Reuniting Europe

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış, who is also his country’s EU accession negotiator, chose the Holocaust commemoration in Auschwitz to accuse Europe of sliding into racism, “emulating the fascist methods of the 1930s”.

I have met with Bağış a couple of times and I know he likes to make strong statements. But this time frankly, I think he has gone too far. One cannot play with words like ‘racism’ and ‘fascism’ so lightly. Especially people holding office.

Besides, I am uncomfortable with his idea that if the EU rejects Turkey, it is racist, and if it it takes it as a member, it is not.

I would be also very worried if Turkey would start spreading around the idea of ‘racist Europe’ in its sphere of influence.

If Turkey sincerely wants to join the EU, there are too many things it could improve internally to improve its case. Like combating poligamy, an issue EurActiv recently covered. Or taking care of its borders.

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  1. As it stands now the EU just cannot integrate Turkey . The issue might be reconsidered in 2019 when the EU will have completed its integration of western balkans states . The question of Cyprus is fig leaf for real and major problems :
    1. geo politics : territorial and demographic size / asian location
    2. culture : heterogeneity (history,civilisation,religion)
    Above all, In the present shaky state of european political integation, Turkey accession would be the final straw for EU unity and solidarity .
    Let’s build a strong economic and strategic EU-Turkey partnership for the next decade and reconsider all options then .

  2. As a Turkish citizen, I agree with Jean’s comment on Turkey not being fully complied with EU standards.

    However, this does not necessarily mean that Turkey is not ready for joining the EU. As with the mentality we are fully ready, we just need binding control from the EU for fully complying with the EU laws and etc. If we sense that we will not be a member, why should be try to comply with the rules (except human rights and democracy) and lose our global competitiveness. EU keeps asking for more and more and more, but for what? This needs to be answered first.

    If it is the full membership we are targeting, then I believe it is time for a schedule which can be stretching to 2019 as well.

  3. Georgi,

    at first I apologize for the length of my comment.

    I agree that Mr Bagis chose the wrong place to say that. That is his mistake.
    But what he said is actually true: I read an article on ABhaber about that subject, and according to ABhaber, Mr Bagis refered to the worrying rising islamophobia within the EU.
    And let’s not forget what Sarkozy did to the Romanian citizens. It is actually the EU of Sarkozy and Merkel that is racist. But Mr Bagis can’t say it straight.
    Sarkozy clearly said that Turkey can’t be an EU member because it is a Muslim country. That is well and truly racism.
    And let’s remind that Merkel disgracefully stated that multiculturalism has failed in Germany. Well those statements and acts feed hatred and racism.

    Here is the last revealing example of the anti-Turkish racism of Merkel:

    she recently paid a visit to the Greek Cypriots and provoked a scandal: she accused the Turkish side of the failure about a solution at Cyprus. Several EU politicians said that Merkel is not an EU and world leader because if she were one she would not have said that. In fact, it’s the Turkish Cypriots who voted “Yes” to the Annan peace plan in 2004 for the reunification of Cyprus, but the Greek Cypriots voted “No”.

    Moreover, how could Merkel dare accuse the Turkish side since she said last year that it was a mistake to have made the Greek Cypriots members of the EU?

    Something else: several EU politiicans and observers of the Cyrpiot dossier said that Merkel and Sarkozy manipulate the Cypriot issue in order to block Turkey’s EU memebrship: they asked the Greek side to not find a solution at Cyprus. In fact, Merkel and Sarkozy made a strong propaganda so that the EU doesn’t stand to its commitment of 2004: the EU promised the lifting of the embargoes towards the Turkish Cypriots but because of Srakozy and Merkel that direct trade was sabotaged. That was underlined by several French socialists of the EU parliament.

    Lastly, Jack Straw recently met some French diplomats and told them: “We know that you are hiding behind the Greek Cypriots to block Turkey’s EU membership”. The French diplomats were so surprised that they couldn’t answer.

