Turkey and the EU

Blender Bender

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With the recent debate of whether Turkey should or should not ever be allowed to become a member of the EU, and therefore Europe, still hanging around the news, where does everyone stand on this issue?
 

nova (ultimae records)

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In my very own opinion Turkey is more then welcome to join Europe, a couple of reasons: a big muslim country, no religious extremers, beautiful culture. It could be the "fil rouge" between a Greater Europe and the Middle East, a cultural bridge. If human rights would be fully respected though...
 

Lyra

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Can i ask what kind of human rights record Turkey has? That is the main argument i have heard in newspapers and in other media against Turkey's entry to the EU, but i am wondering if anyone here knew more about it?

If Turkey entered EU, would the Turkish Cypriots then also enter EU, as Cyprus is split?
 

TranceVisuals

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I think any coming together of nation states under the banner of common
respect of its citizens is something to be praised, even if it just removes a little the
prospect of war between its nation states. Which was the main motivating factor of
the European Union to end nearly a millenium and more warfare within its geographical
distinction. Although the development of a global economic and political system is something
that is viewed with some scepticism, for the majority of us it is something that we will
benefit greatly from.

So I can't wait for the Eurasian Empire, stretching from these western isles across to the Pacific, and maybe most of the civilised world. Sharing in the labours of each other lives. Roll on the realisation that we are all one extended tribe and family.
 

Lyra

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Norway still isnt a member, wonder if we will ever be. :rolleyes:
 

Blender Bender

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This is the main practical problem though.

Diplomatic unification of Europe with Turkey would have very substantial benefits for many countries (especially Greece) given their aggressive attitude towards opportunistic expansion (see Cyprus).

On the other hand, and on a more practical view, what happens when you suddenly have a country with such a poor financial history (inflation exceeded 100% a few years ago) joining the already fragile economic balance of the Eurozone?

And how about the fact that in the event of Turkey joining the EU, Europe would basically be bordering the Middle East?? That sounds more like a cause for conflict from the Arab side, a conflict which all european countries would have to jump on the train...
 

Goz

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Blender Bender said:
And how about the fact that in the event of Turkey joining the EU, Europe would basically be bordering the Middle East?? That sounds more like a cause for conflict from the Arab side, a conflict which all european countries would have to jump on the train...

This is a fair point .. but what with the political efforts between the UK and countries like Syria couldn't this provide a perfect opportunity for EU expansion into the middle east? Surely that could only be seen as a good thing? Unlikely, i'll happily admit, but in the long term i can't see the middle east taking huge exception to this. Amongst other things if they did attack Turkey then the entire EU armies would be there to support ... I can't see any middle eastern country doing this as the sheer weight of numbers available on our (The EU's) side is overwhelming. Never forget defense is something far different to offense. As long as the EU does not attack (which i can't really see happening) then they would only ever be on defence against a smaller nation and number of troops.

Or am i talknig complete shit?
 

Dacik

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For your information, the Kurdish Human Rights Project (khrp.org) is welle known for having relations with PKK:KONGRA-GEL, a kurdish, separatist and terrorist organisation (on the list of terrorist organisations of EU) and resposible for the death of 37.000 turkish citizens.

Including kurds that refused to enrole in their separatist actions. They used to shoot their own people they pretend to defend etc..

what else to say except that it has no credibility.
 

JPsychodelicacy

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Dacik said:
For your information, the Kurdish Human Rights Project (khrp.org) is welle known for having relations with PKK:KONGRA-GEL, a kurdish, separatist and terrorist organisation (on the list of terrorist organisations of EU) and resposible for the death of 37.000 turkish citizens.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Including kurds that refused to enrole in their separatist actions. They used to shoot their own people they pretend to defend etc..

"He gassed his own people!" - Where have we heard these lame attempts at justification before?

what else to say except that it has no credibility.

If you happen to be Turkish.

Apologies if you oppose the Turkish government's systematic persecution of the Kurdish minorities, but those who support it have got to expect to be attacked - just as the British were for holding on to a corner of Ireland that we've got no right to.

J.
 

Meijin

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Well, on the defence points, Turkey has been a member of NATO for years and years and years...they used its offshore waters for american aircraft-carriers during Desert Storm campaign.

Turkey is a wonderful place, the bridge between east and west - Asia Minor as it used to be referred to, and Anatolia before that. However, it is rather split itself in that that it is very heterogenous between north and south, as you might have seen in other countries where there is a strong urban/rural divide.

