Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Roger Cohen: "Turkey steps out"

Perhaps a better structure of the above sentence might be "Turkey out of step".  For it is out of step with European values and culture.  Whatever Cohen says.

Roger Cohen
International Herald Tribune (international edition of the New York Times) 26th October 2010:

Cohen shills for Turkey yet again: Turkey "can be the West's conduit to the Muslim world", if it is allowed to join the EC.But this is "wish as policy", just the same as British PM Cameron's, wish/hope that Turkey can form a "bridge".  To wish it to be so, does not make it so, no matter how powerful might be the bridge metaphor might seem to be, when you look at the map....
See my earlier post "No to Turkey joining the EU":  
In sum, Turkey’s accession will increase the pressure for Sharia law, will reduce average real wages in Europe, will bring retrograde pressure on social and minority issues and is against the clear will of a substantial majority of Europeans.  And for what?  For the “wish”,  the hope, that they may be a "bridge" to Islam and stopped from drifting into ever more Islamist arms.  
More likely is that the pusillanimous politicians and bureaucrats will be brought ever more closely into the embrace of Islam.

See also: JG, Caesarea, an excellent piece: "Roger Cohen's blinkered guidebook to Turkey", particularly drawing attention to the Armenian genocide, which, to my own shame, I did not even mention in my earlier post, though there's a link there to another post with "Ten more reasons why Turkey should not be allowed to join the EU" including that genocide and Turkey's failure to deal with it in the same way any other country in the EU would be expected to. [JG's article is currently #3 of 100+ comments in popularity. 27/10]

Postscript: there are lots of comments on the Cohen article site, many taking issue with Cohen's naive analysis.  A comment sticks in my mind: on that points out no-one is "keeping Turkey out" of the EU; it simply doesn't qualify.  Which brings to mind Greece.  There's much angst now that Greece seems to have been allowed into the EU when it was not fully ready.  Turkey is even less ready.

Reading the latest Economist (Oct 21), a magazine sympathetic to Turkey's EU accession, it seems that  accession is not in imminent prospect.  There are some 35 "Chapters" -- areas on which agreement of all EU members and Turkey is needed -- and of these fully 18 are blocked by the EU as a whole.  Article here.

Oh: and I also forgot to mention the Cyprus issue -- on which there is nothing like near agreement....