Here in Turkey, even as the church reconstruction was under way, a court was giving Hrant Dink, editor of a newspaper for Istanbul's Armenian community, a suspended prison sentence for making comments "disrespectful to our Turkish ancestors." A prosecutor has indicted Turkey's leading novelist, Orhan Pamuk, on similar charges, and several other such cases are pending.
To outsiders, it sometimes seems that Turks cannot decide whether they want to embrace the standards of human rights and free speech that the European Union demands of its members.
In fact, however, many Turks say they fervently want their country to meet those standards. So, on most days, does the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But defenders of the old order, including prosecutors, judges and officials with influence in the army and bureaucracy, fear that steps to open Turkish society will weaken national unity, and they are trying to suppress them.
Nationalists have tried to prevent serious investigations into incidents like a recent bombing in the southeastern province of Hakkari, which was made to look like the work of Kurdish terrorists but turned out to have been carried out by police agents.
At very least it strikes me as premature to admit Turkey into the European Union. How is Turkey going to develop in the future? Hard to say. But it seems imprudent to admit Turkey into the EU before the future direction of the Turks becomes much more clear. Some in the EU claim that Turkey has got to be admitted into the EU because otherwise illiberal Muslims in Turkey will get the upper hand and Turkey will follow the path of militant Islam. But if this claim is true it rather undercuts the claim that Turkey is ready to become a solidly secular liberal member of the EU.
What I really do not get is what advantage is there for the existing populaces of the EU for having Turkey in the EU. I get what the Turkish elite and many Turkish workers will get from the deal. But what about the average Claude or Monique in France or Helmut or Gerta in Germany? What's in it for them? The threat that large numbers of Turks will flock to the more developed countries and create their own separate ethnic and religious ghettoes hostile to the larger society. So why do this thing of uniting Turkey with the EU?
Update: See an excellent article in the New York Times about the Muslim parallel society in Germany by Peter Schneider entitled "The New Berlin Wall".
On the night of Feb. 7, 2005, Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed on her way to a bus stop in Berlin-Tempelhof by several shots to the head and upper body, fired at point-blank range. The investigation revealed that months before, she reported one of her brothers to the police for threatening her. Now three of her five brothers are on trial for murder. According to the prosecutor, the oldest of them (25) acquired the weapon, the middle brother (24) lured his sister to the scene of the crime and the youngest (18) shot her. The trial began on Sept. 21. Ayhan Surucu, the youngest brother, had confessed to the murder and claimed that he had done it without any help. According to Seyran Ates, a lawyer of Turkish descent, it is generally the youngest who are chosen by the family council to carry out such murders - or to claim responsibility for them. German juvenile law sets a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment for murder, and the offender has the prospect of being released after serving two-thirds of the sentence.
Hatun Surucu grew up in Berlin as the daughter of Turkish Kurds. When she finished eighth grade, her parents took her out of school. Shortly after that she was taken to Turkey and married to a cousin. Later she separated from her husband and returned to Berlin, pregnant. At age 17 she gave birth to a son, Can. She moved into a women's shelter and completed the work for her middle-school certificate. By 2004 she had finished a vocational-training program to become an electrician. The young mother who had escaped her family's constraints began to enjoy herself. She put on makeup, wore her hair unbound, went dancing and adorned herself with rings, necklaces and bracelets. Then, just days before she was to receive her journeyman's diploma, her life was cut short.
Evidently, in the eyes of her brothers, Hatun Surucu's capital crime was that, living in Germany, she had begun living like a German.
Read the whole article. The article estimates that half of German Turkish women are forced into arranged marriages.
Girls are purchased in Turkey by Tukish mothers in Germany for their Turkish sons.
Heavily veiled women wearing long coats even in summer are becoming an increasingly familiar sight in German Muslim neighborhoods. According to Necla Kelek's research, they are mostly under-age girls who have been bought - often for a handsome payment - in the Turkish heartland villages of Anatolia by mothers whose sons in Germany are ready to marry. The girls are then flown to Germany, and "with every new imported bride," Kelek says, "the parallel society grows." Meanwhile, Ates summarizes, "Turkish men who wish to marry and live by Shariah can do so with far less impediment in Berlin than in Istanbul."
The standard argument by pro-immigrationists in America that the welfare state in Europe is to blame does not hold up. Middle class Turks in Germany are also going for the parallel society.
Many sociologists attribute the growth of a Muslim parallel society to the discouraging social circumstances of the third Muslim generation of immigrants - high unemployment, high dropout or failure rates in public schools. But this explanation is incomplete, to say the least. It turns out that the Muslim middle class has long been following the same trend. Rental agencies that procure and prepare rooms for traditional Turkish weddings and circumcisions are among the most booming businesses in Kreuzberg and Neukölln.
Multiculturalism amounts to parallel hostile societies.
Again, read the full article.
The Turkish government under the watchful eyes of the secular Turkish military for decades enforced secularism and restraints on the power of Islam. But the EU is going to force the Turkish government to be less draconian and therefore the power of Islam will grow in Turkey just as it has in Germany. This is not progress.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 December 04 05:32 PM Civilizations Clash Of|