I think it is a very good thing if Turkey joins the EU: it will 'encourage' better human rights because EU member states are positively discouraged in carrying out torture or the death penalty.

As far as 'fears' that a europe that borders the middle east maybe abhorent to middle-eastern states, it's worth remembering that Yugoslavia, Turkey, Spain, and Albania are all countries which have been muslim AND secular in their recent pasts. However, the religious divide within europe isn't only one of christianity vs. islam...Czechoslovakia, a country I lived 30 km from, divided into 2 nations (Czech and Slovak) in the 1990s along ETHNIC lines - that is, the czechs (allegedly) looked to western europe and the slavs to eastern europe and Russia. If one takes into account Russia as part of europe, as 'eurasia' (and I would argue that the similarity of much of western russia IS very european), then again one has a christian country that has been deeply secular/communist and is itself a reflection of a western tradition (marxism) and thus a movement beyond the liberal/capitalist tripartite europe that 'we' in the UK tend to think of as europe (meaning UK, France, and Germany).

So, one could almost argue that Turkey's wrestle with its secular/islamic divide mirrors the divisions that it faces with europe.
But as I say above, europe has always been a multicultural and multifaith continent.

Of course, Yodhe is right when he points to the function of the EU as one of keeping the peace, and it is a shame that this point tends to be overshadowed in most peoples' minds today - europe tends to be about economic issues - but then again, maybe it means we can move on...


However, I strongly disagree with Blender Bender who writes:

'what happens when you suddenly have a country with such a poor financial history (inflation exceeded 100% a few years ago) joining the already fragile economic balance of the Eurozone?'
Mmmm - given that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, that the UK has divided into a 2 nations state: those who have and those who don't based on geographical location, and people still refuse to vote for political parties who tax more heavily, it is a bit rich for those in the UK to criticise poorer states. After all, there is still great inequality and degrees of relative poverty in the UK and yet we are supposedly one of the richest countries in the world. So where's it all going to and to whom?
 

grokit23

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I took great pride in wearing PKK shirts to demos against the Ilisu dam project. When the British goverment made the wearing of symbols of known terrorist organisations illegal, the Turkish government stepped up and told the British government of their views on the PKK, they then demanded that the police arrest all of us who turned up outside their embassy to protest the building of the dam, we wore the shirts in solidarity with them. Luckily for us the British police were more than reasonable and laughed at them, we were the most unlikely terrorists you could ever hope to meet, scouse dockers, manc IT people, london squat crew, young kurdish refugee mothers etc...

Before you go quoting figures for deaths at the hands of the PKK it might do you well to realise and admit that the Turkish government is responsible for far more deaths of Kurds and others. It is for this amongst a long list of other reasons that I personally oppose Turkish membership of the EU at the moment without a lot more in the way of serious changes to the system. We should not give membership to a country which has no credible accountability system for its own police and security forces yet, especially not with torture and other abuses still rife in the country.

I do applaud the fact that the changes have begun to happen, but they are still far too slow in the coming and ignored wherever possible. If a country can't even pretend to have common respect of its own citizens then what hope is there for it to show common respect to the citizens of the rest of europe?

I used to love visiting turkey when I was young and didn't understand much of what we saw
 

Dacik

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JPsychodelicacy,

I'd agree with you if the "freedom organisation" you talk about would be representative of teh kurdish population, but kurds of Turkey do not suport these organisations, except a minority of them.

When a demonstration is organised by the 'legal' wings of those organisations, only 5.000 people attend it, considering that some european sources pretend there is more than 12 millions kurds in turkey, the maths are pretty easy.

PKK/Kongra-Gel is what it is and will always be. They racket people in europe to fiannce their action, i am not even mentionning their large scale drug traffic in direction of UE.

Do not compare the Irish cause, which IMHO is a right cause, with the PKK label kurdish one; you'd just be trying to jusitfy terrorism and spoiling Irish cause.

In the Turkish parliament, more than 150 person out of 500 are kurdish.
So "systematic persecution" seems to be way behind it. Thtat's just the bull-shit we are beeing served in european medias. The same europeans who tried to rip Turkey in pieces 80/90 years ago.

cheers
Dacik

PS:
- am not turkish :Wink3:
- but i don't "fight" against turkish governement either (nor do i support it)
- BUT, i do believe, in Europe, we only have one sided information about Turkey and Turks
 

Dacik

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grokit23,

what do you think about people who'd wear Al Quaida t-shirts??

