Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Turkey's EU Application Progresses

Another chapter, the Environment chapter, has been opened in Turkey's negotiations to join the European Union. This means that 11 out of the total 35 chapters have been opened, 1 of which has been concluded. Meanwhile, the Turks are squawking about not having been granted visa-free travel in Europe.

Sp despite all the humming and hawing, despite all the reservations expressed by various people, despite van Rumpuy becoming EU president, Sarkozy being elected in France and Merkel consolidating her power in Germany, Turkey's application is still progressing. This is frightening. What does it take to stop this? Why don't Sarkozy or Merkel or Cyprus just veto it? Otherwise the Turks can just wait until the left-wing (and Turkey-supporting) opposition gets in in France or Germany and the nightmare becomes real. Sarkozy needs to step up and do the right thing for Europe.

Orthodox Patriarch Feels "Crucified" and "Second-class citizen" in Turkey

An amazing report on the American "60 Minutes" documentary programme about the situation of the Orthodox Patriarch in Turkey.

Be sure and watch the video here. It's about 15 minutes long.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Key points emerging from it:

There are now only about 4000 orthodox Christians remaining in Turkey, although there were about 1 million at the start of the 20th century. Those people have been forced out!

The Turks have confiscated or shut down many Christians churches and seminaries where new priests are trained. They also bizarrely claim the right to insist that the Orthodox Patriarch, who represents 300 million Christians around the world, must be Turkish!

The Patriarch is regularly insulted and threated by our enlightened Turkish friends.

Here is Michael Huffington's response to this video on the Huffington Post, also worth reading.

"Turkey has no place in the European Union"


"Turkey is not a European country. Most of its land mass is in Asia Minor. It is not ethnically, socially, culturally or religiously European. Yet the U.S. government (especially under President George W. Bush) has lobbied the Europeans forcefully to admit Turkey into the EU because Turkey is our military ally, and the American military and political establishment didn't want them falling into the Russian or the Iranian sphere of influence."

And, incidentally, we now know what it takes to get an anti-Turkish article published on the Huffington Post: you just need to have been married to Arianna.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Turk Convicted of Murdering Own Daughter in Britain

An example of the kind of cultural enrichment Turkey has in store for Europe.

Note the perpetrator, Mehmet Goren, was ordered to be deported from the country after he was convicted of attacking someone with an axe. However, he successfully appealed against the deportation order. What is wrong with this country? If you can't deport mad axemen, who can you deport?

The Turks Have the Duchess of York Running Scared

Truly incredible, this one. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, exposes the shocking abuse that takes place at orphanages in Turkey and the Turks file criminal complaints against her because she allegedly violated some bogus privacy laws. Apparently these absurd legal fictions have some force in European countries, so that the Duchess is now afraid of being extradited. Why do Turkey's barbaric laws have any legal force in Europe?

As a result of being intimidated, Sarah Ferguson is now trying to suppress publication of the book, Undercover by Chris Rogers, about her visit to Turkey, which she initially collaborated on willingly.

This is ironic, to say the least, considering the quote from Sarah Ferguson herself which appears on the book's blurb on Amazon :

"'Chris Rogers' reports made me realise that I needed to come out of the corner... be true to myself about what I stand for and not be worried about who I may upset in the process. Chris and I have become a team: he is the 'exposer' and I am the activist, the campaigner. Sarah Duchess of York."

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Favourite Erdogan Quotes

I thought I'd create a thread collecting some of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's most memorable quotes. I'll add to it over time.

"It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide." Source

"There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it." Source

"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..." [Note: this is actually a poem that Erdogan was quoting. He spent four months in prison because of this speech.] Source

"Assimilation is a crime against humanity", addressing an audience of Turks in Germany. Source

"We did not commit a crime, therefore we do not need to apologise." - on the Armenian genocide. Source

"There is no doubt he is our friend," on Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Source

"Islamophobia is a crime against humanity, adding that no one can attack things that are sacred to Muslims using freedom of expression as an excuse." Source

Monday, 14 December 2009

Amnesty International Denounces Turkey For Banning Kurdish Party

Of course this Kurdish party was only formed after the Turks banned the last one in 2005. In restrained language, Amnesty International notes that Turkey's laws "fail to meet international standards".

More on Turkey's Staggering Hypocrisy on the Swiss Minaret Ban

Here is a German television piece on Turkish hypocrisy. A translation is provided.

This separate article quotes a Turk admitting that "it is practically impossible to build a new church in Turkey, or even return an old unused church to its original use" and describes some of the obstacles Christians face.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Some Choice Extracts of Remarks Made By Erdogan in a TV Interview

Erdogan recently gave an interview to Russia today.

Continued Denial of the Armenian Genocide

"...Besides, the Turkish nation, our grandparents, did not commit genocide. They just would not have done it ... The Ottoman Empire would not have fallen for such a mistake."

"What happened was the deportation of people from one area to another, which caused certain conflicts. Both sides suffered losses. You can see this clearly in the historical records as we have opened up our archives now. What we say now is that Armenia should give access to its archives and let investigators do their research so that we can reach a solution. Simple as that. But Armenia is not doing this, and since this is the case, they do not have the grounds to accuse Turkey. We will never accept blame for such a thing."

We are already in the EU

"What we are saying is regardless of whether you accept Turkey or not, we are already in the EU. There are five million Turks in EU countries already."

Is this not outrageous? He is asserting some claim to authority over people of Turkish descent living in the EU. Does this not legitimise fears expressed by some people about the "dual loyalties" of Muslims?

Turkey Sets up its EU Campaign HQ in a Confiscated Christian Building

Undhimmi reports that the Turks have set up their HQ for their campaign to get into the European Union in a building confiscated from the former Orthodox Christian community.

This is especially ironic, of course, in light of the Erdogan's huffing and puffing about the Swiss minaret vote - in response to which he urged Muslims to invest their money in Turkey instead of Switzerland.

The article also reports some more interesting facts about Turkish social attitudes:

More than half of Turks oppose non-Muslim religious meetings

59 percent of those surveyed said non-Muslims either “should not” or “absolutely should not” be allowed to hold open meetings where they can discuss their ideas.

54 percent said non-Muslims either “should not” or “absolutely should not” be allowed to publish literature that describes their faith.

49 percent of those surveyed said they would either “absolutely” or “most likely” not support a political party that accepted people from another religion.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Shady Background of the Independent Commission on Turkey

There is an interesting article in the Irish Left Review which casts some light on the backgrounds of those active in the so-called Independent Commission on Turkey, the propaganda organisation part financed by the British Council, part financed by the American George Soros, which lobbies on behalf of Turkish membership.

