Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tony in Turkey- And why you should be worried

I, and indeed the majority of the British people, have long suspected that Tony Blair is a psychiatric case. And if proof were needed, Emily’s current visit to Turkey would tend to suggest the worst. After this and this, Tony has now determined to sow peace and democracy in the Middle East. And lobby hard for Turkey’s accession to the EU.

Downing Street said that the clashes between rival Palestinian groups yesterday demonstrated the importance of encouraging a moderate, secular Turkey to join the EU so that it could continue to act as a force for reform in the area.Hmmmm, let's look at reality for a moment.

First, Turkey has changed for the worse in recent years. For instance, Israel and Turkey were very, very close during the Cold War, partly due to their alliances with the United States. The relationship deepened after 1996, when the two states signed pacts to cooperate on military training and arms production. In the five years between 1996-2001, Israel and Turkey forged a deep, yet unofficial, military alliance. Turkey and Israel even managed to conclude a far-ranging, free trade deal in 2000.
But then came the rise to power of the AK Party led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2002. The Justice and Development (AK) party, has its roots firmly in Islamist politics. Erdogan has sought to reorient Turkish society to Islam, persistently opening wounds regarding the issue of mosque and state. Michael Rubin has written most convincingly about the AK government. I suggest Tony ought to acquaint himself with the reality of Turkish politics before he stupidly intervenes in matters of which he clearly understands little.
Surprise, surprise, Turkey now shows a new readiness to embrace its Middle Eastern partners. For example, this rather shocking event.
Damascus has in fact been overwhelmed by the warmth that suddenly radiated from Ankara in the past few years. Why should Turkey’s EU bid (which now appears to be at death’s door) encourage democratisation in countries such as Egypt, Paletsine or Yemen? Where’s the link? Turkey is a non-Arab country and is (more or less) a secular, democratic state. What kind of pressure can it bring to bear on the Arab states? Why is the country’s shift away from Israel and increasing realignment towards Syria and the other Arab states viewed as progress by Blair? Especially when Turkey is supposed to be so determined to enter the EU??? What is Blair thinking of?Especially when the reform process in Turkey has ground to a halt over the past year. And of the 25 EU member states why is the UK government still pushing so very hard for Turkish EU entry, when the majority of Europeans clearly take a very different view? I sense, and public opinion polls offer the same view, that there is no enthusiasim for Turkish EU entry in the United Kingdom. Why is Tony so obsessed with the question of Turkey and the EU? Frankly, I am none the wiser.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

He is surely a better man than you!

Colin said...

Anonym said:

"He is surely a better man than you!"

According to which criteria?

Instanbultory,

Again thanks a lot for this interesting article.

With regard to the interpretation of TB's actions and those of the other EU politicians, it seems to me that we cannot understand them if accept their propaganda that they are identifying themselves with us, the population. Permit me to use an analogy for making my point.

Politicians are living from the taxes of the general population like shepherds are living from the wool of their sheeps. Shepherds don't identify themselves with their sheeps. They identify with other shepherds, are envious if the latter have larger flocks and are trying to increase their own flock.

Naturally, the sheeps are worried about the increased competition on their pasture. And naturally again, the shepherds are only worried about getting more wool.

The democratic election of another government is like sheeps electing a shepherd who promises more pasture and complaining after the election that he is more interested in sheep-shearing. That's the nature of the relationship between shepherds and sheeps, i.e. between politicians and population.

kahraman said...

micheal rubin is a neocon peice of shit. you know, the people who used tony as their servant in their iraq invasion.
Tayyip and the AK are the best thing that has happened to Turkish politics since Ozal in the 1980s and Menderes in the 1950s.
Tayyip is the product, not the source of the increasing wealth of the progressive muslim Turkish middle class. And he is going to help those guys get richer and richer.
The only things all those conservative secularists have produced are talk and repression.

Anonymous said...

I think a major drive behind Tony Blair's support for Turkish membership is - believe it or not - the idea of another large country in the EU. Britain and Turkey together would form a large power bloc and change the power structure of a union that has pretty much been under joint Franco-German influence for decades. It will also help restore the upset balance of power that gives small countries like Estonia, Malta and Austria such a large say in EU affairs. Turkish entry would help Britain re-exert influence over the EU.

Kahraman said...

I totally agree with james on blairs intentions.

Anonymous said...

Proponents of Turkish entry to the EU consistently overlook one key element-the simple, undeniable fact is that the majority of Europeans don't want Turkey in the EU. That was true 20 years ago, 5 years ago and it is true today.

Colin said...

Kahraman

Thank you for letting us know your ideas.

