Turkey-in-Europe, or Turks out of Europe?

What Will Europe Really Do?,” by Victor Davis Hanson, 14 February 2006, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-2_14_06_VDH.html (from PowerLine Blog).

Cartoons: Against Solana,” by Andrew Stuttaford, The Corner, 15 February 2006, http://corner.nationalreview.com/06_02_12_corner-archive.asp#090123.

Question for PNM Theorists,” by Jeff, Caerdroia, 15 February 2006, http://www.caerdroia.org/blog/archives/2006/02/question_for_pn.html.

Female Reporter Stoned at Turkish Cartoon Protest,” by GP, Gateway Pundit, 16 February 2006, http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/02/female-reporter-stoned-at-turkish.html (from Instapundit).

This is a hard post to write.


It is no longer clear to me that Turkey belongs in Europe.

Pharisee-style violence in Turkey

Aliye Cetinkaya, a journalist from the Turkish daily Sabah newspaper, who was reporting on the recent protests over the offensive caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, was stoned in Konya for reasons demonstrators said were provocative – as she did not cover her head. Cetinkaya was taken away by male colleagues after stones hit her head and shoulders. The female journalist was attacked for being ‘sexually provocative’ for not wearing a head scarf at the demonstration organised by the Peoples Education Research and Support Group in Konya (He-Da-Der) and entitled ‘Loyalty to the Prophet’.

A group of protesters insisted that Aliye Cetinkaya get off the bus where she was reporting the march, as they claimed she was provoking the crowd. At this moment, somebody started reciting the Koran into a microphone.

Approximately 30 people then started throwing stones at Cetinkaya, seated with her legs dangling from the back of the vehicle and taking notes. They claimed that her clothes and way of sitting was inappropriate while the Koran was being read, and shouted words of abuse at her.

with Pharisee-style hypocrisy

One of the groups in the demonstration, the Islamist “Association for Training, Research and Cooperation of the People” (HEDA-DER) meanwhile filed a complaint against Cetinkaya the same day, accusing her of disturbing the demonstration, an offence that carries a fine or between 18 months and three years imprisonment under a 1983 law on public demonstrations.

while Turkey’s Prime Minister shoots his nation in the foot:

“Today, however, the VVD leader questioned whether Turkey should be allowed into the EU, given the reaction of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Danish cartoons. Mr Erdogan had called the cartoons “insulting” and demanded that legal action be taken against the cartoonists and the publishers. “If this is the way he thinks and if he is going to give us lessons, then it will be very difficult for Turkey to join the EU,” the VVD leader says in an interview with the Dutch weekly Elsevier. He also criticized the visits this week of Ben Bot, the Dutch Foreign Minister, to Saudi-Arabia and Qatar. Mr van Aartsen does not see the point of visiting these countries at the moment.”

Dead right.

Even Victor Davis Hanson thinks Turkey-in-Europe now lies dead dreaming

Europe will still talk about bringing Turkey into the fold of the West, but de facto is horrified at the thought that millions of a religion that empowers so many to go berserk over a few cartoons might soon comprise the most populous nation of Europe. I doubt any European diplomat will invest any political capital at all in restarting in earnest Turkish/European Union talks.

As Jeff from Caerdroia wonders how this effects globalization generally:

How does PNM handle the collapse or approaching collapse of rulesets in core nations? The flow of people from the gap to the core is inherently going to bring gap rulesets — those travel in people’s heads, after all — and this is already apparent in Britain, France, Spain, Italy, the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway. I suspect we’ll see the same in Germany, soon, because they have the same demography/immigrant problem as the rest of Western Europe.

Once the gap rulesets have been imported into the core, can the core rulesets remain established, or are the core rulesets inherently self-defeating? And if they are inherently self-defeating, at least when confronted with a lower-order ruleset from the gap, what changes to the core rulesets (and hopefully there are some short of mass deportation or genocide) can be made to avert the consequences of a core ruleset collapse (the main consequence being moving from the core to the gap)?

There are four main reasons to support Turkey’s accession to the European Union

1. Turkey, as a center of Greco-Roman civilization, is inherently Western


2. Turkey, as a full Cold War ally, deserves it


3. Turkey, as a low-wage country, will help jump-start the European economy


4. Turkey, as a majority Muslim country, can be a beachhead int he Global War on Terror,


To deal with these in turn,

1. Muslim countries lost their Roman roots by abandoning italic laws and adopting the Sharia
2. Ukraine was a Cold-War enemy. The past is past. The future is now.
3. Europe, as even acknowledges, is a high-unemployment continent. Europe has structural problems that premature immigration may only excacerbate
4. Europe, as a majority Christian county, can be a beachhead for them in the Global War on Terror.

I have Turkish friends and Turkish relatives. I have traditionally supported Turkey’s membership in the European Union. But not if it will drag 25 other European states down.

