Saturday, December 18, 2004

Turkey: The EU door has unlocked

/ europe / turkey / union /
Turkey has been given finally a launch date for accession talks. The terms were greeted as a success in Greece (and to a lesser extent in Cyprus). Yet, I can't help thinking that it's all a sham, since (at least) both France and Austria, will require, they say, a referendum to finalize their OK, which under current conditions means that the Turks will be refused entry to the EU. Also, the breadth and the scope of the change required in Turkey is bound to create reactions in Turkey, reactions that might create serious problems for the accession process.

I have mixed feelings about the Turkish accession to the EU. On the one hand I agree that culturally Turkey can certainly be part of Europe, and I'm optimistic that Greece will benefit from the process through improved relations and the fall out of heavier investment in the region. Yet I can't help but notice that the large bulk of the people unconditionally supporting Turkish accession are Euro-skeptics, people who would like to see the prospect of a closer European union crushed, and the EU reduced to simply a free trade zone. The fact that the US is annoyingly over-eager to push Turkey in the EU, can of course only reinforce my reservations.

Anyway, here are a couple of the more interesting articles I've read from the Turkish "side":

How different are we really?:

...Does the life of an ordinary Turkish family remind us of the life of an ordinary Afghan or Saudi Arabian family, or that of an ordinary Greek, Yugoslav or Italian family?

Religious differences are of course important. However, religion might not be the determining factor in secular countries like Turkey. A larger category, ‘social culture,’ shapes and determines people’s behaviors, habits and traditions...

From Hasan Unal:

Turkey would be better of outside the EU:

...But the fact is that the European honey-pot is emptying. New members are already bitterly disappointed to discover that they will have to wait 10 years before receiving the full available subsidies. The reality is that the Turks are in for a bit of a nightmare -a decade of acrimonious, protracted negotiations in advance of which they will have to make enormous concessions, including some that could easily excite the very nationalist-Islamist backlash that Turkey's pro-Europeans seek to forestall by opting for EU membership. The European Commission itself states in its reports that there must be permanent "derogations" on movement of Turkish labour and that Ankara should not be given any structural or agricultural funds...

I would also like to point out an article by Fred Halliday in Open Democracy, as an example of an ineffective argument in favour of Turkey: It targets the easy and "soft" (cultural and historical) arguments against Turkish accession effectively, yet it glosses over the issues of democracy (comparing Berlusconi's getting off on a technicality to systemic torture in Turkish jails isn't really ummm... convincing - and doesn't even touch the economic issues (the cost of Turkish accession to the large European countries) or the issue of "over-representation" (the poorest and newest member of the EU will have the greatest political clout through the European Parliament. Indicative of this (not uncommon lately) line of defence for Turkey is that it mentions in passing that of course Turkey will work towards "creating a reasonable federal solution to the Kurdish question" as if this is not opposed by very powerful segments of the Turkish elites and, quite probably, by a vehement majority inside Turkey! (The author is also impressively off the mark about Cyprus, both historically and politically...)


talos said...

old comments


In the future if Turkey is accepted in the EU(I doubt it will, these untouchable Eurocrat sleazes will hide behind Cyprus to refuse Turkey), historians will wonder what France was like when it France, what Germany was like when Germany used to exist, what Greece was like in the past when Greeks used to live there. Combined with the immigrants from Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, Somali and the rest of the muslim world to the European Union who number over a million a year, Turkey will shift European identity to Asia and Islam, the European Union will become stillborn. However stupid it was to accept muslim immigrants into the Germany, France and other European countries was back when their economies were booming, it is even more foolish now with high unemployment to keep accepting them.

What the Ottomans could not do with their armies, Europeans might do with their political correctness, their loss of the will to protect their culture. The fear of defending themselves from an immigration of an Islamic civlization that will destroy their civilization.

2004-12-19 10:30
Doug Muir:

That's adorable. Can you make him do tricks?

Doug M.

2004-12-21 19:27


Can you answer his legitimate concerns rather than just belittling him?


Agree completely.


2004-12-23 04:16
Doug Muir:

"History will wonder what Greece was like when Greeks used to live there"?

Nope. Some things are too dumb to argue with.

Doug M.

2004-12-23 10:48

Come on Doug, stop being a smart ass and let's hear a counter argument.

2004-12-23 12:22

You are the one too stupid to argue with.

