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Maciamo
04-10-05, 08:50
Turkey was finally given the green light for negotiations to enter the EU, despite strong Austrian opposition, and general popular doubt throughout the EU.

BBC News : EU opens Turkey membership talks (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4305500.stm)


Mr Straw, who led what he called "a pretty gruelling 30 hours of negotiations", called it a "truly historic day for Europe and the whole of the international community".

He warned it would be a "long road ahead", with negotiations expected to take about 10 years, but added, "I have no doubt that if bringing Turkey in is the prize, it is worth fighting."
...
There is deep popular opposition in Austria and other European countries to Turkey's accession to the EU, with sceptics citing Turkey's size, poverty, and main religion - Islam - as reasons to keep it at a distance.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40861000/gif/_40861344_turkey_support_gra203.gif

For a more detailed analysis, read : The Economist : Better late than never (http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=4474123)

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In my opinion, there is no reason for Turkey not to join the EU. Religion is hardly an issue if we consider than Albania, Bulgaria or Bosnia all have Muslim population like Turkey. Turkey is a secular state, where most people are not much more religious than the average Europeans.

Turkey's detractors claim that Turkey is not in Europe, but Cyprus is not more in Europe. Eastern Thrace and Istanbul (the historic and economic capital and by far most populous city, with about 20% of the country's population) are indisputably in Europe. Western Turkey was part of Ancient Greece, then the Roman and Byzantine Empires, that were all ethnically, culturally and politically European.

After the Turks/Ottomans took over Turkey, most of the population remained of European descent (esp. in the densely populated West). The ethnical argument is therefore not valid. Their language and religion changed, but not so much their genetical and historical heritage. If that is a matter of non-European language, then Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish are also Central Asian languages, in fact (distantly) related to Turkish. So the linguistic argument is not valid.

Politically, even during Ottoman times, the Turkish elite has always been European. The 19th and early 20th century Ottoman high society spoke French (!), and French words are now as common in the Turkish language as English words in Japanese as a result. Turkish people thank each others by saying "merci", go to the "coiffeur" or buy an "abonnement" (the spelling is different, but the pronuciation almost identical). Religion is not taught at school, and Turkish people now write in Roman characters, not Arabic ones as they used to. The state has banned the religious symbol of the fez, and in fact, very few people wear Muslim clothes. In cities like Istanbul, Bursa or Izmir, people wear more typically Western clothes than in neighbouring Greece !

I think that the Europeans that still have doubts about whether Turkey is European or not, are mostly people who haven't been to Turkey and are prey to false stereotypes. Just looking at the reactions on the BBC's website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/4296610.stm), I was shocked to see that so many people thought that the Turks were Arabs or not ethnically European.

I also think that the stereotypes of the poor Muslim country is due to Turkish immigrants in Europe. Out of about 3 million Turks immigrants in Europe, over 1 million are in fact Kurdish (see stats on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurd#Demographics)). The Kurds are indeed much poorer, more religious and less ethnically European than the Turks of Western Turkey. It's only natural that the poor and opprosed Kurdish community be the first to leave to country to seek a better life in Europe (mostly in Germany). But they also gave a false image of "Turkey" to many West Europeans.

I was myself surprised when I first went to Turkey this year how much more European the Turks looked in Turkey than the immigrants I had come across in Kebab restaurants in Western Europe. I didn't think that Turks could have blond hair (as even Greeks, Hispanics or Southern Italians rarely do), but in cities like Bursa or Bergama on the Aegean coast, up to 1/3 of the people had fair hair (light brown or blond) and/or blue eyes. I checked a bit on the history and found out that the Celts (Galitians) and Germanic tribes (the Goths) both invaded what is now North-Western Turkey. This is still very visible in people's features today, and is at least one clear proof of Europeanness (as Greek or Latin blood is more difficult to distinguish among Mediteraneans).

Economically, Turkey is as rich and growing faster than Bulgaria or Romania, which will join the EU in 2007. Turkey is also richer than ex-Yugoslavia's countries. If we take only Western Turkey, the average salary and prices are much higher than in many Eastern European countries (closer to Spain's). If Turkey joins only in 10 years or more, as is planned, its GDP per capita at accession will be higher than any Eastern European countries at the time they joined. So, discarding Turkey as too poor for the EU is not a valid argument.

The only reason I would slow down or refuse Turkey's admission to the EU are political. Turkey must recognise Cyprus, give more autonomy to the Kurds and improve its human rights record.

Index
04-10-05, 09:09
I agree. It may also go some way in improving feelings between some Muslim states or activists and 'the West', as well as improving EU strategic possibilities in the Middle East, creating a larger EU market, improving the EU's reputation in its quest to spread democracy and egalitarianism, and giving some face to Muslim states by showing that Muslim states are capable of being democratic.

Keoland
04-10-05, 14:06
In my opinion, there is no reason for Turkey not to join the EU.