It seems that quite a few of them have either been caught or are strongly suspected of taking bribes or dipping their hands in the till. In particular, Martti Ahtisaari, is alleged to have taken 40 million Euros in bribes from the Albanian mafia (Muslims) to recommend independence for Kosovo when he was UN Special Envoy, and to have received the services of prostitutes from them as well.

No surprise here, really. I have already commented that the Sibel Edmonds affair in the United States, which brought to light massive bribery and blackmail operations being conducted by the Turkish state against senior American politicians, indicated a strong likelihood that such operations were also being carried out in Europe to smooth the way for Turkey's EU membership application.

Monday, 30 November 2009

The situation of Christian churches in Turkey

The brave decision of the Swiss people to resist the defacement of their city skylines by alien architectural features has been greeted with clamour worldwide.

There is talk of this democratic decision being somehow overturned in an international court. The UN's "Special Commissioner on Religious Freedom" has denounced it. How strange then that these various international potentates say nothing about the overt and covert discrimination against the Christian faith and other faiths in the Islamic world.

Let us remember that Muslims have not been prevented from building mosques in Switzerland. Only minarets have been banned. Yet in many Islamic countries, it is either impossible or almost impossible to establish a Christian church. This is the case in Turkey, for example, the supposedly "englightened" Islamic country.

Christians in Turkey face massive bureaucratic resistance if they attempt to set up a Christian church. Although permitted in theory, in practice, it is essentially impossible. Christians are encouraged, instead, to form "associations". They are forced to meet and worship in private rooms. They are not allowed to display symbols of their faith, such as crosses, on the walls.

You can read fuller descriptions of this anti-Christian discrimination here.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

New EU President Brings Hope to Europe on Turkey Issue

He may be Mr. Anonymous but the new EU President, Herman Van Rompuy, seems to be on the right side of the Turkey question, if reports are to be believed.

Reuters has this quote:

"Turkey is not a part of Europe and will never be part of Europe," the independent online newspaper EUobserver.com quoted him as saying in December, 2004.

"The universal values which are in force in Europe, and which are also fundamental values of Christianity, will lose vigor with the entry of a large Islamic country such as Turkey," he told a meeting of the Council of Europe on the subject of Turkey's possible entry into the EU.

Of course he's now trying to backtrack on these statements, at least in public, and replacing them with the usual bland Eurospeak. But hopefully those original quotations show where his heart lies.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Turkey being lost to the West?

The Huffington Post hosts another witless apologia for Turkey from the left-wing, this time with a dash of pseudo-American geopolitics being thrown into the mix. The byline points out that the author, Tuncay Babali, is a "Fellow at the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs" but fails to point out that he is a former Turkish diplomat.

Apparently Mr. Babali thinks that Turkey is in danger of being "lost to the West" because of we bad Europeans not letting them in. Apparently we should just tear up all the rules, throw away the standards they don't meet and let them in anyway.

I posted a comment to the article which, of course, was not approved by the Huffington censor team. So here it is reproduced here:

Europe is not "a timeless and inspirational idea". It is a place and a culture. Turkey is not part of the place or the culture. The whole idea of Turkey joining the European Union was absurd from the get-go and it's time it was killed off. It is overwhelmingly opposed by the people of Europe who know that Turkey is about as European as Iran. Despite this, thanks to American pressure, the elite is trying to force it through against the wishes of their people.

Europe's 15 million Muslims have already caused immense problems, forcing a massive retrenchment of civil liberties. That could only be aggravated by adding Turkey's vast population to the mix.

Turkey is so far from meeting the norms of a European country that it is almost incredible that its application is still on track. To cite only a few: it denies that the Armenian genocide occurs, it routinely invades EU airspace with fighter aircraft (each day), it routinely practises torture, it constantly suppresses free speech (banning YouTube etc. because of criticism of the revered dictator Ataturk); it has a leader who says things like "there is no such thing as moderate Islam" and "No Muslim could commit genocide".

You say that if Turkey is not admitted to the European Union, Turkey may be lost to the West. I say that if Turkey is admitted to the European Union, Europe may be lost to the West. It is time American governments stopped lobbying for this primitive Middle Eastern nation to be allowed into the European Union. Whatever temporary political advantage you think it will offer you is as nothing compared to the long-term disadvantages of Europe becoming Eurabia.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Turkey Bizarrely Denies Genocide in Darfur

"Because Muslims can't commit genocide" says Turkish President Erdogan!!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Creationism flourishing in Turkey

According to the Washington Post, supported by the Islamic government and American creationists of course.

An article in Science magazine, "Bracing for Islamic Creationism", which compares attitudes towards evolution in different Muslim countries, can be found here.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Turkey interfering with EU immigration patrols

According to the Greek governnment, Turkey is threatening and interfering with EU aircraft flying patrols to check for illegal immigration into Europe.

Vast numbers of illegal migrants cross from Turkey into Europe each year, and undoubtedly many more would do so if Turkey was allowed to join the EU.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Turkey's Foreign Policy Re-Alignment

Recent weeks have made dramatically clear just how much Turkey's foreign policy posture has been re-aligned under the Islamist AKP. First, Turkey uninvited Israel from participating in the "Anatolian Eagle" military exercise, marking a clear departure from the country's long-standing pro-Israel stance in foreign affairs. Second, Turkey has recently been cosying up to Syria and Iran. Erdogan even called Ahmadinejad "a friend".

Does any of this even register with the European potentates who are still trying to push forward Turkey's EU candidacy in the face of common sense, and in the face of their own people's overwhelming opposition to it? Turkey is reverting to type, becoming what it always was: a Middle-Eastern Muslim nation. Decades of Ataturk propaganda, authoritarian government and military intervention (both real and threatened) succeeded in suppressing overt expressions of Turkey's true nature for some time, but reality eventually asserts itself.

Paradoxically, the EU accession process is facilitating the triumph of Islamism in Turkey. The EU is insisting on freedom of worship and on civilian control of the military as conditions of entry. This only makes things easier for the Islamists. The military knows that intervention would bring Turkey's EU accession process to an end and therefore is reluctant to act. But even some pro-Turkey European politicians are saying that Turkey's accession process might take decades. If the military is paralysed for decades, the Islamists will entrench themselves in power and eliminate the power of the military as an independent actor. The best way the EU can safeguard secularism in Turkey is to reject Turkey's EU application quickly and decisively.

Friday, 2 October 2009

More Reports in the German Press About Turkish Bigotry

The issue is being reported in the German press, but I still haven't found a word about it in the English language papers. For those who can read German the links are below :

Die Presse

Der Tagesspiegel

The latter article mentions that in recent weeks red, yellow and green paint has been daubed on some homes in certain districts of Istanbul - supposedly the most enlightened part of the country - to mark homes that belong to Armenian or Greek Christians.

