Thursday, 10 September 2009

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

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