Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Conservative Friends Of Turkey Association

Many Conservative voters were shocked and disappointed by Cameron's embarrassingly un-nuanced support for Turkish accession to the EU. They should know that Cameron is not the only one within the Conservative party working to further the Turkish cause.

In fact there is a powerful cabal of pro-Turkey propagandists within the ranks of the Conservative party: the Conservative Friends of Turkey Association. Among the objectives the association lists on its website are:

"Lobby in favour of Turkish membership of the EU with a stress on Turkey’s role in the bloc, the region and its strong ties to Western institutions"

A list of their founder members is published on their website.

Here is the list:

Richard Bacon MP
Tony Baldry MP
Nick de Bois MP
Graham Brady MP
David Burrowes MP
Alistair Burt MP
Douglas Carswell MP
Stephen Crabb MP
Michael Fabricant MP
Dominic Grieve QC MP
Robert Halfon MP
Greg Hands MP
Daniel Hannan MEP
Mark Harper MP
Lord Hunt of Wirral MBE
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Daniel Kawczynski MP
Edward Leigh MP
Peter Luff MP
David Mundell MP
Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP
Andrew Rosindell MP
Lord Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh
Lord Taylor of Holbeach
Charles Walker MP
Robert Walter MP

Emel Akan
Karen Allen
Richard Balfe
John Bowis OBE, former MEP
Shenaz Bunglawala
Dr Onur L Cetin
Cllr Dogan Delman
Nural Ezel
Cllr Salih Gaygusuz
Paul Goodman, former MP
Cllr Ertan Hurer
Dr Riza Kadilar
Ishak Kalkavan
Fuad Kavur
Robert Key, former MP
Cllr Dr Alan Mendoza
Huseyin Ozer
Richard Spring, former MP
Sir Nicholas Winterton, former MP
Eral Yilmaz


Of course these are only the founder members. The association does not publish its full membership list. For all we know, David Cameron and William Hague may be among the list of non-founder members.


The best known names on the founders' list are Daniel Hannan, Douglas Carswell and Dominic Grieve. Hannan and Carswell are both among the most prominent of Euro-sceptics. How bizarre it is then that both choose to dedicate so much time and energy to lobbying for Turkey's entry to the EU.

Hannan and Carswell both regularly use their blogs to punt for the Turkish cause. But they always craft their pro-Turkish propaganda to make it seem casual, as if the thought had just occurred to them or they hadn't dwelt on it too deeply. In reality, both are obsessive propagandists, dedicated to their cause. They act like paid lobbyists, disdainful of any opposition or attempt at reasoned discussion.

I have personally posted reasonable and moderate replies to some of Carswell's pro-Turkey blog posts on his site. He refused to allow them to appear. He uses pre-emptive moderation on his blog site and, because it is his own, no one can challenge him.

Hannan, on the other hand, blogs on the Telegraph and his capacity to censor the discussion there is limited. So his only recourse is to completely ignore the opposing arguments of his readership. This he did the other day when his pro-Turkey blog post generated more than 600 hostile comments. The great Hannan, a Eurocrat elitist who likes to pose as a champion of the people against the Eurocrat elite, didn't deign to reply to his readers. Instead, he sailed blithely on to the next topic, hoping his readers would soon forget about the great betrayal of European civilisation he is planning to enact. They won't.

Some extra info on British Foreign Secretary William Hague's ties to the Conservative Friends of Turkey Association. Thanks to Telegraph commenter "drc" who provided it:

Hague isn't listed as a founding member, but: http://www.cfot.org.uk/resources/CFT_official_launch-28Oct08.pdf "Shadow Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP: “The Conservative Party is energetically in favour of Turkey’s accession to the European Union” "

"Rt Hon William Hague MP, keynote speaker at the official launch reception of the Conservative Friends of Turkey (CFT), emphasised the constructive role Turkey plays in the international community and the Conservative Party's longstanding support for Turkey's accession to the European Union."

"Shadow Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP was the guest of honour at the cocktail reception hosted by the Conservative Friends of Turkey in Whitehall to celebrate its official launch on 28 October. Following a welcoming address from CFT co-founders Cllr Ertan Hurer and Dr. Onur Çetin, the launch kicked off with speeches from Hague, Vice Chairman of the Party Richard Spring MP, Shadow Minister for Europe Mark Francois MP and Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action Baroness Sayeeda Warsi."

"Shadow Foreign Secretary Hague said Turkey’s accession to the EU would prove that the bloc was based on shared values rather than narrow geographical and religious boundaries. He drew attention to Turkey’s importance as an effective interlocutor in the international arena and reiterated Conservative Party’s support for Turkey’s EU membership."

2 comments:

  1. This page is hilarious. You are a hopeless case mate. Your watch is Japanese, your car is German, your towel is Egyptian, your shirt is Italian and even the food you buy from Tesco comes from all over the world and you are still being ultra nationalist? That era is over mate. It is a global world. Get used to it.

    I dont understand the fuss you are making, you are not even British yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not as hilarious as your ridiculous non-sequitur response.

      Delete