I will try and find time to translate one or two of these articles fully if no English language versions appear.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Ludicrous Censorship in The Guardian

The Guardian today has an article on Turkey's rapprochement with Syria. Not a lot to it, although it's certainly of interest that Turkey now has visa-free travel with its neighbours Iran, Iraq and Syria. The article mentions the "zero problems with neighbours" policy of Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.

I entered the following comment to the article using the Guardian comments system:

"The Turks will pretend to play nice with their neighbours while they pursue their dream of getting into the European Union. Then, once the citadel gates are thrown open, if that nightmare ever occurs, they will allow their true nature to express itself again."

A fairly innocuous remark, which, amazingly, was censored out of existence by The Guardian censor team. It's heart-breaking to see what The Guardian has become under its censorship policy: a place where the free exchange of ideas is abhorred.

Fortunately, SideWiki, a new tool from Google, offers us a solution. After installing the Google toolbar, it allows you to enter comments on any website you visit. These will be visible to anyone else who uses SideWiki and will be immune from the censorship of those who operate the site. Not many people are using SideWiki yet, but I'm sure its popularity will grow, aided by the clownish thought police so many websites now employ. It is a particularly useful resource for those who take unorthodox positions and wish to challenge the status quo. Please download Sidewiki and start using it today.

The Embattled Secular Class in Turkey

The New English Review has recently published a thoughtful article by Hugh Fitzgerald on Turkey's embattled secular class. It's well worth reading. Thanks to the anonymous commenter who originally posted the link.

Turks Don't Wants Jews, Christians or Atheists as Neighbours

An opinion poll survey in Turkey, partly financed by the European Union, has produced some interesting results. It seems those "secular" Turks aren't quite so secular after all.

I have yet to find an English-language version of the report.

But according to the German news magazine Focus the survey found that:

Four out of 10 Turks would not want to have Jewish neighbours.

Three out of 10 Turks would not want to have Christian neighbours.

Half of all Turks thought that non-Muslims should be barred from employment in the Turkish justice system, the army, the police, the intelligence services and political parties.

40% of Turks believe Jews and Christians should be barred from employment in the health or academic sectors.

57% of Turks said they would not want atheists as neighbours.

Around one out of five Turks said they would not want a foreigner as a neighbour.

How is it possible that our elite political class are trying to force the acceptance of this country into the European Union? How is it possible?

Monday, 28 September 2009

German Election Results May Be Bad News for Turkey and Good News for Europe

In the German election, Angela Merkel's CDU and her allies in the FDP appear to have prevailed. Most likely they will be able to form a government of their own. This could be of key significance in relation to Turkey joining the EU. Merkel has always been opposed to Turkish accession, but hitherto she has been forced to operate within the constraints of Germany's grand coalition government. This coalition involved all the major German parties, including the left-leaning SPD, which favours Turkish accession. Germany's foreign minister, Steinmeier, is a member of the SPD, and follows the party line in support of the Turks. Coalition politics meant that some middle line had to be found. But that should now go out the window. Merkel should now be able to oppose Turkish accession unrestrainedly.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Turkey Assaults European Free Speech

Astonishingly, even before Turkey has managed to get in to the European Union, it is already assaulting free speech in Europe - the core foundation of any democracy.

The colourful episode that brings this truth to light is the documentary made last year by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Broadcast on ITV, the documentary, Duchess and Daughters: their Secret Mission, showed Fergie and her daughter, the Princess Eugenie, sneaking(because they weren't granted permission) round orphanages in Turkey, filming and commenting on what they saw. Conditions in the orphanages were shocking. Children and teenagers were literally shackled to their beds in some cases, showing what a barbaric country Turkey really is.

When the documentary was broadcast, the Turkish government, rather than act as a civilised government would - which is to say express horror about what had been revealed and promise to investigate and tackle the problem - instead attacked those who had made and broadcast the documentary. Ludicrously, the Turks accused the documentary makers of wanting to scupper Turkey's bid to join the European Union. They even alleged that crimes had been committed, including by the Duchess of York herself, and have apparently discussed attempting to extradite her to Turkey to face trial!

This is a showcase example of exactly the kind of insidiously corrupting effect Turkey will have on European freedoms if it is allowed to join the EU. Their Islamic totalitarian culture will gradually warp and distort our own civilised norms and, at least at first, it will happen so slowly that we barely notice it.

Incidentally the documentary can be viewed on YouTube here:

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 1

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 2

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 3

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 4

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Interview with Sibel Edmonds

The American Conservative magazine has published an astonishing interview with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in which she lays bare the vast extent of Turkey's espionage and influencing operations within the United States. Lacking similar information about Europe, we can only assume that similar activites are going on here and that European decision-makers are being bribed and blackmailed to facilitate Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

The interview includes the following bombshell revelation:

Edmonds: "The monitoring of the Turks picked up contacts with Feith, Wolfowitz, and Perle in the summer of 2001, four months before 9/11. They were discussing with the Turkish ambassador in Washington an arrangement whereby the U.S. would invade Iraq and divide the country. The UK would take the south, the rest would go to the U.S. They were negotiating what Turkey required in exchange for allowing an attack from Turkish soil. The Turks were very supportive, but wanted a three-part division of Iraq to include their own occupation of the Kurdish region. The three Defense Department officials said that would be more than they could agree to, but they continued daily communications to the ambassador and his defense attaché in an attempt to convince them to help."

This, of course, is interesting, as one of the arguments cited against Turkey's acceptance into the EU is that it would be an American Trojan horse. The fact that Turkey refused to allow its territory to be used for the Iraq invasion is often mentioned to counter this claim. Now, it seems, the Turks refused their permission, not out of some morally-principled opposition to the war, but out of pique that their demands for a carve up of Kurdish Iraq were not acceded to.

At Least 6000 Websites Censored in Turkey

At least 6000 websites are being censored in Turkey according to a recent analysis. These include YouTube, MySpace, Last.fm, Geocities, Google Groups and WordPress. Does this show respect for free speech? Is this civilised behaviour?

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Sibel Edmonds Case and Its Implications for Europe

The Sibel Edmonds case is an American scandal that has been bubbling away quietly for years. Few people have heard of it and no mainstream American news organisation has been willing to go near it. It repays close attention, however, as it is hightly suggestive of the kind of covert activities the Turkish government may be undertaking in Europe in support of its bid to join the European Union.