Let's see how good your ideas are and if you can provide evidence in support for your claims?

(1) "is a neocon peice of shit"

Labelling someone as this or that and/or using insulting language doesn't prove anything. Proof for the latter statement: If someone would call you a piece of s.. and labelled you ...., what would it prove?

Exactly! You are right. It wouldn't prove anything except bad manners.

(2) "Tayyip and the AK are the best thing that has happened to Turkish politics"

That's an opinion. Where is the evidence?

(3) "Tayyip is the product, not the source of the increasing wealth of the progressive muslim Turkish middle class."

We all know what a middle class is but what is a "progressive" middle class? Normally, the label "progressive" is applied to socialist ideas or policies resulting in high taxes for the middle class.

Do you mean by progressive middle class, people who own a company and would like to pay more taxes or do you mean people employed by the tax-funded state sector?

(4) "And he is going to help those guys get richer and richer."

Isn't this a contradiction with the label progressive (aka socialist)?

(5) "The only things all those conservative secularists have produced are talk and repression."

Like most politicians, btw. If I understand you correctly, conservatism without religion produces only talk and repression but with muslim religion it produces wealth and freedom. Hence, the essential ingredient is in your view muslim religion.

If the latter produces wealth and freedom, countries run conservative muslim politicians should be the richest in the world, shouldn't it? How do you explain that rather the opposite seems to be the case? And how is it possible that secular countries undeniably became richer than conservative muslim countries?

(6) "I totally agree with james on blairs intentions."

So let's see what James said. He wrote: "Turkey together would form a large power bloc and change the power structure of a union that has pretty much been under joint Franco-German influence for decades.
..
Turkish entry would help Britain re-exert influence over the EU."


However, it was the former German government which pushed for Turkey's accession. Why did they do that because the wanted to lose their influence in the EU? Should chancellor Schroder, a very power conscious man, really be so stupid to act against his interest?

Moreover, James seems to forget:

(a) Historically, Turkey and Germany were allies against Britain in WW-I.

(b) Britain destroyed the Turkish (Ottoman) empire and split it into several new states, i.e. Iraq, Kuweit etc. Will conservative muslim politicians in Turkey forget who took away their oil and brought them defeat and secularism?

(c) Germany has the largest Turkish population in Europe (approx. 3 millions). Half a million are living in Berlin making Berlin the largest Turkish city in Europe. The Turkish population in Germany has more children than native Germans increasing their number. According to opinion polls in Turkey, millions want to migrate to Europe, i.e. a large part to Germany, further increasing their number in Germany.

Naturally, millions of Turkish people will exert a considerable influence on German politics leading to an alliance of Turkish and German interests. Why would the Turks living in Turkey want to harm their Kahraman

Thank you for letting us know your ideas.

Let's see how good your ideas are and if you can provide evidence in support for your claims?

(1) "is a neocon peice of shit"

Labelling someone as this or that and/or using insulting language doesn't prove anything. Proof for the latter statement: If someone would call you a piece of s.. and labelled you ...., what would it prove?

Exactly! You are right. It wouldn't prove anything except bad manners.

(2) "Tayyip and the AK are the best thing that has happened to Turkish politics"

That's an opinion. Where is the evidence?

(3) "Tayyip is the product, not the source of the increasing wealth of the progressive muslim Turkish middle class."

We all know what a middle class is but what is a "progressive" middle class? Normally, the label "progressive" is applied to socialist ideas or policies resulting in high taxes for the middle class.

Do you mean by progressive middle class, people who own a company and would like to pay more taxes or do you mean people employed by the tax-funded state sector?

(4) "And he is going to help those guys get richer and richer."

Isn't this a contradiction with the label progressive (aka socialist)?

(5) "The only things all those conservative secularists have produced are talk and repression."

Like most politicians, btw. If I understand you correctly, conservatism without religion produces only talk and repression but with muslim religion it produces wealth and freedom. Hence, the essential ingredient is in your view muslim religion.

If the latter produces wealth and freedom, countries run conservative muslim politicians should be the richest in the world, shouldn't it? How do you explain that rather the opposite seems to be the case? And how is it possible that secular countries undeniably became richer than conservative muslim countries?

(6) "I totally agree with james on blairs intentions."

So let's see what James said. He wrote: "Turkey together would form a large power bloc and change the power structure of a union that has pretty much been under joint Franco-German influence for decades.
..
Turkish entry would help Britain re-exert influence over the EU."


However, it was the former German government which pushed for Turkey's accession. Why did they do that because the wanted to lose their influence in the EU? Should chancellor Schroder, a very power conscious man, really be so stupid to act against his interest?

