Reuniting Europe

The Commission has been reluctant to comment why poligamy was not mentioned in the 2010 report on Turkey’s EU progress, in spite of the fact that a recent report speaks of nearly 187,000 women in Turkey, a candidate country for EU membership, are in polygamous marriages.

The practice is indeed illegal in Turkey, but it is widespread, as it appears.

But I think that if the Commission is not so critical, it may be because poligamy exists also in Western societies, who tolerate or keep eyes “wide shut” over the phenomenon.

I personally had an Austrian colleague, in a previous job, based in Brussels, who was the polygamous second wife of a gentleman from the horn of Africa. And she was in charge of preaching the gospel of gender equality to people from the Western Balkans.

But who are we to criticise?

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  1. Dear Georgi,

    what for an anecdote! Personally, I would think that the reason you mention may exist, but not that it is decisive and explains why the Commission didn’t mention polygamy in its 2010 report on Turkey.
    Rather: it is because this is a something negative that doesn’t show Turky in its best light AND this isn’t good because the political intention is that Turkey’s accession has to be favoured. The political intentions would be the thing.
    Because even if polygamy may exist in Austria, in Spain or in Ireland, it is not as widespread as in Turkey.

  2. Dear Mathilde,
    I was provocative of course. But I’m curious to know, if there are say 180.000 women in polygamous marriages in Turkey, how many are there in Belgium? Or in the EU as a whole?
    I suspect there are no statistics, but lets face it: the phenomenon exists.
    As regards to Turkey, the EU always reminds Ankara about the European values. But is it clear what Brussels has in mind? And is it understood in the same way in Brussels and in Ankara? I doubt it.
    It’s very easy for Turkey to tell the EU: you have double standards, we are better prepared to join the EU than Bulgaria or Romania. But frankly, the polygamy issue shows clearly that there is a deep divide between Turkey and the rest of Europe. Maybe you notice: I don’t say that Turkey is not European.

  3. I do notice. About the “we’re more ready than Bulgaria and Roumania were” argument, I always found it totally inappropriate: it is my time being controversial, but it seems quite clear to me that both countries were not ready when they joined. I do not say there may not have been political imperatives, but it is not because they joined being not prepared enough – which actually causes a lot of trouble in the daily functioning of the EU – that it now is the way to go for all candidate countries!

  4. Nothing I can say – you are perfectly right, I’m afraid.
    But I’m glad that my country joined.
    Georgi 😉

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