In summary form, the story is this: Sibel Edmonds was a Turkish woman who had emigrated to the United States and taken US citizenship. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, she was recruited by the FBI as a translator (translating Turkish, Farsi and Armenian). After a few months she was approached by another Turkish translator working for the FBI who was also a Turk (Melek Can Dickerson). Dickerson was married to a high-ranking US military officer. Edmonds became aware that Dickerson had worked for some organisations which were the subject of FBI investigations (like the American Turkish Council) and had lied on her CV. Dickerson, along with her husband, came to Edmonds' home and had a conversation with her. Edmonds interpreted this as an attempt to recruit her into the Turkish spying network. She immediately reported this attempt to her superiors. The matter went up the chain and culminated in Edmonds having her employment terminated.

Since then she has been trying to speak out about what she discovered in the course of doing her job. She is subject to tight legal restrictions in what she can say in public. The US government invoked the State Secrets Privilege to suppress her free speech in various cases. Those who have investigated her claims, including official investigations, have found them highly credible.

Last month, she testified at a court hearing and spoke more openly about what she knows than she has done hitherto. There are MP3 highlights of her testimony here. In essence what she says is that the Turks, through various front organisations such as the American Turkish Council, were running a vast, covert influencing operation in the United States. This operation primarily targeted politicians, including some very powerful and high-profile ones, such as Denny Hastert, former speaker of the House and now a Turkish lobbyist; Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and various other influential neocons. Edmonds says that the Turks used bribery and blackmail to pursue their goals. These goals were the acquisition of US military secrets, including nuclear secrets, and the circulation of this information to countries including Libya and Saudi Arabia; suppressing any discussion or recognition of the Armenian genocide; and general support for Turkish foreign policy.

One anecdote that she tells is of a Democratic congresswoman who was married with children but was also bisexual. The Turks arranged for a female Turkish agent to seduce her and film the whole thing. This film would then have been used for blackmail purposes.

OK, all very interesting, but how does it relate to Europe? First of all, the revelation that the Turks have been seeking nuclear secrets and sharing them with countries like Libya and Saudi Arabia shows us where Turkey's heart really lies. It is a typical Middle Eastern Muslim country, not some secular, quasi-European state as its supporters maintain.

More importantly, however, it suggests the kind of influencing operations the Turks may be running in Europe, too, in support of their accession bid. Joining the European Union has been Turkey's major strategic objective for decades. If they are willing to engage in bribery and blackmail just to suppress discussion of the Armenian genocide in America, what wouldn't they be willing to do to support their EU accession bid?

Certainly, it is difficult to understand the enthusiasm of so many European politicians, like the disgraceful Emma Bonino, for Turkish accession, given how overwhelmingly opposed their own people are to the idea. Is it possible that bribery and blackmail are taking place on a mass scale to support Turkey's application? I find the idea plausible.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Turkish Government Muzzles Media Critics

The Turkish government has just imposed a €1.7 billion fine on the country's largest independent media conglomerate, the Dogan group. The amount is almost equivalent to the entire value of the company. A few weeks ago a fine of €350 million was imposed on the same group. Together the two fines imperil the very existence of the company.

Newspapers belonging to the group had been fierce critics of the Turkish government. Tensions between the ruling AKP party and the media organisation at one point reached such a pitch that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on his supporters to boycott Dogan group publications.

The Turkish government is clearly using the law as an instrument of oppression against its critics, much as Putin does in Russia. Is this civilised behaviour? Is this what we expect of a European country? No! Turkey yet again demonstrates that it is unfit to be a member of the European Union.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The British Council Financing Pro-Turkey Propaganda

The British Council is a public body that subsists largely on funds from the British government. Its remit is to spread knowledge of the English language and British culture and to assist the formation of cultural ties between peoples. Given this rather innocuous mission statement, therefore, it is disturbing to note that the organisation is indirectly propagandising on behalf of Turkey's admission to the EU. It provides funds for the so-called Independent Commission on Turkey which recently released a report condemning Europe for refusing to be enthusiastic about the prospect of 80 million semi-literate, semi-civilised Muslims turning up to destroy European civilisation from within.

No one who reads the report issued by this "Independent Commission" could be in any doubt about where the commissioners stand. There is not even a pretence of impartiality. They are actively lobbying for Turkish accession and deploring any effort to impede it.

So we are presented with a situation in which British taxpayer funds are being used to propagandise the British public on behalf of a controversial political issue. This is absolutely outrageous, and a gross violation of the British Council's remit. Of course this is no great surprise since for the last few years it has been led by none other than former European Commissioner and failed party political leader Neil Kinnock.

This violation of acceptable norms should not be casually tolerated, however. If you are a British citizen, please contact the British Council here and complain about their inappropriate funding of pro-Turkey propaganda activities.

Today I sent the follow email of complaint to the British Council :

As a British taxpayer I want to communicate my resentment to you of the fact that you are providing funding for the so-called “Independent Commission on Turkey”. The work of this commission has shown that it is a propagandistic body. Rather than impartially examining the “challenges and opportunities” of Turkey’s prospective EU membership, as stated in its charter, it has, in fact, become a lobbying organisation actively campaigning for it.

The potential accession of Turkey is a controversial political issue. Opinion polls have shown that a clear majority of Europeans are opposed to Turkish membership. In providing funding for propaganda on a controversial political issue, therefore, the British Council has, in this instance, exceeded its lawful remit. It cannot be right that British taxpayer funds are used to propagandise the British population on a matter of legitimate controversy.

I ask that you immediately cease to provide funding for the “Independent Commission on Turkey”.

The Independent Commission on Turkey

The so-called Independent Commission on Turkey recently released its second report. You can read a summary of the report in this article published by the Commission's chairman, Martti Ahtisaari, in the New York Times. (Why is this guy publishing an article about Turkish accession to the EU in an American newspaper?) It identifies what it calls a vicious circle in which murmurings in Europe about Turkish accession cause Turks to become disenchanted with the EU, and therefore less inclined to pursue the reforms required to turn their country into something that has the appearance of being civilised. This, in turn, feeds European unhappiness. I've no idea whether such a vicious circle exists, but I certainly hope so.

The report repeats the lie that "a promise" has been made to Turkey. No promise was made to Turkey. The Negotiating Framework for Turkish accession specifically states that "these negotiations are an open-ended process, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed beforehand".

The commissioners claim that the EU's "credibility" as an actor on the world stage will be in question if Turkey is not accepted as a member. On the contrary, the accession of 100 million Muslims to the European Union will permanently cripple the European Union's ability to achieve a unified foreign policy stance on most major issues. And countries do not become credible actors on the world stage by obsessing about what other people think of them. It is striking how many of the arguments from Turkey's European apologists relate to "sending a message to the world" or the like. Countries gain credibility on the world stage when they vigorously pursue their own interests and affirm their own values, not when they cravenly seek the favour of foreigners.

