Hopefully my readers are willing to indulge me today as I depart from usual custom to address an article I came across written in English. As EurActiv reports, the Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu visited Brussels yesterday.
Nobody can tell me “we Europeans” and “you Turks” […] But we are part of European history. And we are part of contemporary Europe. There are 45 million Muslims living in Europe and more than 6 million Turks. […] We have to have an inclusive European identity. But if you have a Holy Roman-German-Christian type of understanding, then Europe has ended, sorry.
We can all rest easy now, right? We have this Turkish, Muslim official from outside of Europe standing by ready to tell us when Europe has officially “ended.” But he is right with that “we are part of European history” part: Tours, 732; Constantinople, 1453; Vienna, 1529 and 1683. For those with lesser background in European history, those were dates at which Europeans tried (mostly successfully) to beat the invading Muslims/Turks back, out of Europe.
What kind of “inclusive European identity” can there be that includes the Turks? Our civilizations are based on totally different philosophical/moral foundations: the European, on a Judeo-Christian basis; the Muslim, on the Koran and sharia law. Yes, Turkey is a country that directly borders on Europe – it is not part of Europe, geographically speaking, other than an insignificant piece of land to the West of the Bosphorus – and close trade relations, to include as-low-as-possible tariffs, would be a good thing. But not EU membership, not suddenly handing the 77 million Turks living in Asia (note!) Minor the power to co-determine all the many other aspects of life that we now look to the European Union to regulate.
Admitting Turkey to the EU makes about as much sense as – and is a very analogous idea to – admitting Mexico as America’s 51st state. But regular readers (Hi, Mom!) will already know that I delved much further into this point in a blogpost of quite a while ago. And that is even when you’re dealing with a squeaky-clean, smiling, democratic Turkey. That’s hardly what we have now, and the mass-arrests of journalists in that country of last month and the brutal response to the Taksim Square protests in Istanbul are just a couple of available data-points that make that only too plain.
(Now, to give it credit, Turkey has put in super-human efforts to accommodate the flood of refugees coming to it from across the Syrian border, and remains the world’s foremost enemy to that bloodthirsty dictator and child-torturer Bashar al-Assad.)
The Turkish Prime Minister made ironic remarks about the lack of political stability in EU countries, saying that at a NATO meeting in his previous capacity as foreign minister, he was the only [sic] to have been in office for four full years. Another country which he didn’t name had changed seven ministers in the meantime, and some others six or five.
Yes, isn’t that something? National governments that actually reflect the popular will! Not so easy to find in other lands where the government even blocks Twitter (or tries) to try to keep its public uninformed about allegations of widespread corruption within it – as was the case not so long ago in your country, Mr. Prime Minister.