I can give some reasons, and I'm not even anti-turkish:

1. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus. How can we even negotiate with someone that does not recongize one of us?

2. We are having a lot of problems absorving the new eastern european countries. Rumania and Bulgaria (and soon Croatia) will also join. Is it possible to actually envisage that the entry of a nation that will have at its accession over 80 million people with one of the poorest income per capita will not cause tremendous problems?

3. Our economies are quite stagnant. Many nations cannot keep their budget deficits under the 3% barrier and we can't even reach a consensus about the next budget today. HOW can we afford to pay subsidies to a very large nation that will instantaneously qualify for major grants on all levels?

4. The entry of so many low-income turkish workers in the european workforce will have a direct effect: namely, it will drive wages down. Which is probably quite intended. But perhaps not in the best interests of the average european.



Religion is hardly an issue if we consider than Albania, Bulgaria or Bosnia all have Muslim population like Turkey. Turkey is a secular state, where most people are not much more religious than the average Europeans.

Over 86% of the bulgarian population is christian (see http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bu.html ), while Turkey is 99,8% muslim (see http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/tu.html)

Albania is an extremely poor nation. Bosnia (and Kosovo) have become a hotbed of islamic fundamentalism and a good ground for Al-Qaeda

See:

(...) Kosovo and Bosnia ended up in the hands of Bin Laden (...)

http://www.arabialink.com/Archive/GWPersp/GWP2002/GWP_2002_12_01.htm

Since the 1990s, Bosnia has been considered a melting pot for international terrorism (...)

http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,364661-2,00.html

Bosnias' Islamic Infusion

http://www.balkanpeace.org/hed/archive/nov01/hed4362.shtml



Western Turkey was part of Ancient Greece, then the Roman and Byzantine Empires, that were all ethnically, culturally and politically European.

Remember that after the 1923 defeat Greece and Turkey exchanged populations - the makeup of the area is no longer what it was in the past.

Also, note that after Manzikert the Turks also settled in Anatolia and that the Mongol invasion of Tamerlane devastated most of its cities... the ancient ethnic makeup is no longer valid.



After the Turks/Ottomans took over Turkey, most of the population remained of European descent (esp. in the densely populated West). The ethnical argument is therefore not valid.

You're confusing the entry of slavic slaves from southern Russia (20,000 per year) and move of the the inhabitants of the european provinces of the Ottoman Empire to the center of the Empire with the old inhabitants, of which only remained the ones near the coast.



Their language and religion changed, but not so much their genetical and historical heritage. If that is a matter of non-European language, then Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish are also Central Asian languages, in fact (distantly) related to Turkish. So the linguistic argument is not valid.

Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish are uralic languages, and we do not know where they started. The most common proposition is Eastern Russia. Other theories point directly at continental Europe.

http://virtual.finland.fi/finfo/english/where_do.html



The 19th and early 20th century Ottoman high society spoke French (!), and French words are now as common in the Turkish language as English words in Japanese as a result. Turkish people thank each others by saying "merci", go to the "coiffeur" or buy an "abonnement" (the spelling is different, but the pronuciation almost identical)

Maciamo, being in Japan you should know how many english (and not only - there are many portuguese words there, such as arigato, ninguen, manto, bimbo, ocha, yatta, etc) words there are in the japanese language. And they don't make Japan an european nation.



Religion is not taught at school, and Turkish people now write in Roman characters, not Arabic ones as they used to. The state has banned the religious symbol of the fez, and in fact, very few people wear Muslim clothes. In cities like Istanbul, Bursa or Izmir, people wear more typically Western clothes than in neighbouring Greece!

There are a LOT of non-state Islamic schools in the country.

http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9707/10/turkey.islamic.culture/

Also, the measures taken against them come ONLY from the state, and are not popular. In other words, Turkish 'secularism' is imposed from above, totally unlike what happens in Europe.

'Muslim' clothes is misleading. In Japan, Korea and most of China people also use mostly 'western' clothes.



I also think that the stereotypes of the poor Muslim country is due to Turkish immigrants in Europe.

Actually, it is because many of them come from Eastern Turkey, where the economy is semi-feudal (the landowners even decide themselves who will be elected to parliament).



The Kurds are indeed much poorer, more religious and less ethnically European than the Turks of Western Turkey.

The Kurds are an indoeuropean people who speaks an indoeuropean language... and, unlike the Turks, they WERE living there during the days of the Roman and Byzantine Empires.

http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/WestTech/xislam.htm



I didn't think that Turks could have blond hair (as even Greeks, Hispanics or Southern Italians rarely do), but in cities like Bursa or Bergama on the Aegean coast, up to 1/3 of the people had fair hair (light brown or blond) and/or blue eyes.

Yes, it is amazing how many people don't know that. I think it is because northern europeans think of muslims mostly as berbers from North Africa (which were the ones we were most in contact with, from the Middle Ages to they heyday of the Barbary Coast states).



I checked a bit on the history and found out that the Celts (Galitians) and Germanic tribes (the Goths) both invaded what is now North-Western Turkey.