I did a little reading on this Independent Commission on Turkey. It is a self-appointed body, without any official status whatsoever. Funding for it is provided by the British Council and the American George Soros. It is deeply disturbing that an American is propagandising the people of Europe on behalf of Turkey; and that British taxpayer funds are being used to propagandise the British people on a politically controversial issue

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Turkish Foreign Minister Still Smugly Confident About EU Entry

Despite the murmurings from the governments of France and Germany and, of course, the overwhelming opposition of the European people who are denied a voice in the matter, Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is still smugly confident about his country getting into the European Union.

"We have full confidence that our French, British and other colleagues will keep their commitment... " he said. It is outrageous for him to claim that there is any "commitment" to Turkish admission. There is no commitment. There is a process whose outcome is not certain. Diplomatic objections should be raised to this official Turkish insistence that there is any commitment.

He went on to make a number of other preposterous statements in an article he published in the Swedish press. Extracts below :

"There is no need for convincing, it is already sure that Turkey and the European Union will integrate in the future."

"Like us, Sweden realises that Europe can never be a strong and united entity as long as Turkey remains outside the EU."

He also implied that in implementing reforms to make his country marginally more civilised, the Turks were doing Europe some kind of favour. Of course it is the other way around. Europe is doing the Turks a favour by showing them how to become a more civilised country.

"The negative voices that we keep hearing from some countries in the EU just spread doubt among our citizens and impede our efforts to continue reforms."

The AFP also has a nice picture of Ahmet Davutoglu and Olli Rehn, the EU's enlargement commissioner, smugly smiling and shaking hands with one another. They think they've got it in the bag. They think they can ride roughshod over the European people and inflict a perhaps mortal blow on European civilisation. And perhaps they can. We need to find a way to stop them.

I sent an email to the great Olli Rehn recently, pointing out the responses to articles about Turkish EU membership in the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, which indicated the overwhelming opposition to Turkish entry of people from both the left and right wings of the political spectrum. Of course the great man didn't deign to reply to an insect like me. If you're an EU citizen, why not make your feelings known to him at the email address below :


The only way we can stop this nightmare from occurring to is to make these people quail in their plush offices; make them fear for their perks, their no-tax salaries and their chauffeur-driven limousines; let them feel the hot breath of popular anger at their backs.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

France Shamefully Silent About Turkish Atrocities

This year there is a Turkish season in France. These seasons are officially-organised programmes of cultural events relating to a specific country, designed to promote greater understanding between peoples. They take place each year and feature exhibitions, performances and concerts and the like, but also intellectual events such as debates, discussions and lectures. Shamefully, the organisers of the French event this year have decided to exclude any coverage or discussion of the Armenian genocide, deferring to Turkey's infamous sensitivities on the subject. This is cowardly after-the-fact complicity in one of history's greatest crimes.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Turkey Now the World Headquarters of Creationism

Some interesting facts emerge from this article in the Independent about creationism in Turkey:

Only 25 per cent of Turks believe in evolution.

Only 50 per cent of Turkish science teachers believe in evolution.

Adnan Oktar, a Turkish preacher, is waging a global creationist campaign, sending free copies of his anti-evolution books to schools and universities around the world.

Five Turkish teachers lost their jobs for teaching evolution.

The Turkish Education Minister supports Intelligent(sic) Design.

Only 1% of Turks are atheists. (How does this square with claims that Turkish culture is just like Europe?)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Turks Started Wildfires in Greece

The Greek government has been shaken politically by its failure to cope with Greece's recent wildfire outbreak. Meanwhile, the Turks, in a seemingly noble gesture, have offered assistance to Greece. Let's not forget, however, that it was only a few years ago that a senior Turkish politician admitted that Turkey's officially sponsored paramilitary/terrorist/commando group, the Grey Wolves, was responsible for starting the fires in Greece every summer.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Brother Tariq Kicked Out of Rotterdam

Brother Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss Egyptian who campaigns for Turkey's accession to the EU, has been kicked out of his gigs in Rotterdam. France and the Netherlands have now woken up to Tariq Ramadan and grasped the fact that he is a reactionary in disguise. Perhaps the British government and the Guardian newspaper will now do the same, although I won't hold my breath.

It seems that the Geert Wilders phenomenon really has elite politicians in the Netherlands running scared. They're used to dissenting fringe parties like the BNP or Le Pen. Now, for the first time, they're faced with an anti-immigration party, which rejects racism (Wilders expresses contempt for the BNP) and has a chance of going mainstream and even winning. This is a heartening development which I hope will be replicated elsewhere in Europe.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Turks Confess To Plotting Terrorist Attack in Germany

Two Turkish citizens who had been living in Germany, along with two German converts to Islam, are to confess to plotting a terrorist attack on German soil. After training at jihadi camps in Pakistan, they decided to carry out a terrorist "spectacular" in Europe. The attack planned is said to have been even larger in scale than the bomb attacks in London or Madrid a few years ago.

It seems that "secular" Turkey is just as capable of producing lunatic Islamic extremists as Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Guardian Censorship

I posted the following comment on the Guardian website the other day in response to Tariq Ramadan's article on Turkish accession to the EU. By Saturday morning, it had received almost 40 recommendations, which is high for a lengthy comment on the 3rd comments page. By mid-day on Saturday, it had been removed by a moderator. Note I am apparently on a danger list at the Guardian, and my comments must be pre-approved before they are made visible to anyone else. So a censor had viewed and approved my comment on Friday, when it first appeared, then the weekend shift censors came in on Saturday and had a different opinion. This shows how frighteningly arbitrary all censorship systems are, and why absolute freedom of speech (libel excepted) must be affirmed.

Here is the text of the deleted comment. Judge for yourself whether you think it contains anything offensive, and see the Guardian flounder badly as it fails catastrophically in its aim of becoming the prime global platform for the exchange of liberal ideas. You can't become a platform for the exchange of ideas when you're afraid of ideas. If Karl Marx had been alive today, he would have been censored off the pages of the Guardian as someone who is intolerant of religion - "the opiate of the masses."

It seems to me one of the supreme paradoxes of world history that political correctness, a kind of "anti-racist" mania, has taken much of Europe's liberal left down a bizarre and circuitous path of ideas which culminates in them defending the basest intolerance: an intense religiosity which threatens all the achievements of tolerance Europe achieved in the latter decades of the 20th century. People who abhor gays, women and free speech are being welcomed into our midst, and we are not allowed to express unhappiness about it; otherwise we are deemed intolerant, censored and, in some cases, sent to prison. The old left's bitter antagonism to religiosity in all its forms was far, far healthier than this twisted tolerance of intolerance.

Here is the text of the censored comment:

Only 3% of Turkish territory is in Europe. It did not experience any of the formative events that shaped European culture like the Renaissance or the Enlightenment, the spread or decline of Christianity. It is simply absurd to call Turkey a European country.