Moreover, James seems to forget:

(a) Historically, Turkey and Germany were allies against Britain in WW-I.

(b) Britain destroyed the Turkish (Ottoman) empire and split it into several new states, i.e. Iraq, Kuweit etc. Will conservative muslim politicians in Turkey forget who took away their oil and brought them defeat and secularism?

(c) Germany has the largest Turkish population in Europe (approx. 3 millions). Half a million are living in Berlin making Berlin the largest Turkish city in Europe. The Turkish population in Germany has more children than native Germans increasing their number. According to opinion polls in Turkey, millions want to migrate to Europe, i.e. a large part to Germany, further increasing their number in Germany.

Naturally, millions of Turkish people will exert a considerable influence on German politics leading to an alliance of Turkish and German interests. Why would the Turks leaving in Turkey want to harm their breathren living in Germany by forming an anti-German alliance with Britain, their former enemy?

On the contrary, not Britain and Turkey but Germany and Turkey together will form a large power bloc for dominating the rest of the EU. And since the overall majority of laws and regulations are made in Brussels, what will be the result for the UK?

Colin said...

Oops, delete or forget the 5:01 pm comment because of the text got muddled up. Here the correct version.

Kahraman

Thank you for letting us know your ideas.

Let's see how good your ideas are and if you can provide evidence in support for your claims?

(1) "is a neocon peice of shit"

Labelling someone as this or that and/or using insulting language doesn't prove anything. Proof for the latter statement: If someone would call you a piece of s.. and labelled you ...., what would it prove?

Exactly! You are right. It wouldn't prove anything except bad manners.

(2) "Tayyip and the AK are the best thing that has happened to Turkish politics"

That's an opinion. Where is the evidence?

(3) "Tayyip is the product, not the source of the increasing wealth of the progressive muslim Turkish middle class."

We all know what a middle class is but what is a "progressive" middle class? Normally, the label "progressive" is applied to socialist ideas or policies resulting in high taxes for the middle class.

Do you mean by progressive middle class, people who own a company and would like to pay more taxes or do you mean people employed by the tax-funded state sector?

(4) "And he is going to help those guys get richer and richer."

Isn't this a contradiction with the label progressive (aka socialist)?

(5) "The only things all those conservative secularists have produced are talk and repression."

Like most politicians, btw. If I understand you correctly, conservatism without religion produces only talk and repression but with muslim religion it produces wealth and freedom. Hence, the essential ingredient is in your view muslim religion.

If the latter produces wealth and freedom, countries run conservative muslim politicians should be the richest in the world, shouldn't it? How do you explain that rather the opposite seems to be the case? And how is it possible that secular countries undeniably became richer than conservative muslim countries?

(6) "I totally agree with james on blairs intentions."

So let's see what James said. He wrote: "Turkey together would form a large power bloc and change the power structure of a union that has pretty much been under joint Franco-German influence for decades.
..
Turkish entry would help Britain re-exert influence over the EU."

However, it was the former German government which pushed for Turkey's accession. Why did they do that because the wanted to lose their influence in the EU? Should chancellor Schroder, a very power conscious man, really be so stupid to act against his interest?

Moreover, James seems to forget:

(a) Historically, Turkey and Germany were allies against Britain in WW-I.

(b) Britain destroyed the Turkish (Ottoman) empire and split it into several new states, i.e. Iraq, Kuweit etc. Will conservative muslim politicians in Turkey forget who took away their oil and brought them defeat and secularism?

(c) Germany has the largest Turkish population in Europe (approx. 3 millions). Half a million are living in Berlin making Berlin the largest Turkish city in Europe. The Turkish population in Germany has more children than native Germans increasing their numbers. According to opinion polls in Turkey, millions want to migrate to Europe, i.e. a large part to Germany, further increasing their number in Germany.

Naturally, millions of Turkish people will exert a considerable influence on German politics leading to an alliance of Turkish and German interests. Why would the Turks living in Turkey want to harm their breathren living in Germany by forming an anti-German alliance with Britain, their former enemy?

On the contrary, not Britain and Turkey but Germany and Turkey together will form a large power bloc for dominating the rest of the EU. And since the overall majority of laws and regulations are made in Brussels, what will be the result for Britons and the UK?

Kahraman said...

I must have hit a nerve there :-).

in my opinion , the neo-cons are the trash of humanity. tell me just one redeeming characteristic for these people? I can't think of any. They are lying, war mongering hate filled people with no observable conscience or regret.

Your knowledge of history is highly inaccurate.
Turkey fought wars against Germany for 300 years.
Historically, the longest alliance between Turkey and European countries was with the British and the French.
The ottomans destroyed the Spanish armada for the British, and conquered Nice for the French.