And you totally forgot the millions and millions of slavs that went/were taken to live in Anatolia during the Ottoman Empire...



Economically, Turkey is as rich and growing faster than Bulgaria or Romania, which will join the EU in 2007. Turkey is also richer than ex-Yugoslavia's countries.

The problem is that Bulgaria, Rumania and the whole of the ex-yugoslav countries have less than 50 million people when combined (and not all are entering the EU), whereas Turkey alone will have over 80 million people at its acession.



If we take only Western Turkey, the average salary and prices are much higher than in many Eastern European countries (closer to Spain's). If Turkey joins only in 10 years or more, as is planned, its GDP per capita at accession will be higher than any Eastern European countries at the time they joined. So, discarding Turkey as too poor for the EU is not a valid argument.

First, Turkey is not just Western Turkey. You have to take both East and West.

Second, Turkish economic growth is not constant. It jumps and falls. They collapsed hard in the early 90s, then again in the early 2000s... they have an immense work to do to their economy, which still kinda is state-run in the Western part [undergoing heavy privatization] and Landowner-dominated in the East.

This is from last years' crisis:

(...) The value of the lira has plunged nearly 50 percent, prices -- especially on imports -- have soared, and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs. Growth that was booming at six percent last year, could fall to minus four percent this year, analysts say (...)

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/04/14/turkey.qa/

Regards,
Keoland

Tsuyoiko
04-10-05, 15:23
Maciamo, being in Japan you should know how many english (and not only - there are many portuguese words there, such as arigato, ninguen, manto, bimbo, ocha, yatta, etc) words there are in the japanese language. And they don't make Japan an european nation.Sorry, this is offtopic, but I thought arigatou came from the Japanese adjective arigatai, rather than from Portuguese obrigado. And isn't tea called cha in just about every language? Even in English slang we call it 'cha'. Please correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

Maciamo
04-10-05, 16:10
1. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus. How can we even negotiate with someone that does not recongize one of us?

Wasn't it the main condition I mentioned in my post ?



2. We are having a lot of problems absorving the new eastern european countries. Rumania and Bulgaria (and soon Croatia) will also join. Is it possible to actually envisage that the entry of a nation that will have at its accession over 80 million people with one of the poorest income per capita will not cause tremendous problems?

What kind of problems ? In 10 years, the gap will certainly have narrowed. Anyway, what kind of problems have poorer Eastern European countries caused when entering the EU ?



3. Our economies are quite stagnant. Many nations cannot keep their budget deficits under the 3% barrier and we can't even reach a consensus about the next budget today. HOW can we afford to pay subsidies to a very large nation that will instantaneously qualify for major grants on all levels?

Easy. If we can't afford them, then forget about the subsidies. I understand that being from Portugal, that wouldn't be good for your country as it may loose its current subsidies. Maybe that's why you oppose Turkish accession.



4. The entry of so many low-income turkish workers in the european workforce will have a direct effect: namely, it will drive wages down. Which is probably quite intended. But perhaps not in the best interests of the average european.


I think its something good for the economy, as it will increase the profits of the company or reduce of costs for the consumers. Anyway, nowadays richer countries already relocate their industries in cheaper countries. Many brand clothes (e.g. Lacoste) are already made in Turkey. At least, Turkey's membership would cut out the importation tax.


Remember that after the 1923 defeat Greece and Turkey exchanged populations - the makeup of the area is no longer what it was in the past.
...
Also, note that after Manzikert the Turks also settled in Anatolia and that the Mongol invasion of Tamerlane devastated most of its cities... the ancient ethnic makeup is no longer valid.


Greeks have little to do with people of mixed Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and Turkish blood. No pure blood Turk can have blue eyes or fair hair, and yet 1/4 or 1/3 of Western Turks do. And Slavs don't even have blue eyes in general, so it's only from the 2 first. I wish a scientific study using DNA tests could determine more precisely what is the percentage of European vs Turkish blood among Turkish people.



Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish are uralic languages, and we do not know where they started. The most common proposition is Eastern Russia. Other theories point directly at continental Europe.

Turkish is in the Altaic group, but it is usually considered that the Ural and Altaic groups form a common family of agglutinative languages with roots in Central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia.



Maciamo, being in Japan you should know how many english (and not only - there are many portuguese words there, such as arigato, ninguen, manto, bimbo, ocha, yatta, etc) words there are in the japanese language. And they don't make Japan an european nation.

I was just saying that French words exist in Turkish because French was the common language of the bourgeoisie and nobility under Ottoman rule (like in Russia, or even in the UK and Germany to a certain extend, btw). I do not know any non-colonised country outside Europe where a part of the population (especially the elite) decided by themselves to use a Western European language.