    It would be too long so I suggest these two articles of mine about the Cypriot issue:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/12/01/appalling-propaganda-against-turkey-episode-ii/

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/10/08/an-unhealthy-situation-the-cypriot-issue/

    In 1999 at the Helsinki summit the whole EU signed and recognized Turkey as an official candidate country to the EU, and all the EU states stressed that Turkey would be treated as every previous candidate and that the goal is the full EU membership of Turkey.

    But what is the situation today?

    Merkel and Sarkozy keep repeating that Turkey can’t be an EU member because according to them Turkey is not European. They deny the signatures of the EU and of their own countries and they think that they are the true leaders that the EU would need. They also deny the signatures of 2004 of Chirac and Schröder which approved the opening of the EU-Turkey negotiations.

    But the EU is not a circus. So what does that madness mean?

    By the way, Merkel’s party has just lost an election with an important margin.

    That is a good news.

    As Wolfgang Münchau said in “Europe requires end of Sarkozy and Merkel”, Merkel and Sarkozy are not as popualr as they used to be:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2011/02/08/an-excellent-article-written-by-wolfgang-munchau-europe-requires-end-of-merkel-and-sarkozy/

    So Sarkozy and Merkel’s acts and behaviours about the EU-Turkey negotiations as well as the EU-Turkey relations is based on racism.

    These two so-called leaders are not the EU, but they are the two so-called leaders of France and Germany and they put in jeopardy the credibility of the whole EU. That is the problem. Through their racist provocations, tehy contribute to more hatred and intolerance.

    They represent a danger for the EU. Austria too. And let’s add Van Rompuy who said in the past that Turkey is a Muslim country and can not be an EU member.

    So if that is not racism, what is it?

    Here is my last article about the hidden agenda of Sarkozy and Merkel:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2011/02/21/the-story-of-the-eu-turkey-relations/

    Merkel and Sarkozy and Austria’s privileged partnership does not mean anything. It is rather a “privileged racism” offer that solely aims at preventing Turkey from voting at the EU parliament. That “privileged Muslim” offer aims at isolating Turkey in the ghetto of the EU.

    As if the double standards were not enough, the disgusting racism card is added. Only then the indigestible anti-Turkish cocktail becomes perfect!!

    Lastly, about poligamy and the Turkish borders:

    1/ poligamy is above all usual in eastern Turkey, and it has to be resolved, but I don’t think that is such a serious problem.

    If I enumerated all the twisted things in the EU, the list would be long. For instance, in the EU (as well as in the whole world) many men betray their wife, that is an unofficial poligmay. For instance, in Germany some businessmen and employee are offered sexual trips abroad. For instance, in the EU there are the nudist villages. For instance there are the horrible scandals of the paedophiliac priests.

    So are these examples more ethical than polygamy?

    In my opinion, the last one is worst.

    Hence, we ought to not exagerate the situation of the polygamists of eastern Turkey.

    2/ On the hone hand, Turkey has created a special team of 30 thousand policemen to mount guard at its borders.

    On the other hand, Turkey is about to sign a readmission agreement with the EU.

    However the ball is the camp of the EU.

    In fact, Cecilia Malmström thanked Turkey for its constructive and pragmatic approach of last month. And on thursday we will know if the EU will ask the EU commission to negotiate with Turkey about the visa-free regime.

    Best regards,

    Cem

  4. Georgi,

    at first I apologize for the length of my comment.

    I agree that Mr Bagis chose the wrong place to say that. That is his mistake.
    But what he said is actually true: I read an article on ABhaber about that subject, and according to ABhaber, Mr Bagis refered to the worrying rising islamophobia within the EU.
    And let’s not forget what Sarkozy did to the Romanian citizens. It is actually the EU of Sarkozy and Merkel that is racist. But Mr Bagis can’t say it straight.
    Sarkozy clearly said that Turkey can’t be an EU member because it is a Muslim country. That is well and truly racism. And he wants a debate about Islam in France before the presidential elections. Is that not revealing too?
    And let’s remind that Merkel disgracefully stated that multiculturalism has failed in Germany. Well those statements and acts feed hatred and racism.