It is surreal how the Greek government has done nothing about the Turkish government violating its territory for decades, except for supporting Turkey's EU bid currently, like rewards will stop anything. The Greek government has also done nothing to stop huge uncontrolled illegal immigration like other EU states, mainly of muslim immigrants in the Aegean and from Albania. Keep up this behavior, let Turkey in the EU, let the muslims hordes continue to flow and soon they will outnumber the native populations of Europe, Europe cannot compete with the birthrates of Morroco, Turkey, Algeria and Pakistan. Turkey has done a good job of destroying the Greek community that was left in Istanbul and the islands of Imvros and Tenedos, the stupid Greek elites think with Turkey in the EU thinks will be different. The only reason why these communities existed in Constantinople and not other parts of Turkey is because the Kemalists took over Constantinople not by force, but were handed it from the Allied Mandate of the city. When muslim armies take a city by force they slaughter and loot and reduce the survivors to dhimmitude, this is why no Greek communities exist in Izmir taken by force and looted by "secular" Kemalist troops. The same thing happened when they took Constantinople in 1453, there were many gated communities only the communities that submitted to the Sultan's army managed to keep their Churches instead of having them converted to mosques.

Keep ignoring the context of muslim law at your peril. You can read the press reports, Turkey is already dictating to the European Union(it will not recognize Cyprus, it will not accept the oceumencial nature of the Patriarch, it will not accept anything other than full membership) like it is a master and Europe is a protected and conquered community.

2004-12-23 12:31

Re: Turkish birthrates. We had this conversation ina previous post. I repeat:

"Indeed Turkey is just now hitting the demographic
transition, that Greece faced in the early eighties, it is currently at (and slightly below) replacement levels. "Around 2015, Turkey’s population is projected to stabilize at the level of approximately 80 millions, with an implicit growth rate equal to a replacement rate of less than 1%."
Morrocans and Algerians in France and Pakistanis in Britain are converging to the family size of their host countries, as do all immigrant populations.

If you consider the Albanians in Greece (or in Albania) Muslim in any but the most superficial sense you aren't paying much attention. The Albanians seem to be blissfully irrelegious to an extent that we're not.

And if you think 1453 was bad, wait till you read about what the Christians did to the city in 1204…

2004-12-23 13:53

nik ph, actually comes across from a very interesting yet narrow angle; precisely because of his subjective opinions and most importantly because such views are shared by many in Greece as well as in Europe and elsewhere. All opinions deserve an educated, intelligent response instead of condescending replies. Religion is artificially projected as a very relevant subject yet that is not trully the case. Even if religion or any other basic stagnant ideology that was formed thousands of years ago is still relevant, it is so because men of intellect are still vulnerable to the entrapments of such divisive and misanthropic contexts. I would suggest that it is economic forces that are mainly and increasingly shaping the world. Think for example of the current Chinese invasion: in Athens today there are at least 212 registered Chinese businesses and more are spreading across small provincial towns across Greece. They have brought forth great burdens to the average Greek shop owner and small business that are unable to compete with their low prices. Surely you are not planning to start blaming ancient Buddhist practices or even the Chinese who are merely taking to their advantage our very own economic failures and legal slack. It would be best to learn from history but be very careful of what exactly we obtain from it. Ideologies played important role in creating the moulds for power and control over the masses but were less significant in shaping world politics

2004-12-23 15:57

Talos you are talking about things without knowing the facts. In 1906 France had a population of 39 million, in 1910 Germany had 60 million, Italy in 1911 had 35 million people.(Source: Mencken, H. L., "The American Language" (New York, 1930, Third Edition) 204-205)

This cannot be compared to Turkey which has increased over 5 times in population since it has been founded and is projected to reach 103 million by 2050. http://www.librar…

This is just Turkey, not counting the muslims already in the European Union. So the Turks whose territory is not really in Europe who have fought against Christianity and invaded Europe as far as Vienna, fought and destroyed the basileia ton Rhomaion(Rome), fought against Rhomaion who began to identify as Hellens in the Greek War of Independence, etc. The Turks are the only people who can truly say they have fought against every aspect of European identity and thought in their history; they would have the largest population if they were ever let in the gates and the most Euro Parliament seats!