As for your example, as Tsuyoiko said, arigato does not come from obrigato (the word existed well before the Portuguese arrived in Japan). o-cha comes from Chinese "cha", and is the same or similar in most Asian languages. It is "chai" or "chaya" in most Indian languages. In fact, as tea originally comes from Asia, it is most likely that the Portuguese word comes from one of these languages via Goa, Malaca or Macau. I don't know what "ninguen" is in Portuguese, but "ningen" also comes from Chinese ("renjian" in Madnarin) or Korean ("ingan") using the same kanji with the standard Japanese reading instead. "Manto" in japanese comes from French "manteau". "Bimbo" also comes from Chinese via the kanji. "Yatta" is the conjugated form of "yaru", which means "do". Out of hundreds of examples, I wonder how you came up with those that didn't come from Portuguese or even from European languages. Check my list of katakana words here (http://www.wa-pedia.com/language/non_english_foreign_words.shtml) for words that come from Portuguese.



There are a LOT of non-state Islamic schools in the country.

Really ? According to the UNESCO stats (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/edu_pro_of_pri_edu_tim_spe_lea_rel&int=-1), only 5% of school hours are spent to religion in Turkey, which is the same as in Germany or Austria, and less than in Greece or Ireland.

Other UNESCO stats (http://www.uis.unesco.org/ev.php?ID=5363_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC) show that 98.2% of primary schools and 97.5% of secondary schools in Turkey are public.



Also, the measures taken against them come ONLY from the state, and are not popular. In other words, Turkish 'secularism' is imposed from above, totally unlike what happens in Europe.

Really ? What about France that imposes secularism in all public institutions regardless of opposition.



'Muslim' clothes is misleading. In Japan, Korea and most of China people also use mostly 'western' clothes.

But Turkey is the only such example among countries with a majority of Muslims.


Actually, it is because many of them come from Eastern Turkey, where the economy is semi-feudal (the landowners even decide themselves who will be elected to parliament).

Yes, that is why I don't want of Kurdistan in the EU. Its independence would immediately boost the GDP per capita of Turkey, solve the human rights issue, and further reduce the average religiousness. What's more, the EU would not share a border with Iran or Iraq, which is probably best.



The Kurds are an indoeuropean people who speaks an indoeuropean language... and, unlike the Turks, they WERE living there during the days of the Roman and Byzantine Empires.

So what ? The Iranians and Northern Indians are also Indo-European. That doesn't mean they are just European. The Kurds also haven't mixed with the original Celtic, Germanic, Latin. Greek and Slavic inhabitants of Western Anatolia as the Turks did, so have no claim to Europeanness.



First, Turkey is not just Western Turkey. You have to take both East and West.

Yes, it will bring a bit of exoticism in the EU. Anyway, from a North-Western European point of view, I cannot see much differences between Turks, Greeks and Cypriots. They are all as "exotic" or "Eastern".



Second, Turkish economic growth is not constant. It jumps and falls. They collapsed hard in the early 90s, then again in the early 2000s... they have an immense work to do to their economy, which still kinda is state-run in the Western part [undergoing heavy privatization] and Landowner-dominated in the East.

We will see how that goes in the next 10 years. If the Turkish economy is not able to cope with the EU market exigencies, then it will have to wait more before joining. I never said that Turkey had to join now. It has always been said that it will take at least 10 years, maybe 20. With its renewed motivation, let's hope that Turkey will modernise and become even more European till then. If not, then they'll have to wait again. I doubt that the Turkish government wants that, so they'll try hard to meet all EU criteria.

Keoland
04-10-05, 18:44
Sorry, this is offtopic, but I thought arigatou came from the Japanese adjective arigatai, rather than from Portuguese obrigado. And isn't tea called cha in just about every language? Even in English slang we call it 'cha'. Please correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

Very well, yours and Maciamos' comments about that are right. I am sorry :sorry:

Yet, over 400 current japanese words come from portuguese, and it is estimated that in the XVIth century over 4,000 portuguese words were used. And NOT only katakana words.

Examples: ”Ί“V˜A (pai), ‰p‹g—˜ (inglês), ζ@εΩ (jibão), ‡‰H (capa), ‰Μ—―‘½ (carta), –Λκq (pão), ‰Œ‘ (tabaco) or “Vκn—… (tempero)



Wasn't it the main condition I mentioned in my post ?

Yes, but since you mentioned conditions, I thought I might as well mention that one, too - especially because it's a damned good one :bluush:



What kind of problems ? In 10 years, the gap will certainly have narrowed. Anyway, what kind of problems have poorer Eastern European countries caused when entering the EU ?

Well, for starters, the EU companies in our country are packing up and going East, putting thousands upon thousands of poor portuguese out of work. When Turkey joins, the same will happen to many thousands of east europeans.

Also, now decisions have become much harder. Poland in particular is throwing her weight around. The EU is stumped at many crucial decisions by the fact that the newer members want subsidies and the middle members (like Portugal and Spain) don't want to lose theirs. Turkey will carry as much voting weight as Germany and will want to get subsidies - while the east european nations will *not* want to give up theirs. Since the funding still comes from the same countries, it is not hard to figure out that there is a limit for the amount of countries that can eat from the same cake.