Turkish cultural attitudes are primitive and unacceptable by European standards. Half of all murders in the country are "honour killings" - murders (or enforced suicides) of young girls by members of their own family, supposedly to cleanse the shame of having formed some undesirable romantic attachment (although sometimes for as trivial a thing as standing too close to an older man or receiving an SMS message).

If Turkey joins the European Union, it will be the largest single country and will soon constitute one quarter of the EU's entire population. Normal democratic pressures will force politicians to pander to Turkish prejudices. Modern Europe, on the whole, is the most tolerant place in the world. Turkish accession will threaten all this. Retrograde, primitively prejudiced attitudes against gays, women, free speech and a host of other issues will suddenly become a major part of European political discourse. Turkey is a threat to European tolerance - culturally, it is an American Deep South x 10.

You point out that the EU lacks political influence commensurate with its economic weight because it is disunited. Destroying the EU's cultural homogeneity only makes it less likely that the EU will be able to develop a unified foreign policy in future. This, of course, is why the Americans and the anti-EU right, such as the Conservatives, were so keen to incorporate the ex-communist countries of eastern Europe into the EU and why they are such eager proponents of Turkish accession too (something that might otherwise be considered counter-intuitive considering the racist attitudes traditionally common among their political base). They know that Turkish accession will scupper forever the dream of a united EU as a world power.

The economic issues you raise are a red herring. We can trade with Turkey and offer it privileged market access (as we do currently) without it being a member.

I have no doubt that the accession of Turkey to the European Union will ultimately destroy the European Union. Opinion polls show that the people of Europe are overwhelmingly opposed to Turkish membership - they know that it is not European, whatever the elite say. When the 100 million Turks start distorting European laws to reflect their own prejudices, many people will conclude that the EU is simply not worth going on with. It won't happen right away, but 20 years after Turkey joins, if it joins, the EU will disintegrate. Historians looking back on the failed experiment will conclude that Turkish accession was blow that ultimately proved fatal. If only the warnings had been heeded in advance.

Who is Tariq Ramadan?

Tariq Ramadan is an Islamic intellectual and activist. Of Egyptian origin, he is the grandson of Hassan al Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood could fairly be called the progenitor of virtually all modern jihadi movements. The Ramadan family was forced to flee Egypt in the wake of the government crackdown on Islamic extremists which followed an attempted assassination of Nasser.

Tariq Ramadan now resides in Switzerland and holds teaching positions in Switzerland and Britain. His intellectual credentials have been called into question, however. At the University of Geneva, his doctoral thesis was essentially an apologia for his grandfather. He was denied the customary congratulations of the awarding panel and his thesis supervisor later called him a “pseudo-intellectual” and a “vain opportunist”.

Fluent in multiple languages, Ramadan appears frequently on television and print in Europe, discussing Islamic issues. He is an official adviser to the EU and to the British government on religious questions. He also markets tapes of his own talks on religious issues. These sell well among Muslim communities in Europe.

Tariq Ramadan verbally assaulted two French police officers at Paris Roissy Charles De Gaulle airport in 2007. He admitted the offence and was fined 2,500 euros.

Brother Tariq

Ramadan likes to pose as the rational face of Islamism. But he has been dogged by accusations that he offers two separate discourses, one for the unIslamic westerners, and one for the "brothers." French journalist, Caroline Fourest, wrote an expose of Tariq Ramadan in book form called "Frère Tariq" or "Brother Tariq" as it was in the English translation, which was also published as a book. Much of the book focuses on an analysis of statements Tariq Ramadan has made in the various tapes he has sold. Extracts from the book (in French) can be read here for free on the website of the French news magazine L'Express.

Quoting from his tapes, Caroline Fourest notes the following about Tariq Ramadan :

He believes that unmarried men and women should not be alone in the same room together.

He believes that unmarried men and women should not shake hands. He says : «Essayez de l'éviter, mais, quand on vous tend la main, vous donnez la main.» ["Try and avoid it, but if someone extends their hand to you, extend your hand."]

He is opposed to swimming pools in which males and females mix. He counsels even Muslim men against going to mixed swimming pools. "Mais qu'est-ce que tu regardes à la piscine: tu peux pas y aller parce que ton regard est posé sur des choses que tu ne dois pas voir!" [But what are you looking at in the swimming pool: you cannot go there because you will see things you ought not to see!"]

Ramadan encourages Muslims to pay close attention to the education of their children, to “promouvoir les structures intégrant le cursus officiel et l'éducation islamique, qu'elle soit déclarée ou non” [“promote structures integrating the official programme and Islamic education, whether declared or not”]. He also sternly warns young Muslim girls that they should not participate in gym activities that result in any part of their bodies being exposed to the gaze of others.

The overall impression one gets from reading transcripts of Tariq Ramadan’s tapes is that, collectively, they form a kind of manual for what can only be described as “entryism” : a conscious attempt to infiltrate a foreign body and reshape it from within. In this case, the foreign body is Europe. There is not a word about how Muslim immigrants to Europe ought to respect the cultures of the countries which gave them shelter and a livelihood. There is not a word about integration with the indigenous communities, except advice on how to avoid it. Ramadan’s action plan is every bit as calculated, as vicious and as purposeful as any of the entryist projects we saw launched by communists during the Cold War. As he remarked in an interview with the New Statesman : “The duty for Muslims now is to take Islam from the periphery of European culture to the centre.”

Before seeing these transcripts, I was inclined to view all talk of a conscious attempt to Islamicise Europe as nothing but a wild, neo-conservative fantasy. Having read them, however, I don’t see what other conclusion can be reached. Ramadan is adept at using the benign-sounding buzzwords Western politicians specialise in, but there is no doubt that his real agenda is the Islamification of Europe, and that he represents a far greater threat to our civilisation than any of the Bin Ladens or Al-Zawahiris who have been dangled in front of us as bogeymen in recent years. It is incredible that such a dangerous extremist, whose conscious goal is to corrupt European culture, is a paid adviser to the British government and the European Commission and has his salary paid by European taxpayers.

Tariq Ramadan and Stoning

Tariq Ramadan’s brother, Hana Ramadan, who was the director of the Islamic Centre of Geneva, published an article called “Uncompromising Sharia” in Le Monde. In this he defended the sentence passed on two women in Nigeria for the “crime” of adultery: death by stoning. In justification he noted that AIDS was spread by unmarried people having sex. Stoning such people to death could therefore be regarded as an anti-HIV measure. When questioned on a television programme about his views on women being stoned to death for adultery, Tariq Ramadan refused to condemn it. Instead, he said, there should be “a moratorium.” You can see a lengthy extract from the television programme here. It features an exchange of views between Tariq Ramadan and Nicholas Sarkozy, who was then the French Interior Minister.