Germany was only allied to Turkey in the last century, because the English and the French were no longer interested in a peaceful relationship. They wanted to bring freedom (=colonize) to Turkey.

The rest of your stuff is also wrong.
Egypt was a vassal state controlled by the memluks. Iraq, palestine, lebanon, all these areas were only nominally under Ottoman control. They would have seceded with the advent of nationalism regardless of ottoman military might.
Many of the gulf countries were conquered by the ottomans in the late 19th begin 20th century to keep the British and French out.

Kahraman said...

The turks in germany might succeed in mellowing out the germans, but who knows.
The jews of germany were a lot more numerous and had more money, but they did not end well.

Most European Turks I know of would not hesitate in the slightest to move back to turkey once it has joined the EU. Turkey in the EU would in all likelihood result in less Turks in Europe.
Check out all the German born football players in Turkey. They had the opportunities, and left without hesitating.
All the talk about higher Turkish birth rates is just racist propaganda. German Turks are not superhuman, able to procreate at amazing speeds.

Anonymous said...

Colin -

I see the point you're making, but to be honest I think you're making the German connection yourself. I didn't say the Germans were stupid enough to push for Turkish accession in full knowledge that it would supposedly drain their influence. What I did say, although I'll admit in not too many words, was that the EU's agenda has for decades been driven by two of its most influential members, France and Germany. What I also wanted to say was that since enlargement in 2004, a disproportionate amount of power has laid with the smaller countries of the EU. I went on to suggest that Britain, conscious that it is outside both circles of power, would be keen for Turkish accession in order to form a group of its own.

The historical examples you present are accurate, but irrelevant. Britain, France and Germany have all fought each other at various points in history - the founding principles of the EU was to bring countries closer together to prevent such fighting from happening again. And Turkish muslim politicians - and only extreme ones, at that - who are bothered about the Ottoman defeat and secularism would far sooner pick on Atatürk and Kemalists before pointing the finger at Britain.

I would also question your theory about Germany's Turkish population. Sure, they're sizeable, and sure, one would assume they'd be quite an influential contingent, but they were spectacularly unsuccessful at stopping Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats - who have made no secret of their opposition to Turkey in the EU - from coming to power.

And what's that about Berlin having the largest Turkish population in Europe? Seems we lost Istanbul somewhere along the way...

Voyager said...

So Tony wants to restore The Ottoman Empire...........interesting idea

Voyager said...

The jews of germany were a lot more numerous and had more money,

Actually Jews in Germany were less than 1% of Germany's population and were highly integrated..........as such there is absolutely no similarity with any other minority group in Germany today.

Anonymous said...

in my opinion , Muslims are the trash of humanity. tell me just one redeeming characteristic for these people? I can't think of any. They are lying, war mongering hate filled people with no observable conscience or regret.

Kahraman said...

And Turkish muslim politicians - and only extreme ones, at that - who are bothered about the Ottoman defeat and secularism would far sooner pick on Atatürk and Kemalists before pointing the finger at Britain.

I would also question your theory about Germany's Turkish population. Sure, they're sizeable, and sure, one would assume they'd be quite an influential contingent, but they were spectacularly unsuccessful at stopping Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats - who have made no secret of their opposition to Turkey in the EU - from coming to power.

And what's that about Berlin having the largest Turkish population in Europe? Seems we lost Istanbul somewhere along the way...


The native speaker says it all :-)

Colin said...

James,

You said that ”the EU's agenda has for decades been driven by two of its most influential members, France and Germany.”

That’s absolutely correct.

In addition, you wrote that ”Britain, conscious that it is outside both circles of power, would be keen for Turkish accession in order to form a group of its own.”

I know that is the claim of British politicians. In my view, it’s an attempt to calm the anxieties of the British population. Furthermore, it won’t work because the UK has nothing to offer whereas a German-Turkish alliance will serve the imperialist dreams of the politicians of both countries.

I partly agree with your statement ”The historical examples you present are accurate, but irrelevant” because politicians are probably more driven by current interests than by historical considerations.

However, I cannot agree with your ”theory about Germany's Turkish population. Sure, they're sizeable, and sure, one would assume they'd be quite an influential contingent, but they were spectacularly unsuccessful at stopping Angela Merkel.

The reasons are:

(1) Germany’s Turkish population were decisive in the 2002 election. The coalition of the social democratic and the green party has won the 2002 election by a small margin of 577,000 votes. It is well known that more than 70% of migrants with a German passport vote for these parties. Hence, they already were a decisive factor.