Don't assume the gap will narrow in 10 years. Portugal is in the EU for almost 20 and currently our gap is widening, not narrowing, with the EU average. There is just too much confidence in endless progress nowadays.



Easy. If we can't afford them, then forget about the subsidies. I understand that being from Portugal, that wouldn't be good for your country as it may loose its current subsidies. Maybe that's why you oppose Turkish accession.

Maciamo, subsidies are *THE* reason why nations join the EU. Especially the southern/east europeans. If the EU can't afford them, it will run into a LOT of trouble everywhere.



I think its something good for the economy, as it will increase the profits of the company or reduce of costs for the consumers. Anyway, nowadays richer countries already relocate their industries in cheaper countries. Many brand clothes (e.g. Lacoste) are already made in Turkey. At least, Turkey's membership would cut out the importation tax.

As you probably noticed, the relocation of companies is NOT popular amongst europeans. Making it easier for companies to go away will prove even more inpopular. Having to see your wage go down because turks will work for almost nothing will lead to quite a bit of anger.

(for example, many portuguese in the factories that are now closing only made 400€ per month. And still that wasn't enough to keep the foreign companies here. HOW can we live with even lower wages?)



And Slavs don't even have blue eyes in general, so it's only from the 2 first. I wish a scientific study using DNA tests could determine more precisely what is the percentage of European vs Turkish blood among Turkish people.

You've never been to Russia, Poland or a major slavic nation, right? An awful lot of people there have blue eyes (starting with president Putin) and fair hair. A great many of them. Most ukranian migrants here - about 200,000 of them - can be easily recognized by their blue eyes.

(not blue and fair in the germanic sense of the word. More like blue-greyish eyes and a not-all-that-bright blonde)

As for the DNA of Turkish populations, that study has been made. I don't have it here (I think I can find it), but indo-european DNA is present in about 50-60% of the population.

There is also a more technical study here:

http://www.ias.ac.in/jgenet/Vol83No1/039.pdf



Turkish is in the Altaic group, but it is usually considered that the Ural and Altaic groups form a common family of agglutinative languages with roots in Central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia.

'Usually' meaning 'a lot of researchers don't agree'. There is too much confusion in that field at the moment - as my link notes, Uralic is now thought to have originated in Europe or East Russia. Maybe they'll change their minds in 20 years, but for now this is what we have - and I think it is too little to conclude anything about it. Besides, populations often adopt languages that are not their own.



I was just saying that French words exist in Turkish because French was the common language of the bourgeoisie and nobility under Ottoman rule (like in Russia, or even in the UK and Germany to a certain extend, btw). I do not know any non-colonised country outside Europe where a part of the population (especially the elite) decided by themselves to use a Western European language.

French was the language of diplomacy, like english is today. If you wanted to be active in the internacional scene, you had to speak french. Since the Ottomans wanted to be active in the international scene, they also learned the procedure. Kinda like today all elites speak English.

Also, the Turks wanted to link themselves to Europe since the earliest times - when Meh.met II conquered Constantinople, he took the mantle of Byzantine Emperor. And the city remained named as Konstantinopolis until Atatürks' reforms in the XXth century.

In fact, not only the Turks considered themselves to be the successors to Byzantium, but Suleyman the Magnificent rose that stake to claim to be a Caesar, and laid claim to the inheritance of the whole Roman Empire.

A best signal of the current dilemma is that, although the Turks made such a strong claim to be Europeans in the XVth-XVIth centuries, the other peoples of Europe did not recognize their claims as such (despite the rumors that spread in Italy after the fall of Otranto in 1481 that the Turks would recreate the Roman Empire under the banner of Islam).




I wonder how you came up with those that didn't come from Portuguese or even from European languages.

I suppose it is because they are written very similarly, mean the same and are used in the same way in both languages...



Really ? According to the UNESCO stats, only 5% of school hours are spent to religion in Turkey, which is the same as in Germany or Austria, and less than in Greece or Ireland.

Other UNESCO stats show that 98.2% of primary schools and 97.5% of secondary schools in Turkey are public.

Which, of course, has a lot to do with the repression made since 1997 by the Turkish government. And not exactly a thing that one can easily reconcile with the democratic spirit of tolerance.



Really ? What about France that imposes secularism in all public institutions regardless of opposition.

France imposed secularism on PUBLIC schools - Ankara is oppressing PRIVATE schools as well. Paris is not meddling into private christian schools.

Also, that imposition was first made almost 250 years ago. Turkey has had less than a century of it. The French of the 1850's were a LOT more religious than they are now, despite all secularism that came from above.



But Turkey is the only such example among countries with a majority of Muslims.

Not that much... even in Iraq there were plenty of western clothes. Also, when I've been to Iran I noticed that, under the veils, iranian women are dressed *exactly* like their western counterparts.