Tariq Ramadan and the Double Discourse

According to Tariq Ramadan, Muslims must say this to themselves: “Je dois développer un discours à la mesure de l'oreille qui l'écoute.” [“I must develop a discourse tailored to the ear that will hear it”]. In other words, Muslims must conceal their true intentions, and strive to seem plausible and rational to a Western audience, all the while concealing the extremism beneath.

In an article published in the Canadian Free Press, Dr. Sami Alrabaa quotes Tariq Ramadan as saying the following :

“My brothers and sisters, we must exploit the so-called democracy and freedom of speech here in the West to reach our goals. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the Koran teach us that we must use every conceivable means and opportunity to defeat the enemies of Allah. Tell the infidels in public, we respect your laws and your constitutions, which we Muslims believe that these are as worthless as the paper they are written on. The only law we must respect and apply is the Shari’s...”

“The Germans claim that they want to integrate you in their society. We tell them we are going to integrate them in our Umma (Muslim world) after converting them to Islam.”

Tariq Ramadan’s Unsavoury Associates

As well as the objectionable things he has done and said himself, Tariq Ramadan maintains friendly relations with some highly questionable people.

Among these is Yahya Michot, who insists that the kidnapping and murder of seven Christian Cistercian monks at Tibhirine in Algeria was “justified from a religious point of view.” Ramadan described Michot as “a brother and a friend.”

Another is Asma Lamrabet. Ramadan wrote an approving preface to Lamrabet’s book, “Simply Muslim.” The book advised Muslim men to give their wives “a light slap” when they became hysterical during an argument.

Tariq Ramadan Rejected By the French Left

By uttering the usual platitudinous concerns about globalisation, etc., Tariq Ramadan often succeeds in projecting himself as a left-winger. On this basis, for example, he is welcomed on to the pages of The Guardian newspaper in the UK. But the French left, who are much more knowledgeable about what he represents, have firmly rejected him.
There is an excellent critique of Tariq Ramadan from a left perspective here.

Among the points made :

Tariq Ramadan is opposed to Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men, but not vice versa.
“a Muslim man can marry a Christian or Jewish woman...the reverse is not possible because a Muslim woman can't marry a man from another religion”.
Ramadan’s views on gays :

“Islam fixes very clear limits. God wanted an order, and this order is men for women and women for men. Homosexuality is not something admitted in Islam. (…) Homosexuality does not correspond to divine exigence as regards sexual relations... This act pushes men towards something that is quite similar to bestiality”

Europeans Overwhelmingly Oppposed to Turkish EU Membership

The Guardian recently published an article by Tariq Ramadan, arguing in favour of Turkish accession to the EU. There wasn't much substance to it, really: just the usual "you're all racists if you don't agree," economic benefits, bridge to the Middle East, etc.

Much more interesting were the comments that followed the article, and those that followed a response to it in The Telegraph. Commenters were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea, to the point of there being almost no one in favour of it. This is heartening. What's disheartening is that no one in the upper reaches of our governmental structures seems to care what ordinary people think. We need to make them care.

Of course many fine contributions were reaped by the Guardian censors, including those which were simply dispassionate analyses. Some of the comments brought out disturbing details about the background of Tariq Ramadan. I followed these up and collected them in a separate post. All of these posts were deleted by the Guardian censors but I was able to follow the links provided before they were deleted.

The limitations of the Guardian have become painfully apparent to me recently and, in my view, it can no longer be regarded as a platform for the serious exchange of ideas. Perhaps this should have been apparent to me sooner, but it still makes me sad - sad like my dog had just died. Just as it has been a Labour government, not a Conservative one, which has ushered in authoritarianism in Britain, so it is a left-wing paper which practises the most clunkingly rebarbative censorship of any British newspaper site, while dissenting views can be freely expressed on the websites of right-wing papers like The Telegraph.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

A fifth of Europe's Population Will Be Muslim by 2050

According to a new report. And that's without Turkey joining the EU. Think how much worse it's going to be if Turkey does join.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Letter opposing Turkish EU membership sent to MEPs

This is the text of a letter I recently sent to all the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in my voting region. I intend to document their responses here when I receive them. I feel that only this kind of grassroots democratic pressure has any chance of stopping Turkey's EU membership drive. Everyone needs to send such letters to their representatives. Feel free to copy mine word-for-word or use it as a template if you plan to the same.

I write to express my grave concern about the prospect of Turkey acceding to the European Union. In my view this would be a disastrous step which may well ultimately destroy the European Union. This is something I would deeply regret as, although deeply flawed in its current incarnation, with far too little direct democratic input, I feel that the European Union has enormous and unique potential to bring about positive change in the world.

By accepting Turkey as a member, the borders of the EU would be vastly extended. We would then face the reality of having borders in the conflict-scarred zones of the Middle East, with Iraq, Syria, Armenia and Iran as neighbours. This would create grave problems with regard to illegal immigration. At the moment, Europe’s borders within the undeveloped world are primarily sea borders. This still creates huge problems. For example, Greece, a country of 11 million people, is currently struggling to accommodate a vast tide of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers which, by some estimates, amounts to 2 million people. This is almost one fifth of the country’s own population! And these are immigrants who, in the main, have had to make the difficult journey across the sea to get to Europe. Think how much more greatly this problem is going to be magnified when they simply have to stroll across Turkey’s vast and porous borders. And, of course, the overwhelming majority of these immigrants do not intend to remain in Greece. For many, the goal is to come to Britain. So, ultimately, it is we who will have to deal with them.

Europe’s population is declining, while Turkey’s is growing fast. With a population which currently stands at around 72 million, Turkey might well already be the European Union’s largest member at its projected accession date of 2014. By 2050, Turkey’s population is projected to reach 100 million, while the EU’s is expected to have shrunk. Turkey might then constitute almost one quarter of the EU’s population as a whole. Since the European Union is nominally democratic - and we have to hope that the structures of the European Union will become less bureaucratic and more democratic in future, possibly with an EU president being directly elected by the people – this would give Turkey, whose culture is essentially alien, a vast and potentially sinister influence over a whole range of important issues. It would be a retrograde force, counteracting the tolerant values that have come to characterise modern Europe.

On any number of issues, for example with regard to respect for gay rights, free speech, women’s rights or the rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities, Turkey has shown itself to be far less enlightened than one would expect of a modern civilised nation, in Europe or anywhere else. To take only one example, the Turkish government bans access to YouTube in case Turkish citizens come across videos that criticise the revered dictator Ataturk. Criticism of Ataturk is illegal in Turkey.