    Here is the last revealing example of the anti-Turkish racism of Merkel:

    she recently paid a visit to the Greek Cypriots and provoked a scandal: she accused the Turkish side of the failure about a solution at Cyprus. Several EU politicians said that Merkel is not an EU and world leader because if she were one she would not have said that. In fact, it’s the Turkish Cypriots who voted “Yes” to the Annan peace plan in 2004 for the reunification of Cyprus, but the Greek Cypriots voted “No”.

    Moreover, how could Merkel dare accuse the Turkish side since she said last year that it was a mistake to have made the Greek Cypriots members of the EU?

    Something else: several EU politiicans and observers of the Cyrpiot dossier said that Merkel and Sarkozy manipulate the Cypriot issue in order to block Turkey’s EU membership: they asked the Greek side to not find a solution at Cyprus. In fact, Merkel and Sarkozy made a strong propaganda so that the EU doesn’t stand to its commitment of 2004: the EU promised the lifting of the embargoes towards the Turkish Cypriots but because of Sarkozy and Merkel that direct trade was sabotaged. That was underlined by several French socialists of the EU parliament.

    Lastly, Jack Straw recently met some French diplomats and told them: “We know that you are hiding behind the Greek Cypriots to block Turkey’s EU membership”. The French diplomats were so surprised that they couldn’t answer.

    It would be too long so I suggest these two articles of mine about the Cypriot issue:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/12/01/appalling-propaganda-against-turkey-episode-ii/

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/10/08/an-unhealthy-situation-the-cypriot-issue/

    In 1999 at the Helsinki summit the whole EU signed and recognized Turkey as an official candidate country to the EU, and all the EU states stressed that Turkey would be treated as every previous candidate and that the goal is the full EU membership of Turkey.

    But what is the situation today?

    Merkel and Sarkozy keep repeating that Turkey can’t be an EU member because according to them Turkey is not European. They deny the signatures of the EU and of their own countries and they think that they are the true leaders that the EU would need. They also deny the signatures of 2004 of Chirac and Schröder which approved the opening of the EU-Turkey negotiations.

    But the EU is not a circus. So what does that madness mean?

    By the way, Merkel’s party has just lost an election with an important margin.

    That is a good news.

    As Wolfgang Münchau said in “Europe requires end of Sarkozy and Merkel”, Merkel and Sarkozy are not as popular as they used to be:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2011/02/08/an-excellent-article-written-by-wolfgang-munchau-europe-requires-end-of-merkel-and-sarkozy/

    So Sarkozy and Merkel’s acts and behaviours about the EU-Turkey negotiations as well as about the EU-Turkey relations are based on racism.

    These two so-called leaders are not the EU, but they are the two so-called leaders of France and Germany and they put in jeopardy the credibility of the whole EU. That is the problem. Through their racist provocations, they contribute to more hatred and intolerance.

    They represent a danger for the EU. Austria too. And let’s add Van Rompuy who said in the past that Turkey is a Muslim country and can not be an EU member.

    So if that is not racism, what is it?

    Here is my last article about the hidden agenda of Sarkozy and Merkel:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2011/02/21/the-story-of-the-eu-turkey-relations/

    Merkel and Sarkozy and Austria’s privileged partnership does not mean anything. It is rather a “privileged racism” offer that solely aims at preventing Turkey from voting at the EU parliament. That “privileged Muslim” offer aims at isolating Turkey in the ghetto of the EU.

    As if the double standards were not enough, the disgusting racism card is added. Only then the indigestible anti-Turkish cocktail becomes perfect!!

    Lastly, about poligamy and the Turkish borders:

    1/ poligamy is above all usual in eastern Turkey, and it has to be resolved, but I don’t think that is such a serious problem.