(2) In the 2005 election, Angela Merkel did not win. Gerhard Schroder was so courageous to alienate his voters including the Turkish-German population by cutting social benefits for the jobless. As a result, part of Schroder’s social democrats formed a new party with the former communist party of East Germany. Together the parties of the left, i.e. the social democrat, communist and green party, had a majority of 2,871,992 votes as compared to Angela Merkel’s planned coalition with the liberal democrats. If Gerhard Schroder would have formed a coalition government with the communist party, nobody would talk about Angela Merkel.

(3) Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Mrs. Merkel pays tribute to Turkish voters by visiting their influential newspaper in Germany, by talking differently in Turkey than occasionally at home and by changing the laws in favour of asylum seekers, funding of Islamic organisations, establishing a political forum for them etc. Naturally, some rhetoric hints of being against Turkey’s accession are needed for not losing conservative voters. But the result will be Turkey’s accession leading to a strong influence of the Turkish population on German politics and the German-Turkish domination of the EU.

The map of Europe and the Turkish Empire in 1600 shows nicely that a German-Austrian-Turkish empire will occupy an uninterrupted piece of land stretching from the border of Iraq until the Northern Sea after Turkey’s accession. The countries in between, i.e. Romania and Bulgaria, will disappear in the EU empire as they did in 1600.

Colin said...

Anonym,

You wrote not words of reason but of hate, i.e. ”in my opinion, Muslims are the trash of humanity. tell me just one redeeming characteristic for these people? I can't think of any. They are lying, war mongering hate filled people with no observable conscience or regret.”

I beg to differ. I know several Muslims and their families. They are not different from you or me. A redeeming characteristic is their strong sense of family values.

They are not more lying than the others. Their politicians are lying but so are ours.

In regard to your claim that they are war mongering, please permit me to remind you that the socialist countries killed an estimated 100 million human beings in the 20th century. Considerably less were killed by Muslims.

Concerning your accusation ”with no observable conscience or regret”, I never observed conscience or regret for the killings of innocents by among others Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Churchill, GW, TB or did you?

The sad fact is that there is not much difference and that all humans tend to identify with their own group, to apologise their most horrible actions and to demonise the members of other groups.

Politicians like stimulate these sentiments because it enables them to divide and rule.

Colin said...

Hi Kahraman,

"Your knowledge of history is highly inaccurate. Turkey fought wars against Germany for 300 years."

Turkey has fought wars against the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Germany has only been founded in 1871 and was never at war with Turkey.

"the English and the French.. wanted to bring freedom (=colonize) to Turkey."

Precisely. And you are suggesting that nationalist Turkish politicians will happily remember the good old times when "The ottomans destroyed the Spanish armada for the British, and conquered Nice for the French." and will forget the more recent Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire: ”The Ottoman Empire had been the leading Islamicate state in geopolitical terms, but also in cultural and ideological terms. The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire changed this lead to direct or indirect rule of the leading western powers (Britain, France and the USA). Ottoman Empire was the last 'Great Power' that could potentially speak for Muslim interests... Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire also set the initial stages of the balance of power (power politics) in the middle east and the beginning of the cycle of declining legitimacy and increasing repression. The early rejection (resistance) to the leading western powers come from Turkish national movement, and after the World War II, post-Ottoman Middle East, begin to develop resistance,” according to Wikipedia.

You wrote that ”Many of the gulf countries were conquered by the ottomans in the late 19th begin 20th century to keep the British and French out.”

Strange then that these countries were already in 1680 part of the Turkish Empire.

You said ” Most European Turks I know of would not hesitate in the slightest to move back to turkey once it has joined the EU.”

People care more about their personal income than about being or not being a member of the EU. As long as Turkey is unable to provide a similar income as the Western European countries, they will do what is in their own interest.

And fact is that 21% of children from Turkish migrants in Germany are leaving school without a certificate compared to 7.4% of children from the native population according to the data of the Federal Statistical Office. More than a third of the migrants from Turkey don’t work and are living from social benefits which are 1.508 € for a family with children. In comparison, the salary of a worker is about 1.300 €. So why care about education and why would the 3rd or 4th generation want go to Turkey?

You wrote ” Check out all the German born football players in Turkey. They had the opportunities, and left without hesitating.“

Yes, you used the correct description: ” They had the opportunities”. However, most people do not have a better opportunity in Turkey. And this is unlikely to change in the near future. It took about a century for developing the industrial base of Western Europe. China managed to do it in 20 years and still has a large population of poor peasants migrating to the industrial centers of China. BTW, without obtaining there social benefits which is an additional incentive for migration.

”Turkey in the EU would in all likelihood result in less Turks in Europe.”

