2002 November 08 Friday
Valery Giscard d'Estaing: Turkey Not Part Of Europe

Some blunt talk on Turkey from a former President of France and current head of the European Union's Constitutional Convention:

Mr Giscard d'Estaing told Le Monde that Turkey's capital was not in Europe, 95% of its population lived outside Europe, and it was "not a European country".

Asked what the effect of including Turkey in a future wave of European enlargement would be, he said: "In my opinion, it would be the end of Europe."

He doesn't want to end the European Union:

Underlining his opposition to Turkish membership of the EU, Giscard d'Estaing said that letting non-European countries join the 15-member club would be "the end of the European Union."

"The day after you open negotiations with Turkey, you would have a Moroccan demand (for membership of the union,)" said the 76-year-old politician.

Its only what other EU politicians are already saying privately:

Giscard's comments reflected in blunt language what many EU politicians whisper privately, but they come at a particularly delicate time when Brussels needs Turkey's cooperation to try to solve several problems related to enlargement.

So then is Andersson in favor of Turkey's entry?

His outspoken comments caused uproar and embarrassment in Brussels and outraged Turkish representatives in the Convention. One European Parliament member, Swedish Socialist Jan Andersson, called for his resignation.

The official EU position is that Turkish membership in the EU would not be a problem:

"I don't have any intention of getting into a ping-pong match with Mr Giscard d'Estaing," said a spokesman for the European Commission -- the EU's executive.

"He is of course free to give his own personal opinion," spokesman Jean-Christophe Filori told reporters.

But asked whether Turkey's entry into the EU would mean its end, Filori said: "The answer is no."

What is surprising is that comments are getting more attention than recent comments from the German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer along the same lines.

Keep in mind that these comments come from European leaders who are convinced that Israel is an oppressive regime that treats Muslims most unfairly, that Israel ought to be capable of living peacefully side-by-side closely with Muslim Arabs (who, after all, are culturally much less European than Turks), and that if it can't then it must be the fault of the Israeli Jews. Hypocrisy? You decide.

Update: Also, be sure to see my previous post on Barbara Lerner On Reasons For Turkish Exceptionalism.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 08 10:06 AM  Civilizations Clash Of

Invisible Scientist said at November 8, 2002 10:58 AM:

The hypocrisy of the Europeans is that they want to
use Israel as a buffer between the Muslim World and
Europe. If only the crusaders were the Jewish scape-goats
instead of the Europeans, then this would divert attention
from the European agenda. But ultimately, when the
chips are down, the Europeans can massacre the Muslims
in a manner similar to the Holocaust. To view the
European barbarism in more graphic form, just see the
movie "Queen Margot" about the massacre of the Huguenots
hundreds of years ago in France. One common joke in
Germany is this: "What's the difference between the Jews
and the Turks? We are already done with the Jews, the
Turks are next."

Jim Woodhill said at November 8, 2002 11:47 AM:

Invisible Scientist on November 8, 2002 10:58 AM frets that:

> But ultimately, when the chips are down, the
> Europeans can massacre the Muslims in a
> manner similar to the Holocaust.

If he is speaking of the muslims within Europe's own borders, the Europeans are currently displaying far too *much* tolerance. REF:

The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris

In my home city of Houston, Texas, it would be legal for citizens to shoot punks who behaved like those chronicled by "Dr. Dalrymple" in this URL. And it would be done.

razib said at November 8, 2002 12:09 PM:

the european attitude toward turkey is a specific of a general problem-reject a priori the idea that someone with the last name "ciller" or "ozgul" can be "european," then attack them for not espousing european values after excluding them. you see this in european countries with the schizo attitude toward beaurs in france or south asian muslims in the UK-they can't be part of us, but why can't they just be like us?

the european toleration of immigrant savagery and criminality is just another example of patronizing dehumanization. americans wouldn't accept it because they expect-demand (used too at least)-that immigrants be upstanding citizens like the rest of us (speaking as an immigrant).

btw mr. woodhill-the mud is houston is so sulfurous!

Randall Parker said at November 8, 2002 3:04 PM:

Razib, you remind me of ee cummings. I wonder why is that?

Jim, I agree about the importance of the Dalrymple article. I think I may have been the first blogger to post on it. See my post here. Also, I made your URL above into a real HTML tag.

Razib, the big problem the Europeans have is that they don't have a workable definition of what it means to be a European. It is lame to use a geographical justification when the EU is intent upon bringing Cyprus into the EU. Also, the US has no problem with making such geographically diverse places as Hawaii, Alaska, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islans as part of the US.

The problem is that the Euros have lost their religion and so that isn't a workable basis for a definition. They are for some form of secular ideology but aren't at all clear what it is - except that it is more humane and kind than whatever capitalistic ignorant American cowboys believe.

The issue of Turkey as an EU member ought to cause the EU chattering classes to debate just what are the essential characteristics of European Civilization. But I don't sense that the Euros are ready for that kind of hard critical thinking about their beliefs and how those beliefs differ from those of others. They are fog bound in the fantay world of multiculturalism and don't want to admit that we haven't already reached the End Of History.

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