    If I enumerated all the twisted things in the EU, the list would be long. For instance, in the EU (as well as in the whole world) many men betray their wives, that is an unofficial poligmay. For instance, in Germany some businessmen and employee are offered sexual trips abroad. For instance, in the EU there are the nudist villages. For instance there are the horrible scandals of the paedophiliac priests.

    So are these examples more ethical than polygamy?

    In my opinion, the last one is worst.

    Hence, we ought to not exagerate the situation of the polygamists of eastern Turkey.

    2/ On the one hand, Turkey has created a special team of 30 thousand policemen to mount guard at its borders.

    On the other hand, Turkey is about to sign a readmission agreement with the EU.

    However the ball is the camp of the EU.

    In fact, Cecilia Malmström thanked Turkey for its constructive and pragmatic approach of last month.

    And on thursday we will know if the EU will ask the EU commission to negotiate with Turkey about the visa-free regime.

    Best regards,

    Cem

  5. Hi Cem, you make good points as usual.
    My view is that Merkel and Sarkozy are quite different from Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, who invited Turkey in Helsinki to start accession negotiations in Helsinki in December 1999 (I was there, it was quite impressive. The Turkish president arrived with three planes of people. It was like if Turkey took over the EU.)
    So Sarkozy and Merkel are not Chirac and Schroeder, and also Receb Tayyip Erdogan is not Bulent Ecevit.
    Anyway, in politics, a promise is a promise. But Sarkozy and Merkel appear to take more and more distance from the 1999 commitment. Let’s see what happens when Sarkozy visits Turkey on Friday. But as you know, he will stay only five hours or so, which is not a good sign.
    Regarding your comparison of poligamy and say nude beaches, I disagree. I personally don’t go to nude beaches, but I have no problem with them. But I do have a problem with poligamy.
    Regards,
    Georgi, EurActiv

  6. Good morning Georgi,

    in 1999 the EU recognized Turkey as an official candidate to the union whereas in 2004 Gerard Schröder and Jacques Chirac (with the support of the UK, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Sweden, ….) approved the opening of the EU-Turkey negotiations.

    Ismail Cem was there in 1999. He was an exceptional human being and foreign minister for foreign affairs. I’m sure that he would have approved Ahmet Davutoglu’s excellent job.

    Ecevit started the reforms (in spite of the coalition with the MHP), and Erdogan intensified them, and he even created a national Kurdish TV channel, that is historic. Well I don’t agree with everything Erdogan says, but human beings are not perfect, especially the politicians.

    Here is a former article in which I deal with Erdogan and the AKP:

    http://turkey.blogactiv.eu/2010/07/02/politics-and-religion-but-who-is-not-concerned/

    Kiliçdaroglu is intelligent but he makes many mistakes, as Baykal, who was a dictator and who caused a huge harm to the CHP. Kiliçdaroglu must have very bad advisers.

    As the Finnish minister for foreign affairs Stubb said a few months ago, owing to its foreign policies, Turkey is more powerful than the EU in the world.

    Davutoglu works marvels indeed. And the Turkish prime minister succeeds in gathering together the best people and experts in Turkey. That’s why he has oustanding results.

    But as I said, I don’t agree with everything. For instance, I strongly support the destruction of the Ergenekon sect and there are well and truly several journalists who are involved in that sect which wanted to provoke a military coup, but the problem is that there are some journalists and several generals that are innocent. Many people had to be arrested, but the innocent ones were mistreated.

    Lastly, regarding poligamy and the nudist camps, I aimed at relativizing things. I gave another example about the religious scandals, which are far worst that poligamy.

    Best regards,

    Cem

    PS. Sarkozy wants “a debate” about Islam in France before the presidential elections. Is that not revealing too? That guy, supported by foreign dark lobbies, creates more tensions and intolerance in our society.

  7. It’s a pleasure “talking” to you Cem!
    I hope you attract readers, because your arguments are good.
    Georgi, EurActiv

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