Unlike the Turks, Albanians are more likely to be less muslim since Enver Hoxha did not allow any religious worship in Albania and many of them are Orthodox or Catholic, but they have their own problems, as the recent bus hostage situation demonstrated. The solution is to tighten the borders, Greece already has too many immigrants.

2004-12-23 20:41

N_P: I'm afraid you're not very well acquainted with statistics, and especially statistical projections: these are exactly as good as the original data and the assumptions. The assumptions in that dutch site you' linked to are unstated, but it seems that they are projecting the early 90s birthrate to 2050, especially since the general data page states near the bottom that "apart from physical landmarks most of the above figures are changeable, in most cases they date from the 1990's". We know though, as the two links I included demonstrate, that Turkey is already at demographic replacement level and reasonable projections (explained in the europolitix link) see the population stabilising at ~85 million people. The projections for after 2010 in the data you're providing are inconsistent with current demograpic data - and I wouldn't be surprised to find that they were projections made 20 years ago. Turkey has hit the demographic transition point (as Greece did in the early 80s) and since it's urbanizing at a ferocious rate, the population will pretty soon stabilize as all the trends suggest. I'm afraid that this is not debatable.

fought and destroyed the basileia ton Rhomaion(Rome),
No, the Byzantine empire was a propped-up weak state ever since the varbaric crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204. There wasn't much to destroy.

Again, let me repeat that if I had to guess, I'd wager that Turkey will not become a full EU member in the next 50 years. The siege of Vienna, however will have nothing to do with it.

2004-12-23 23:31
Doug Muir:

That´s odd — my earlier comment got "accepted for evaluation", or some such, and then never appeared.

What's up?

Doug M.

2004-12-25 15:31

… Doug, I have no clue… It never registered. Could you describe what happenned?

Happy holidays anyway…

2004-12-26 00:04
Doug Muir:

Well, I wrote a long comment — started by pointing out that, no, life is too short to respond to every stupid opinion, then contradicted myself by spending about 1200 words describing current demographic trends in Turkey and other Islamic countries of the Mediterranean littoral (did you know that some Turks were predicting the current demographic situation with eerie accuracy, as long ago as 1994?), then…

..then I hit "submit", and got a message saying something like "your comment has been accepted for evaluation", or some such.

And that was all.

So you have no idea where it's gone to?

Doug M.

2004-12-26 20:14

Absolutely none. No trace of it anywhere and the first time I encounter or hear of such a bug…However blogback has been re-arranging their accounts and I find myself having to re-register or something, and will hear from them in a couple of days, so I wouldn't be amazed if this was some sort of account-transfer glitch. If only I find the time to copy-paste the existing comments, I'll switch to the blogger comment system.

BTW, I assume that your demographic statements were along the lines I have tried to explain above? Do you find the 100+ million scenario plausible?

2004-12-26 21:02
Doug Muir:

I found a very good 1994 article by two Turkish professors, which (now that I'm in rural Germany with a crap dialup connection) I can't dig up at the moment. But the money quote was: "The 'Turkey of 100 million' is unlikely ever to be realized."

Their median projection had Turkey's population growing to about 88 million by 2020, then growing very slowly to about 93 million around 2050, peaking at 96 million soon thereafter, then shrinking. Interestingly, their high end projection peaked at 99 million. (Low end peak was 89 million IMS.) Immigration and emigration were factored in. High, median and low all agreed that Turkey's population would be pretty much fixed from the early 2020s onward.

What was interesting was, nobody else was saying this in 1994 — but it's precisely consistent with the last 10 years of demographic data, and with the most recent (

2004-12-26 23:15
Doug Muir:

What the /hell/.

That was another 500 words or so gone. This time it just randomly snipped them off.

Okay, guess that's it for me on this topic.

Doug M.

2004-12-27 09:39

Litmus said...

Well, I along with everyone I know personally are either borderline atheists or non-practicing Muslims who set foot in a mosque only when someone dies. We may be a minority, but we are a very visible minority. And to say, as Nike has, that the only way we are so is by rejecting a large part of our identity is ridiculous. Not to mention his history-or-death approach is as ideologically radioactive as any leftist rant.

I find the workforce argument cited by the pro-Turkey side kind of weak. Europe is not running short on immigrant applications. They don't need to admit an entire country. Immigrants from much poorer countries in Africa and Asia will be able to outbid Turkish immigrants for lower paying jobs anyway.