Yes, that is why I don't want of Kurdistan in the EU. Its independence would immediately boost the GDP per capita of Turkey, solve the human rights issue, and further reduce the average religiousness. What's more, the EU would not share a border with Iran or Iraq, which is probably best.

The 'human rights' issue goes deeper. As you already noticed, many different peoples compose Turkey. Yet the Turkish government only recognizes the 'Turk' nationality - there is an immense effort (and oppression) to force everyone to forget their ethnic roots and their language and become a 'Turk'.




So what?

Well, that WAS part of your initial argument for the Turks - that they descended from peoples who were there since Greek and Roman days and had been part of the political entities of the time.



The Iranians and Northern Indians are also Indo-European. That doesn't mean they are just European.

It goes more like this: when the portuguese aid mission to the Kurds came to Iran, we noticed that they were *exactly* like us. JUST like us, and I don't mean it in a cultural way.

And the Kurds impressed the lot of us because they were much blonder and light-eyed than we were (we also got in the midst of a mass migration of them, as they were running away en masse from Saddam Husseins' forces in Iraq)



Yes, it will bring a bit of exoticism in the EU. Anyway, from a North-Western European point of view, I cannot see much differences between Turks, Greeks and Cypriots. They are all as "exotic" or "Eastern".

Except that one kind of "exotic" doesn't have a tradition of terrorism... have you heard Chiracs' comments today on Turkish entry? He said that, if Turkey were rejected entry into Europe, the country could fall to an "integrist" movement.

Which, of course, raises two points:

1. the French president admits that Turkey is a politically instable country;

2. the French president admits that extremism in Turkey is strong enough as to be able to be a real threat to the system, and could concievable take over the country. Not very good for the "secular Turk" idea.



We will see how that goes in the next 10 years. If the Turkish economy is not able to cope with the EU market exigencies, then it will have to wait more before joining. I never said that Turkey had to join now. It has always been said that it will take at least 10 years, maybe 20. With its renewed motivation, let's hope that Turkey will modernise and become even more European till then. If not, then they'll have to wait again. I doubt that the Turkish government wants that, so they'll try hard to meet all EU criteria.

If the last 10 years are an example, it will be about three major economic crisis. :?

Regards,
Keoland

Maciamo
05-10-05, 03:38
Maciamo, subsidies are *THE* reason why nations join the EU. Especially the southern/east europeans. If the EU can't afford them, it will run into a LOT of trouble everywhere.

I hardly think about subsidies when I think about the EU. For me, the EU is more about preventing war, increasing mutual understanding, have a European nationality so that everyone can live and work everywhere in the EU, a free market (optionally common currency), etc. Subsidies are a favour made by richer regions if they can afford it, not a right for being an EU member.



As you probably noticed, the relocation of companies is NOT popular amongst europeans. Making it easier for companies to go away will prove even more inpopular. Having to see your wage go down because turks will work for almost nothing will lead to quite a bit of anger.

But companies don't care about that. If they can relocated from Northern Europe to Southern Europe, they can also go east or outside Europe. It's very selfish to think it is better to keep them in the South when the original company had already fired thousands of people in the company's home country. It's an inevitable trend of today's world, and has little to do with the EU. At best, the EU keeps some of these jobs within the EU, while they could have been relocated to China or India. What difference does it make to you that Poles, Turks, Indians or Chinese get the jobs ? What rational reason is there for a German or British company to stay in Portugal rather than a cheaper country, or if they want to be fair then their home country ?



(for example, many portuguese in the factories that are now closing only made 400€ per month. And still that wasn't enough to keep the foreign companies here. HOW can we live with even lower wages?)

Just do other, better paid jobs in services rather than factories, or move somewhere else in the EU if no jobs are available. That's also the right of EU citizen to work anywhere in the EU. This certainly helps appease the effect of globalisation. At least, when jobs go away to China, people have a chance to seek employment in a much broader market.


You've never been to Russia, Poland or a major slavic nation, right? An awful lot of people there have blue eyes (starting with president Putin) and fair hair. A great many of them. Most ukranian migrants here - about 200,000 of them - can be easily recognized by their blue eyes.

Don't forget than Russia, Ukraine and Poland have had a lot Germanic blood infused. The first kingdom of Russia (based in Kiev, Ukraine) was founded by Swedish vikings, and the Romanov dynasty were still direct descendant of these vikings until their demise in 1917. Half of Poland was German during most of its history. Only German-speakers went back to Germany in 1945, but mixed blood or pure German Polish speakers stayed. Now look ar other Slavic countries like ex-Yugoslavia, and there is already less blue eyes (again, there are, because of Austrian and German settlers in the past centuries).



As for the DNA of Turkish populations, that study has been made. I don't have it here (I think I can find it), but indo-european DNA is present in about 50-60% of the population.

So, doesn't make that European enough to join the EU ?