Very unlikely, considering the results of opinion polls in Turkey. The estimates of people migrating to the EU range between 3 and 20 millions. Steve Sailor wrote: ”How many Turks would move to Europe if given the chance? Well, about 1/6th of all people of Mexican descent in the world live in the United States. But the more realistic comparison would be Puerto Rico, which has unlimited legal migration rights with its rich neighbor, the U.S. According to George Borjas, about 1/4th of Puerto Rico moved to the US mainland in a couple of decades” A 1/4th of Turkey would lead to 20 millions of Turks migrating to the EU. That estimate might be too high. But 5 millions doesn't seem to be an unrealistic estimate considering that approximately the same number is already living within the EU.

” All the talk about higher Turkish birth rates is just racist propaganda.”

FYI, Turks not a race.

”German Turks are not superhuman, able to procreate at amazing speeds.”

Many Turks see it differently. For example, the Turkish newspaper "Hürriyet" reported that the highly successful and Westernized Turkish enterpreneur, Vural Öger , now a German citizen and candidate of the socialdemocratic party in Germany (SPD) told Turkish businessmen during a dinner: “That, what Sultan Süleyman was unable to achieve, our fertile Turkish women will achieve“

Therefore, my conclusion appears to be correct that not Britain and Turkey but Germany and Turkey together will form a large power bloc for dominating the rest of the EU.

You wrote ”in my opinion , the neo-cons are the trash of humanity. tell me just one redeeming characteristic for these people? I can't think of any. They are lying, war mongering hate filled people with no observable conscience or regret.”

They are not conservatives but imperialists. There seems to be another politician with an imperialist dream. He said: ”The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers”

The German media are often proudly reporting that Berlin is the second largest city in Europe, maybe because the European part of Istanbul has less than 500,000 inhabitants.


Kahraman,

I observed that you avoided to provide an answer to the more interesting question ” the essential ingredient is in your view the muslim religion.

If the latter produces wealth and freedom, countries run by conservative muslim politicians should be the richest in the world, shouldn't it? How do you explain that rather the opposite seems to be the case? And how is it possible that secular countries undeniably became richer than conservative muslim countries?”


Care to enlighten the readers of this blog with the reason for you statements or may we assume that you are simply repeating political propaganda without doing some thinking for yourself. Because "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking." (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

Anonymous said...

I ended up reading some of the comments on this page by coincidence...and wandered; how could these 'virtual' opininons be even considered if they are so ignorant to write 'sheeps' ! What are their backgrounds? What practical living experience do they have with Turkey and its people? ...What a waste of space!

Colin said...

Anonym,

You are right, it is 'sheep' and not 'sheeps'. But what about 'wandering' or was it 'wondering' which would make more sense in this context?

And what is your practical living experience with Turkey and its people or with migrants from Turkey?

Istanbultory is an Englishman living in Turkey and I am a German living in a city being transformed by migrants from Turkey. I am trying to help some of these kids to pass school and get a job. My experience and that of many others in Germany is that boys from a family of migrants from Turkey are rarely interested in education, that parents don't care about the education of their children, that Turkish girls are better at school than boys, are more often trying to improve their grades and to get a job. However, 80% (according to statistics) of young Turkish men don't marry a Turkish women born and educated in Germany but import an "unspoiled" wife from Turkey, often from the village of their parents. I know Turkish families consisting of 3 generations all living from welfare benefits, buying houses and driving mercedes benz cars. And I know industrious and highly intelligent students, doctors and scientists from Turkey, Iraq, Iran etc.

In summary, the exchange of ideas and experiences between someone living in Turkey and someone living among Turkish migrants might provide more insights than reading the newspapers.

But in your view, the exchange of experiences and ideas on the internet is a waste of space. What an arrogance to criticise others while contributing nothing at all.

Why don't you fill the space with your expriences and undoubtedly superior ideas?

Let's hear what you have to contribute!

Anonymous said...

Tayyip and the AK are the best thing that has happened to Turkish politics since Ozal in the 1980s and Menderes in the 1950s.

That would be the same Menderes who was hanged for corruption.... and Ozal whose era brought in mass corruption along with free market reforms, illustrating the fact that he completely failed to realise that capitalism needs the rule of law.

Tayyip is a complete child, and anyone who is a fan of his, shows that they are by definition neither educated nor sophisticated. He has no ideas other than the long march of Islam through the institutions, which will result in the complete loss of freedom of the most free Muslim nation on earth.

Tayyip's notions of freedom are neatly illustrated by the fact that he sues everyone who ever criticises him. Whilst Turkey's law enables this abuse of power, previous leaders were never as touchy or as power hungry.

istanbultory said...

