders, it would be much harder to halt the flow of illegal immigrants through Turkey to Europe.
* Despite impressive progress on paper, Turkey continues to be criticised for human rights abuses such as torture and for corruption.
* Geographically and culturally, Muslim Turkey is more Middle Eastern or Asiatic than European. Its admission would complicate decision-making and force the EU over time to become a looser, less effective organisation. reuters
 
Persona,

I am enjoying reading your posts (and Brian's response) about Turkey and the EU. I found the survey of Turkish women that you posted fascinating - diffferentiating by how they cover their heads or not. If you have time, what do the different types of headwear represent politically and culturally? I was also intrigued that more of the women in the survey, who did not cover their heads, seemed to not mind their husbands marrying a second wife.

The pros and cons for Turkey joining are quite expected, given the facts. I guess the EU has till 2011 (am I right?) to prepare themselves for Turkey formally joining the union, provided they grant it membership in Dec. 2004. Being Indian, I have always found this concept of the European Union a fascinating one to follow - to see how they go about gradually building a workable political and economic union composed of countries of different historical, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. With Turkey, you now potentially add religion to the pot-pourri.

When I talk to Americans (I live in the US) about India, I always start off by saying 'Imagine if Europe were united, with all its different languages: that's what India is like.' India is just such a mix of languages (about 25 major different languages), at least 8 of the world's religions represented, and with differences in dress, cuisine and culture from north to south, east to west. The difference between the EU and the Indian union is that the former is one of choice, while the latter was a forced one, initially formed by emperors consolidating territory in the middle ages, and followed by the British colonisation (which brought all of present day India under it). Still, we are surviving after 57 years as one nation, enjoying the fusion of differences, but also straining sometimes when people clash with each other because of these differences.

So, I shall always watch the EU experiment with a great deal of interest - to see how it evolves with its historical and cultural differences, which should get a bit more varied if Turkey joins it.
 
Indogenes that is very enlightening about India. I never realised it was such a diverse country. :)

To Turkey joining the EU I think the arguements are complex.

* Geographically and culturally, Muslim Turkey is more Middle Eastern or Asiatic than European. Its admission would complicate decision-making and force the EU over time to become a looser, less effective organisation. reuters

I think that this is a very conservative view, Turkey is and has always been the bridge from east to west. Istanbul has been the Capital of the East Roman Empire (Constantinople), The Byzantium Empire and the The Ottoman Empire. I think it is intolerant to use the fact that it has a large Muslim population as an arguement against it. This arguement implies that we are christian, not a secular tolerant state.

PersonaNonGrata said:
* Turkey’s size would impose great strain on the EU budget, with huge financial transfers needed to bring the country’s infrastructure, agriculture and administration up to EU levels.
I don't see anything wrong with a bit of rich mens money going to the poor.:D

On the otherside
PersonaNonGrata said:
* With the second biggest army in NATO and strategic reach into the Middle East, Turkey would bolster EU ambitions to become a serious player on the regional and world stage.

I suppose in the case of Africa's crisis and the benefits of having more troops it is a good point but still the fact remains that a country having a large military force reflects how they deal with a problem - blow it up


Turkeys violence against the Kurds is terrible and is breeding bait for Arms Companies -things which need to take a chill pill. I could argue against them forever. This conflict didn't come by overnight and it won't heal overnight.


What about the USA's injustice against Cuba and many other countries? that doesn't stop the UK from being it's best buddy.


The EU isn't a perfect institution - thats just being eutopian, but IMO any institutional body which can be summoned to call upon justice will in the long term have a positive effect.
I could say more...but I will retain myself ;)
Peace
 
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