You be pride?... good for you.
Just a matter of values.
 

Meijin

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Mmmm - if I remember rightly (possibly) it was actually illegal to speak kurdish in Turkey during the 1980s, a time when the PKK came to western prominance...

This, coupled with the fact that nearly all european states have 'owned' colonies or practicised neo-colonialism means that Turkey's history to date may not be so dissimilar.
Surely the best way to encourage respect for human rights is to ensure one is part of a community that respects them
 

grokit23

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Dacik said:
grokit23,

what do you think about people who'd wear Al Quaida t-shirts??

You be pride?... good for you.
Just a matter of values.

Not too much really, I get to see them every other day. :Smile3:

Mostly young asians (sorry about the generalisation, but I don't bother to stop and check where they're really from) without much going on hanging out in Rusholme or the city centre trying to offend somebody.

I also own "the most offensive lighter in the world" which is a chrome bodied, adorned with weed leaves and a large front panel with a portrait of Osama with AK in it which flashes up in lurid glowing colours whenever you light it. :cool:

I took pride in wearing the PKK shirts because I've watched helpless as the turkish police battered the crap out of 2 women teachers in a school playground for daring to be members of the PKK and then chased us out of the area. Yes, it was a long time ago, but then the memories were still very fresh around the time that I wore the shirt.
 

Dacik

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So you probably also remember the times when PKK used to systematicaly execute teachers and doctors in eastern Turkey because they represented 'Turkish education' or 'Turkish healthcare' ?

Or are we facing another case of partial memory ?
A lot of PKK supporters have this sickness.
 

Risky

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I'm half german (so that makes me half better than anyone in here....hehehe :Wink3: ) and used to go to watch the PKK demonstrations in Bonn. I think they are no longer allowed, due to too much unrest between Kurds and non-Kurds. I have to say there are many points against Turkey joining the EU at present. That is the conflict between the Kurdish people and Turkey as a state. The majority of Kurds want an indepent state of Kurdistan which, in principle, I wouldn't disagree with. However there are so many issues that us foreigners will never understand. Most people in Turkey are not inclined one way or the other, but until this conflict is resolved I believe it shouldn't happen. I don't mean this negatively, but there needs to be clear-cut agreements within Turkey before it can move forward. Imagine the conflicts within the country + EU beaurocracy = Feckin nightmare.

I have many turkish friends back in Germany, Kurdish and not Kurdish. They all get on with eachother, but all believe that this issue needs resolving first.

I hope I haven't upset anyone, but this is just my perspective from what I have seen and heard.
 

kodomo

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I lived in Uk and partied with you people but now I am back in Turkey.
This is an interesting issue moving from eu to PKK. For your information I am half greek origined and half kurd origines so if all the speculations were true I should ve been hung by government long time ago.
PKK is not a party that is the voice of Kurds, it is a terrorist group which represents the minority and kills a lot of kurds who oppose them in the south east of Turkey (ı ve been there and my moms side is from there). The politics of Turkey and the agression was against this party not kurds but sometimes it was overdone in my opinion. Government killed in a near state of civil war some kurds during fights in the villages. But you wouldnt believe at the same time how much help the terrorist group had from foreign countries, like being found with american aid and guns a lot of times. I dont know how to put all the sides of this issue. Kurds are represented and are also living and being able to talk or write or make music in Turkey. Since 1920's Turkish means whoever believes in Turkey regardless of its origin. This issues is really deep but please dont fall in the trap that they represent kurds they dont.
They are not the only minority in Turkey we are richly woven culture made up of minorities. Northern people are laz, aegean people are greek origined, some eastern people armenian origin, there are so many.
The real issue in Turkey would be the violation of the human rights. It was violated but it has been declining in the 90s and now if the police tortures someone they get prosecuted.
Everything including the economy is getting better as now it is less than 10 percent and got stabilised much better.
I want to eb in the EU because I dont want borders I wish there was none. But even if we dont get in I want to be as developed as a EU country and that is enough for us, so wehatever the results are we ll keep working.
The most important thing about Turkey by the way is its culture and history. If you have time go to the exhibition in London called Turks and have a hint of it.
:Smile3:
 
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