2004 September 24 Friday
Turkey's Islamic Party Backs Off Of Criminalizing Adultery

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of his efforts to assure the acceptance of Turkey into the European Union has backed off plans to criminalize adultery in Turkey.

All references to proposals to outlaw adultery, which were inserted into the legislation by conservative members of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), would be dropped.

"No item which is not already included in the draft of the Turkish criminal code will be included and I mean by that the issue of adultery," Mr Erdogan told a news conference.

The European Union is now widely expected to give Turkey approval to begin formal talks for Turkey's entry into the EU. Once the approval for those talks has begun it is unlikely that the EU would back out of accepting Turkey as a member.

European diplomats are now seriously doubting the intentions of Turkey's ruling Islamic political party.

Newspapers said Erdogan had taken the side of conservatives in his Justice and Development Party, a conservative group with Islamist roots which was deeply divided over outlawing adultery.

Diplomats say Erdogan's face-off with Brussels, which roiled Turkish financial markets this month, has raised doubts about Erdogan's political judgment and his real intentions.

These diplomats are slow learners.

Turkey's government could just hold back from putting more Islam into Turkish law until after Turkey becomes an EU member state.

The European Parliament's conservative faction even suspects that Erdogan will hold back controversial laws until EU membership negotiations actually begin next year.

Only then, when there is no turning back for the EU, will the Prime Minister show his true face and put the brakes on societal reforms: Erdogan as an Islamic submarine, so to speak.

Well duh guys. Do you really think you can change Turkey into a secular European country by making it part of the EU? Snap out of your dreams. The real world doesn't work that way.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin publically supports Tukey's membership in the EU and yet Raffarin sounds very unenthusiastic and worried about the idea of a Muslim state joining formerly Christian now secular states in a political union. (same article here)

"We don't think we should tell Turkey that the doors of Europe are forever closed to it," Raffarin told the newspaper, but then said: "Do we want the river of Islam to enter the riverbed of secularism?"

I think it darkly humourous that the European elites saw the US invasion of Iraq as a really bad idea that the US should have refrained from and yet the EU mandarins are intent on going down a road with another Muslim country that they have deep doubts about. The elites of the Western nations all seek to commit cultural suicide with their choice of folly while pointing fingers at the follies of others.

The European peoples may yet save their elites from elite follow. The one distinct possibility for stopping Turkey's accession into the EU is the prospect that the majority in many EU member states may vote against the new EU federal constitution.

The EU's new constitution represents another effort to preserve and deepen European unity, but it too could backfire. For the constitution to come into force, it must be approved by all 25 EU countries. At least 11 of them are likely to hold referendums, and in a few of those, notably Britain, the verdict is likely to be negative. Such an outcome could well provoke a crisis within the Union.

This survey will conclude that the EU may indeed split. But a split need not be a disaster. It could lead to a multi-layered EU in which different countries adopt different levels of political integration and experiment with different economic models. If the EU were preserved as an over-arching framework, it could actually benefit from such diversity. But there is also a darker, if less likely possibility. A split in the EU could cause Europe once again to divide into rival power blocks. That could threaten what most agree is the Union's central achievement: peace in Europe.

The EU could break up into pieces before Turkey manages to join. That is the best hope for Europe at this point. The editors of The Economist who wrote that previous excerpt see an EU break-up as a dark possibility. But I see that possibility as a ray of hope for the survival of Western liberal democracy in the gathering gloom.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 September 24 04:27 PM  Europe and America

Kurt said at September 24, 2004 10:39 PM:

Why should the breakup of the EU be viewed as necessarily leading to the possibility of war between European countries? This alarmist pronouncement should be viewed as the bleatings of EU bureaucrats attemping to save their jobs, which they would surely loose if the EU were to unravel.

Previous to the EU was the ECC, which was the convergence of economic policy and reduction of borders between member states. Why is a federal EU bureaucracy even necessary? The various European states can harmonize regulations and economic policies and, yet, remain sovereign countries with their own distinctive political rules and traditions. There is no reason for Turkey to enter the EU. Rather, the EU could have a NAFTA-style free trade agreement with Turkey.

John S Bolton said at September 25, 2004 1:16 AM:

The EU will disintegrate; it has already pushed Germany to the breaking point. It is a cross-subsidization organization, more than a free trade alliance. As such, it exists only so long as the source countries of the subsidies can withstand the pillaging of their economies. It requires amazing traitorism on the part of officials in the richer member-states; this alone spells its doom. Rational arguments can no loger be found to support it; this is why its supporters have to use terms like nationalism and xenophobia, etc.. They have to try to demonize nationalism and patriotism, because reason is so clearly now against the continued existence of the EU.

Kurt said at September 25, 2004 11:29 AM:

John, I think you are right. I also expect the Euro currency to go out with the EU, probably in the next 5 years. If it were not for the enormous deficits by George Bush, the Euro would probably be on its way out already.

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