First thing first,
Anonymice-get yourselves a name.
Serf is absolutly right. Spot on. Tayyip is the great deceiver - a devout Muslim conservative who is intent on Islamicising Turkish state and society under the cover of an EU reform process. The tragedy is that the likes of Bush and Blair have yet to see through him....

Kahraman said...

instead of another long reply, I'll just link to another blogger with similar views as mine on this subject.

http://www.thewhitepath.com/archives/2006/12/islamic_capitalism_faces_kemalist_resistance.php

Kahraman said...

to serf.
You claim Menderes was hanged for corruption? Are you serious? Menderes was killed by order of corrupt military officers who had committed a clear breach of the Turkish consitution by staging a coup in 1960.
These soldiers should have been hanged themselves according to Turkish law at the time. do you deny these facts?

Kahraman said...

The Austrian-Hungarian Empire held the crown of the Holy Roman German empire until late in the 19th century, when the prussian kings got themselves elected emperor.
So they were Germany.

Kahraman said...

wikipedia is not an accurate source of information.
it's is only useful method to get a global notion of something.

the gulf countries were autonomous emirates until the 19th century, much more autonomous than they are today.

the ottoman empire was never a modern state with a modern "border" at the eastern part.
as it was not a modern state, the extent of the empire depends onyour definiton of border. Some claim poland austria hungary, france, britain and the usa to be part of the empire, as these states have paid tribute to the emperor. others claim the borders were limited to anatolia and rumelia.

Colin said...

Kahraman,

Thank you for your reply and the link given to Mustafa Akyol's website, a Turkish Muslim writer and columnist based in Istanbul, Turkey. The exact link given by you produced a 'HTTP 404 Page Not Found' message. However, his other articles suggest that he is trying to convince Islamic believers that Islam and capitalism is not incompatible. I especially like his article Islamocapitalism: Islam & The Free Market:

"Is Islam compatible with modernity? This has become a hotly debated question in the past few decades. Much of the discussion focuses on issues relating to political liberalism -- democracy, pluralism and freedom of thought. Another important dimension of modernity is, of course, economic liberalism. So we should also ask whether Islam is compatible with it, i.e. a free market economy, or, capitalism.

Most Islamists would reply to this question with a resounding "no!" Since they perceive Islam as an all-encompassing socio-political system, they regard capitalism as a rival and an enemy...At an Islamic conference held in the Spanish city of Granada on July 2003, attended by about 2,000 Muslims, a call was made to "bring about the end of the capitalist system." ...

As a religion founded by a businessman -- Prophet Muhammad was a successful merchant for the greater part of his life -- and one that has cherished trade from its very beginning, Islam can in fact be very compatible with a capitalist economy supplemented by a set of moral values that emphasize the care for the poor and the needy...

"The alleged fundamental opposition of Islam to capitalism," as Maxime Rodinson put it, "is a myth."..

Most AKP members come from business backgrounds and the party has been quite pro-business from its very first day. Its leader, Prime Minister Erdogan, has repeatedly welcomed foreign direct investment from all countries..

Still, many Muslims -- in Turkey and elsewhere -- despise capitalism and perceive it as something both alien and destructive to Islam. Yet this is a misdirected disdain...

a morally-guided quest for capital is way more peaceful than a hate-driven "battle" against it."


Wise words, indeed. The problem is that Mustafa Akyol does not represent the view of the majority in Turkey and the Islamic world as the author explains himself. If he is able to convince the majority of Turks to adopt his views, there wouldn't be any problem with Turkey joining the other states of the EU except that the latter attempts to become an empire and that the welfare regulations of the EU are hampering the production of wealth by the free market economy. The latter is not in the interest of the Turkish economy. With regard to the former, young Turkish men will probably die as soldiers and cannon fodder for the wars of the EU.

BTW, the Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation was only nominal an Emperor. In reality, his 'empire' consisted of more than 300 independent states with their own army, currency, borders etc. But the question of Turkey was in war with Germany or Austria is not essential. If it is important to you to be right, I don't object to your view.

In my view, the crucial question is what is in the interest of the people in the UK, in the other European states and in Turkey. Increased exploitation of the people by an unelected, postdemocratic bureaucracy in Brussels is clearly not in the interest of the people in Turkey or elsewhere.

Thank you for the link to Mustafa Akyol's interesting website.

Anonymous said...

do you deny these facts?

Alas I am ignorant of the legal position of the soldiers involve in the Coup.

However, Menderes was found guilty of corruption (though posthumously pardoned).