Turkey is not a stable democracy. Its military regularly interferes in politics or threatens to do so. There is constant talk of a military coup if its elected governments diverge too greatly from the path laid down by Ataturk. Indeed, this appears to be the only way which secularism can be maintained in Turkey. The natural instincts of the ordinary people are to favour Islamist political positions.

Turkey is not a European country. Only a tiny sliver of territory, amounting to approximately 3% of the whole, lies on the west side of the Bosphorus, the traditionally accepted definition of Europe. The European Union cannot expand indefinitely. A reasonable limit has to be set somewhere. And borders of Europe are surely the appropriate place. Were this core principle to be discarded, the European Union would then face the prospect of having to fend off membership applications from as far afield as Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Nor is Turkey a European country culturally. Its history and traditions are different. Even modern European atheists recognise that Christianity has shaped European culture. Today, although religious practice has largely been abandoned in Europe, the imprint of Christian tradition remains in the moral character and cultural outlook of the people. That heritage has created a commonality of thought and feeling in Europe which Turkey simply does not share.

Not having been subject to the same shaping influence, Turkish people see the world in a very different way. The French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who had previously been a supporter of Turkish accession, said that he was shocked by Turkey’s conduct at the NATO meeting in April 2009. All NATO members, except Turkey, were unanimous in their choice of former Danish Prime Minister, Anders Rasmussen, for the post of NATO Secretary-General. Only Turkey opposed it. The Turks objected to Anders Rasmussen because he had spoken up in favour of liberty of expression during the Danish cartoon controversy in 2005. That alone was enough to earn him a Turkish veto years later. Of course, after much behind-the-scenes bargaining, the Turks were persuaded to change their minds. But the episode is a dramatic illustration of the threat that Turkey poses to modern Europe’s progressive, liberal values. The experience of having participated in this meeting later caused Bernard Kouchner to change his mind on the question of Turkish accession.

Britain and the other countries of the European Union receive thousands of applications from Turkish asylum seekers each year. Is it not incredible that we are actually thinking about welcoming into the European Union a country whose government is so repressive that thousands of its citizens are forced to seek asylum abroad? Imagine if thousands of Swedes or Belgians were applying for asylum in Britain each year. The idea is, of course, absurd, and the idea of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union ought, consequently, to be no less absurd.

Turkey has still not come to terms with its own history. During the First World War, the Turks committed an outrageous genocide against the people of Armenia. This served as the template for Hitler’s later persecution of the Jews. “Who today remembers the Armenians?” Hitler is said to have asked before embarking on the Holocaust. But while modern Germany has fully and candidly acknowledged the crimes of the Nazi era, modern Turkey continues to deny the most elementary facts relating to the Armenian genocide – facts that are accepted by all objective historians. Indeed, Turkey refuses even to use the term genocide in connection with those events. Bizarrely, the Turkish government goes so far as to threaten diplomatic consequences whenever official personages or institutions in other countries call the Armenian genocide by its name. This shows that Turkey has a long road to travel on the way to political maturity and is utterly unfit to be a member of the European Union.

In addition, in its relations with the European Union, Turkey often seems to act more like an adversary than a potential partner. Turkish military aircraft routinely violate EU airspace. On average this occurs 1,500 times per year, making for approximately 5 airspace violations times per day. How can we seriously be considering extending membership to a country which makes these threatening gestures towards us?

Perhaps most importantly, the European people simply do not want Turkey to become a member of the European Union. Opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that the idea of Turkish membership of the European Union is one that is overwhelmingly rejected by the citizens of the European Union. The countries of the EU are democracies. The European Union itself is supposed to function in a democratic manner, although experience shows that it unfortunately often does not. You as an elected politician are supposed to represent the wishes of your people. It is not morally acceptable that popular feeling in democratic countries should be so contemptuously swept aside. In the long run, the disregard for democracy evident in so many actions at the highest level of the European Union is unsustainable. It is fuelling popular discontent, which manifests itself in the “No” votes in referendums almost every time the population of any country is asked to give its consent. If democratic principles continue to be disregarded in this way, I believe that in the long run the very existence of the European Union will be threatened. People feel strongly about the Turkey issue, and they will feel even more strongly when the 100 million Turks begin to have their inevitable democratic influence on issues that affect their lives. Riding roughshod over popular opinion on the question of Turkish membership may well come to be seen in historical retrospect as the EU’s “Stalingrad.”

The only serious argument advanced in favour of Turkish membership is that it will benefit Turkey. Of course it will benefit Turkey. Almost any country in the world would benefit from European Union membership, with access to the world’s largest market for goods and services and the range of social support mechanisms that the European Union offers. But the EU is not a charity. It simply cannot proceed on the basis of whether another country’s membership of the EU will benefit the other country. The relevant question is whether it will benefit the EU. In this letter, I hope I have demonstrated quite clearly that it would not.

Let me add that, as a European taxpayer, I deeply resent the fact that Turkey now receives literally hundreds of millions of Euros each year from the coffers of the European Union (almost €600 million in this year alone, and projected to increase further next year) even though it is not a member of the European Union and may never become one.

I would like to know your views on Turkish membership of the EU. Do you agree that it is potentially damaging to the EU? Have you spoken out or will you speak out on this issue? If you favour Turkish membership, I would like to know your reasons for doing so. And even if you do favour it, you will surely agree that the issue should be decided democratically? Will you agree to join in calls for the question of Turkish membership to be decided ultimately by referendum if it is ever provisionally approved by the governments of the member states?

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Grim Anniversary of Turkey's Bid to Join European Union

Yesterday marks the grim anniversary of Turkey's original request to join the European Union, or, as it then was, the European Economic Community. The request was rejected but a few years later, in 1963, the Turks were offered an association agreement which opened up the possibility of future membership.

What ought to have been nothing but a sick joke has instead turned into a horrific nightmare - a looming possibility which carries the potential to destroy the European Union altogether. How did this happen? Largely through the pusillanimity of successive generations of European politicans, who took the route of least resistance, succumbing to American pressure and deferring the day of decision till a later time, one in which they would be out of office and immune from criticism by anyone but a few switched-on historians (or bloggers). Generation after generation smiled and said, "Yes, later" to the Turks, instead of saying "Get real!". The endless deferral finally materialised into a frightening possibility in our own time, one that threatens to corrode European civilisation from within.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Friday, 24 July 2009

Turkey Already a Massive Drain on European Taxpayers

If you are a citizen of the European Union, my guess is you would be astonished to learn that Turkey receives hundreds of millions of euros in EU funding each year even though it is not a member of the European Union. See this page where the sums are proudly displayed: €567 million this year, and projected to rise to €654 million next year. For the last several years it has averaged around the €500 million mark. Think of all the worthwhile causes this money could have been spent on in Europe. Instead it's being frittered away on the Turks. What an absolute scandal.