Also, the Turks wanted to link themselves to Europe since the earliest times - when Meh.met II conquered Constantinople, he took the mantle of Byzantine Emperor. And the city remained named as Konstantinopolis until Atatürks' reforms in the XXth century.
...
In fact, not only the Turks considered themselves to be the successors to Byzantium, but Suleyman the Magnificent rose that stake to claim to be a Caesar, and laid claim to the inheritance of the whole Roman Empire.

The Germans did the same with the Holy Roman Empire. So everyone belongs to the same family, the heirs of the Roman Empire. :-) But everyone claimed they were the rightful successor and wouldn't recognise their neighbours' claim of course.



France imposed secularism on PUBLIC schools - Ankara is oppressing PRIVATE schools as well. Paris is not meddling into private christian schools.

What do you call "oppressing" exactly ? If it's regulating religious education, it is probably necessary to curb extremism (just look at the US where some states allow creationism to be taught in schools !).


Not that much... even in Iraq there were plenty of western clothes. Also, when I've been to Iran I noticed that, under the veils, iranian women are dressed *exactly* like their western counterparts.

Yes, under their Muslim clothes ! Turkish people do not care about religion enough to conform to these Muslim rules.


The 'human rights' issue goes deeper. As you already noticed, many different peoples compose Turkey. Yet the Turkish government only recognizes the 'Turk' nationality - there is an immense effort (and oppression) to force everyone to forget their ethnic roots and their language and become a 'Turk'.

I agree that they could be more specific. But countries like France or Spain also have a lot of mix blood (Latin, Celtic, Germanic, Arabic...) and never specify the percentage of the population that descent from which ethnic group, except for recent immigrants. Who even knows how much Celtic or Germanic blood they have ? From my looks, I can suppose I am mostly of Germanic descent, but cannot prove or disprove the share of Celtic or Latin blood.


If the last 10 years are an example, it will be about three major economic crisis.

Not in terms of GDP per capita. Just have a look at the evolution (http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator_detail.cfm?Country=TR&IndicatorID=19#row) (+ 2004 data (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita))

In 1995, Turkey's GDP per capita was 4,260 USD. In 2004, it was 7,503. So it has almost doubled.

In comparison, Poland passed from 7,160 to 12,452 during the same period. Quite similar increase, although slightly stronger for Turkey.

The Czech Republic passed from 11,720 to 18,370, and Portugal from 13,110 to 18,503, so the increase was slower in both cases.

Keoland
06-10-05, 15:49
I hardly think about subsidies when I think about the EU. For me, the EU is more about preventing war, increasing mutual understanding, have a European nationality so that everyone can live and work everywhere in the EU, a free market (optionally common currency), etc. Subsidies are a favour made by richer regions if they can afford it, not a right for being an EU member.

Let me put it this way: when our politicians were campaigning for us to join the EU, they just said "FREE MONEY!".

Any debate just revolved around "the country will get lots of subsidies".

And even now, as soon as enlargement or anything else EU is talked about (including the constitution), the only thing the media and the government think and talk about is "how will this affect our subsidies?".

The spanish case is very similar, and recently the Zapatero government vowed to the public that he is determined that Spain stops being a net contributor to the EU next year (i.e. that they get more money in subsidies than they pay to the common budget).

I have no doubt something very similar happened in Eastern Europe, and the Turks I talked with say that the government has been showcasing their entry into the EU as "More respect for our country" and "FREE MONEY!".

In neither case "European integration" is even mentioned. In the Turkish case, they even see it as an occasion to promote Turkey among nations, not to merge into any european superstate.

Which also means that they'll be dismayed by (and will vote against) any further attempts at european integration - which is why the UK and the US are so commited to a Turkish entry.



But companies don't care about that. If they can relocated from Northern Europe to Southern Europe, they can also go east or outside Europe. It's very selfish to think it is better to keep them in the South when the original company had already fired thousands of people in the company's home country. It's an inevitable trend of today's world, and has little to do with the EU. At best, the EU keeps some of these jobs within the EU, while they could have been relocated to China or India. What difference does it make to you that Poles, Turks, Indians or Chinese get the jobs ? What rational reason is there for a German or British company to stay in Portugal rather than a cheaper country, or if they want to be fair then their home country ?

That is a major issue in the EU, and by no means a peaceful one. The hemorrage of jobs that is taking place is beguinning to anger the populations, and the only way to try and contol it - probably for nothing - is to reduce the level of living/wages. This will create a backlash whose proportions we don't even dream about.


Just do other, better paid jobs in services rather than factories, or move somewhere else in the EU if no jobs are available. That's also the right of EU citizen to work anywhere in the EU. This certainly helps appease the effect of globalisation. At least, when jobs go away to China, people have a chance to seek employment in a much broader market.

Most of our population is uneducated and lives in the interior. They can't just 'go to services' like that, they can barely read.

And we did immigrate in large amounts in the past (even though we are 1/7 of the turkish population, there are more portuguese living abroad than there are Turks). Thing is, the third world immigrant competition has crushed our immigrants' hopes of decent jobs. It is now *very* hard to get jobs in Germany, Switzerland and France than it was 20-30 years ago, because third world immigrants work for a pittance and don't mind living in overcrowded houses.