Menderes, was also responsible for one of the most shameful events in The Turkish Republic's history. The Events of September.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_Pogrom

I know you don't like Wikipedia, but its convenient, and the events outlined there did happen.

Greek and Armenian businesses were ransacked and looted, whilst the police stood by and watched it happen. The mob had allegedly been bused into Beyoglu, and were whipped up by false reports on government controlled radio.

At the time, there were 100.000 Greeks living in Istanbul. The current number is 2.500.

Your choice of Kahramanlar (Heroes), is very illustrating.

As for Islam and capitalism, Turkey is a rent seeking economy, driven by statism. All that has changed with the coming of AK Party is the identity of the rent seekers.

Capitalism is a system that depends on freedom to trade and the rule of law. Turkey is found wanting in both respects. As Islamism is a system of total control, much like Fascism or Communism, it is incompatible with Capitalism.

Islam and Capitalism is a different matter, and I think that Max Weber would have felt at home among many the businessmen of Anatolia.

Anonymous said...

do you deny these facts?

Alas I am ignorant of the legal position of the soldiers involve in the Coup.

However, Menderes was found guilty of corruption (though posthumously pardoned).

Menderes, was also responsible for one of the most shameful events in The Turkish Republic's history. The Events of September.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_Pogrom

I know you don't like Wikipedia, but its convenient, and the events outlined there did happen.

Greek and Armenian businesses were ransacked and looted, whilst the police stood by and watched it happen. The mob had allegedly been bused into Beyoglu, and were whipped up by false reports on government controlled radio.

At the time, there were 100.000 Greeks living in Istanbul. The current number is 2.500.

Your choice of Kahramanlar (Heroes), is very illustrating.

As for Islam and capitalism, Turkey is a rent seeking economy, driven by statism. All that has changed with the coming of AK Party is the identity of the rent seekers.

Capitalism is a system that depends on freedom to trade and the rule of law. Turkey is found wanting in both respects. As Islamism is a system of total control, much like Fascism or Communism, it is incompatible with Capitalism.

Islam and Capitalism is a different matter, and I think that Max Weber would have felt at home among many the businessmen of Anatolia.

Anonymous said...

do you deny these facts?

Alas I am ignorant of the legal position of the soldiers involve in the Coup.

However, Menderes was found guilty of corruption (though posthumously pardoned).

Menderes, was also responsible for one of the most shameful events in The Turkish Republic's history. The Events of September.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_Pogrom

I know you don't like Wikipedia, but its convenient, and the events outlined there did happen.

Greek and Armenian businesses were ransacked and looted, whilst the police stood by and watched it happen. The mob had allegedly been bused into Beyoglu, and were whipped up by false reports on government controlled radio.

At the time, there were 100.000 Greeks living in Istanbul. The current number is 2.500.

Your choice of Kahramanlar (Heroes), is very illustrating.

As for Islam and capitalism, Turkey is a rent seeking economy, driven by statism. All that has changed with the coming of AK Party is the identity of the rent seekers.

Capitalism is a system that depends on freedom to trade and the rule of law. Turkey is found wanting in both respects. As Islamism is a system of total control, much like Fascism or Communism, it is incompatible with Capitalism.

Islam and Capitalism is a different matter, and I think that Max Weber would have felt at home among many the businessmen of Anatolia.

Voyager said...

The Austrian-Hungarian Empire held the crown of the Holy Roman German empire until late in the 19th century, when the prussian kings got themselves elected emperor.
So they were Germany.


TOTAL IGNORANCE

The Holy Roman Empire (DAS REICH) dissolved in 1806 by Napoleon Bonaparte presumably after The Battle of Jena


The Prussian Empire (DAS ZWEITE DEUTSCHE REICH) formed 1871 when King of Prussia crowned Emperor of Germany in Hall of Mirrors at Versailles following defeat of French at Sedan

Disraeli responded by crowning Queen Victoria, Empress of India

The Hohenzollerns in Prussia were PROTESTANT not Roman Catholic so why they would have much to do with The Holy Roman Empire destroyed in 1806 is unclear

Anonymous said...

If in doubt, follow the money. The Turk's hammering on the gates of Europe demanding admittance may be less to do with politics/history/religion than gas pipelines and delivery commissions.

http://bretters.blogspot.com/2006/12/turkish-delight.html

Kahraman said...

Colin,
you are welcome.

Serf,

the james bond movie from russia with love gave a more accurate description of the events in Istanbul in the 50s than wikipedia.

The author was an MI6 operative in Beyoglu at the time of these riots.
Wikipedia does report that little factoid, you probably missed it.
You could just as well blame spectre for the riots.

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