That’s not progress. That’s continental suicide.

8 thoughts on “Turkey-in-Europe, or Turks out of Europe?”

  1. It's funny, but I've been having the same thoughts. I've always thought Turkey was a voice of sanity in the MENA area, a good ally and an asset to Europe and America, if we would just treat Turkey on an equal basis. That view took a huge blow when Turkey did not let 4ID invade through their territory into northern Iraq. It took more blows as Turkey turned increasingly Islamist, in small steps, since then. It took a major blow when the Turks reacted with their religion, rather than with their instincts for secularism and (relative) freedom given them by Ataturk.

    At this point, I cannot see Turkey as a lost cause. But I can't see it in the EU, either. I'm not certain I can still see Turkey in NATO.

  2. How powerful is the Turkish military still? Are they happy about these developments? I've often thought the same about South Korea, can South Korea's military be happy with the way South Korea's civilian leadership is endangering the country? But back to Turkey, what is the point of no return for Turkey's military to jump back into politics in a big way?

  3. Ataturk should be praised for his handling of colonial disengagement (including the painful population swaps with Greece [1]. Likewise, he oriented Turkey towards Europe and ceased the persecution of folk religions. He brilliantly used the Communist Party to gain and consolidate power, and then banned it as a threat to his nation.

    However, he was a socialist, and his economic legacy still hobbles Turkey. His attempts at creating Republican institutions were not that strong, prompting several military “corrections” of governments. (A military coup is not a mature way to move a government, and so this route is out if Turkey is serious about joining Europe — unless the coup is defeated.) His extreme secularism oppressed valid religions, and paved the way for the backlash we are seeing today.

    The current Turkish government has in some ways been very cooperative (pressuring Northern Cyprus to sign an agreement that helped marginalize the Greek south, for example). However, on both the US alliance and freedom of speech, it has been week.

    More vital to the US than getting Turkey in Europe is broadening the EU with low-labor, pro-American states generally. It is doubtful that Ukraine, say, would be as controversial a choice as Turkey. A wise strategy might to to cease reinforcing the failure of Turkish europeanization, and instead flow with Ukrainian momentum.

    (Plus, while adding Turkey to Europe would have unknown effects on the Global War on Terrorism, an EUkraine would permanently hobble the Russian threat to the continent. [2])

    [1] http://catholicgauze.blogspot.com/2006/02/nations-and-nation-states-in-europe.html
    [2] http://junkpolitics.blogspirit.com/archive/2006/01/05/putin-turns-germany.html

  4. Hello!

    To even consider Turkey in the EU is not right, beacuse they have shown time after time tha they simply are not ready. The freedom of speech for example, Hrant Dink , wrote about the armenian genocide, waht happened to him, murder.
    And for example sweden wehere I live they don’t edmit the armenian genocide beacuse they think Turkey will not develop, as many other countries also have said the same thing, but i think it’s completely the opposite, they develop even more if they edmit that they performed a genocide, beacuse then they will become modern and more sofisticated.

    And not to think of their barbaric way to put up a big turkish flag made by lights on the mountains of Armenia and Cyprus so all of the population can see it.

    That’s just coupe of many reasons why Turkey not to be even considered in any question about the EU.

  5. Sevak,

    Thanks for your comment.

    You raise important points. I think from a geopolitical perspective the biggest question Europe faces on Turkey is with regard to Russia. Would accepting Turkey slow down or speed up membership for Ukraine?

    With Ukraine in Europe, Russia is fundamentally weakened. Turkey also would hurt Russia. These are both important objectives. [1]

    I hope they do not conflict.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/14/russia-is-bad.html

  6. Wtf? Sharia law? What are you talking about? Let alone having sharia law, covering your head is PROHIBITED in Turkey. It is a strictly secular country, and is much more so than the United States, where muslim women can cover their head, whereas in Turkey, they cannot.

    Your arguments are way too biased, and lacks any connections with truth. I advise you to go visit Turkey.

  7. w – ,

    The Ottoman Empire was under sharia law for centuries [1]. Unlike those areas of the old Roman Empire that stayed Christian, the Islamized former-Roman provinces lost legal and cultural continuity with the pre-Islamic civilization that preceeding the conquest.

    I agree that Turkey has strikingly anti-religoius laws, similar to France’s code. I am not sure that the best way to protect human rights is to prevent people from having the right to express their religion.

    Still, Russia’s invasion of Georgia [2,3] is a clarifying moment. Both Turkey and Europe need to be in Europe, sooner rather than later. It is much easier for Europe to survive the cultural conflict that large-scale Turkish immigration would bring than to resist Russian aggression.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Ottoman_Empire
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/08/why-did-russia-invade-georgia.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/10/8808-like-8290-and-91101.html

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