Also, that solution basically means that all intelligent people will continue to leave our country, which amonts to saying "you'll always be a backwater in a globalized economy". NOT the kind of thing people want to hear.

Of course, this is also valid for eastern europeans. The consequences of this move can hardly be predicted.



Don't forget than Russia, Ukraine and Poland have had a lot Germanic blood infused. The first kingdom of Russia (based in Kiev, Ukraine) was founded by Swedish vikings, and the Romanov dynasty were still direct descendant of these vikings until their demise in 1917. Half of Poland was German during most of its history. Only German-speakers went back to Germany in 1945, but mixed blood or pure German Polish speakers stayed. Now look ar other Slavic countries like ex-Yugoslavia, and there is already less blue eyes (again, there are, because of Austrian and German settlers in the past centuries).

As DNA samples show, Russians and Poles have very little german DNA. Also, the viking presence in Rus was just some tens of thousands of people. No way they could change over a million slavs so completely as to definitely change their appearence.

Also, germanic settlement in the austro-hungarian Empire is well documented: apart from Austria and Bohemia, the major germanic presence was in Transylvania, and carefully avoived the slavic areas - the serb area in particular was a military district that was partly run by themselves.



So, doesn't make that European enough to join the EU ?

The question is if they aren't more detrimental inside the EU than outside...



The Germans did the same with the Holy Roman Empire. So everyone belongs to the same family, the heirs of the Roman Empire. :-) But everyone claimed they were the rightful successor and wouldn't recognise their neighbours' claim of course.

The issue is that, while the germanic claims were accepted by vast parts of Europe (and indeed by large sections of Italy), the Turkish claims were rejected unanimously by all.

And one good indication that you're not a part of a group is being rejected as such by every member of that group.



What do you call "oppressing" exactly ? If it's regulating religious education, it is probably necessary to curb extremism (just look at the US where some states allow creationism to be taught in schools !).

Yes, but you'll notice that the US won't put pressure on those schools to stop them... (also, most americans don't belive in evolution).



Yes, under their Muslim clothes ! Turkish people do not care about religion enough to conform to these Muslim rules.

More accurately, the Turkish government says otherwise - just like the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, when all women could and did wear western outfits.

But now that they're "free", women are back into their hiding gowns again. It's the perennial 'government vs. people' struggle in Islam.



I agree that they could be more specific. But countries like France or Spain also have a lot of mix blood (Latin, Celtic, Germanic, Arabic...) and never specify the percentage of the population that descent from which ethnic group, except for recent immigrants. Who even knows how much Celtic or Germanic blood they have ? From my looks, I can suppose I am mostly of Germanic descent, but cannot prove or disprove the share of Celtic or Latin blood.

Maybe, but the fact is that you could search it out - if you don't know it by your family already - and even say it out loud if you believed yourself as such. Not in Turkey. To claim you belong to any ethnic background or speak a language other than Turkish is a major offense that can land you in prison.

(indeed, that is why the Kurds rebel - they want to be known and recognized as Kurds. Ankara cannot bring herself to accept that)

That is another problem: current EU ideals pose a major threat to modern Turkish identity. Either Turkey accepts its slow erosion, or it will quite quickly enter into another conflict of values with the EU authorities.



In 1995, Turkey's GDP per capita was 4,260 USD. In 2004, it was 7,503. So it has almost doubled.

Tell that to the Turks, who by 2001 were burning themselves alive in the streets of Istanbul so that their families could get the money of the life insurance.

The money influx represents foreign companies buying stuff in Turkey, not much of an improvement on the turkish citizen.

(that is also why Ankara waves EU entry to the public: it is their biggest hope of an economic improvement)

Regards,
Keoland

Maciamo
14-11-05, 09:09
Some of benefits of Turkey joining the EU for EU countries can be gathered from this article (http://www.cafebabel.com/en/article.asp?T=T&Id=5174).

The economic benefits would be important for Southern European countries, that have supported Turkey's accession to the EU so far. Even Greece, whose relations with Turkey have never been very warm, doesn't oppose the entry of Turkey.

European investments in Turkey would certainly soar, which is good for the Turkish economy, but also for Western European companies as a way to remain competitive against China or India without lowering wages in their home country or brining in more immigrants.

Public opinion is divided in Germany, but it could tip in favour of accession if people realise that Turkish immigrants might go back to Turkey if Turkey joins the EU, rather than more immigrants coming. The reason is that permanent residents now cannot live outside Germany for many years without losing their permanent visa, and those with German citizenship would need a visa to go and live again in Turkey. With Turkey in the EU, they would be able to go to Turkey and come back to Germany whenever they want. With German companies investing in Turkey, Turkish Germans speaking both languages would easily find expat jobs in Turkey, which is good for both themselves and German companies willing to adapt to the local culture.