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."

Another Devastating Critique of David Cameron's Appeasement of Turkey

You can read a powerful critique of David Cameron's Turkey speech here.

"Cameron's speech reminds one of English socialists visiting the Soviet Union and heaping praise on Stalin and the wonderful revolution, before going off to collect their blood money. And now Cameron has done them one better, demanding that a radical Islamist regime share open borders with the EU."

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Reaction to Cameron's Folly From Around the World

Critical reaction pours in from around the world in reaction to David Cameron's folly in Turkey.

The best critique is from Barry Rubin : Cameron goes full retard

Never go full retard, David. You come away empty-handed.

"Suppose you are the British prime minister going to Turkey, or to just about any country. What should you say? The theme should be: We can cooperate and do mutually beneficial things. Here’s what I can do for you; here’s what I’d like you to do for me. And here’s what you must not do in order to reap the benefits of my friendship and favor.

Obviously, you need to dress that up in appropriate language. But everything should be conditional. The message to be delivered is that it is in your interest to respect my interests.

Cameron did the precise and exact opposite. His message was: The UK needs Turkey. Turkey is wonderful. Its behavior has been perfect. We are desperate for your help."

Cameron is a salesman, not a statesman. A salesman tells his hosts what they want to hear; a statesman tells them what they need to hear. Cameron is a salesman.

From Deutsche Welle, France and Germany alienated.

According to this article (in French) in Le Figaro, however, the European Commission is delighted by Cameron's stance.

The Wall Street Journal declares that Cameron has joined the Gaza flotilla. [requires subscription]

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

David Cameron Comes Out of the Closet

So David "Brokeback" Cameron has come out of the closet and declared his support for Turkey's EU membership. Of course this is no great surprise. I made it clear on this blog that all of Britain's establishment parties were supportive of Turkey's EU membership. I even personally emailed David Cameron last year and got a reply confirming it.

It's painful to see the shocked reactions of commenters on the Telegraph who are surprised by Cameron's position, however. These people assumed that a Conservative Prime Minister would see reason on the issue and show some concern about the islamification of Europe. How wrong they were. Cameron rolls out the same cheap rhetoric about "islamophobia" and how the jihadis have "misinterpreted" Islam. Actually, no, David. They're the ones who've interpreted it correctly.

The only consolation from the whole sorry episode is that it has pierced the illusions of many former Conservative voters and convinced them that the solution must come from outside the political mainstream.

Pro-Turkey shill and Conservative Friends of Turkey Association founder member, Daniel Hannan, unsurprisingly endorsed Cameron's stance on his blog and was promptly handed the mother of all bitchslappings by his readership. Of the more than 400 replies to his post, only about 4 or 5 were supportive.

The same pattern repeats itself in every pro-Turkey article we see in the British press (and there are only ever pro-Turkey articles): almost unanimous opposition in the comments from ordinary readers. This is true in right-wing periodicals such as the Telegraph or left-wing periodicals such as the Guardian. Yet the elite presses on with their crazed plans, contemptuous of the people they nominally represent.