Tag Archives: Turkey

European Duo Says No To Turkey!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that she does not envision a full membership in the European Union for Turkey. Speaking before a group of fellow Christian Democrats, the German leader said “we cannot take in everyone in Europe as a full members.” She expressed concerns about the border of the European Union and worried that too many members would make decision making difficult. “It makes no sense if there are ever more members, and we can’t decide anything anymore.” However, Merkel expressed her support for some form of EU membership for Turkey that was short of full membership.

Mekel received support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who exclaimed that “when Angela Merkel says Europe must have borders, she is right– because Europe without borders would be a Europe without a will, without identity, without values.”

There are two issues at play in these comments. One, how does an ever expanding Europe reach agreement on anything given current difficulties in having all nations agree to change? Secondly, is a different issue of do European Christians want a large Muslim nation in the European Union. They are separate issues.

Turkey Will Not Allow Israel Fly Over To Iran

There undoubtedly are members of the Israeli armed forces who are making plans for air strikes against Iran in order to destroy that nation’s nuclear capabilities. However, according to a senior analyst in Turkey, if any Israel planes flew over that country the air force would intercept and shoot down the planes. The prospect of Turkey allowing Israel to attack a fellow Muslim nation is simply out of the range of possibility. As the analyst noted: “Even tacit approval of such an operation would go against everything Turkey stands for and would throw the balance of power in the region into chaos.” The Turkish government assumes President Obama will never sanction such an Israeli operation for fear of completely ending any possibility of peace in the region.

A glance at the map reveals that Israel must fly over other nations in order to attack Iran. No Muslim nation will sanction such air flights and Israel lacks aircraft carriers to carry out a raid. The only hope for Israel is to become serious and engage in peace talks with President Abbas. An air attack would transform Israel into the most hated nation in the world.

Turkey-Armenia Begin To Talk

Diplomats from Turkey and Armenia have been meeting in Switzerland in an effort to end decades of anger and hate. In a move welcomed by the United States, “the two parties have achieved tangible progress and understanding in this process and they have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the realization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner. In this context, a road-map has been identified.” The two nations do not have diplomatic relations so issuing such a communication reflects a sincere desire on the part of both to get down to the reality of living in the same world and not allowing pain of the past to get in the way of future growth and development. If Israel and Germany can have warm and supportive relations there is no reason why Armenia and Turkey can not heal wounds of the past.

Even as Turkey joined in the announcement, its government recalled the ambassador from Canada because Canada believes Armenians were killed in a manner that suggests genocide. It is time for Turkey to cease getting upset because other nations do not agree with their interpretation of the “incidents” that we believe was mass murder.

Sweden Backs Turkey For European Union

There is an ongoing dispute as to whether Turkey is an Asian or a European nation, but the Swedish government made clear it wants Turkey to become a member of the European Union. Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt said “Sweden fully supports Turkey’s bid to join the European Union… Turkey belongs to Europe.” However, he urged that Turkey could assist its own desire to join the EU by working to resolve problems on the divided island of Cyprus. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 into a Muslim and a Christian nation. Most nations recognize the Greek Cypriot state but few recognize the Turkish Cypriot state. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan warned hard line Turk Cypriots not to create problems that would impair his nation’s ability to enter the EU.

Turkey faces many issues in obtaining membership in the EU. There is fear of allowing a predominant Muslim nation into the group so it is important for Erdogan to find a way to resolve the Cypriot division in such a manner that respects the rights of both groups. Unless he does something, it seriously damages the ability of Turkey to be treated as a European nation.

Ongoing Saga Of Turkish-Armenian Conflict

Turkish and Armenian officials are still working to devise a formula which would allow both nations to have normal relations, but border and historic conflicts continue to haunt the two countries. April 24 looms as the anniversary which Armenians commemorate as the time when the Ottoman Empire initiated it genocidal policies toward Armenians. President Obama who has urged both sides to sit down and negotiate a resolution of the issues is due to issue the normal message American presidents give on April 24 which is to express regrets at the death of thousands of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman soldiers.

There probably is a rather easy solution to the dispute as to whether hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed. The UN could identify a panel of outstanding historians from throughout the world who could conduct an historical research and come up with a clear report as to whether the genocide occurred or not. Certainly, such a report would end the ongoing arguments which echo throughout the Internet from both sides each anxious to prove the other is a liar.

Obama Words Create Furor In Turkey

President Barack Obama responded to a question from a Turkish student who inquired about his ideas towards Kurds in his country. As an American, the president drew upon words and feelings that are common to most Americans, but, unfortunately, not to the people of Turkey. He said: “I think that it’s important that the Kurdish minority inside Turkey is free to advance in the society, and that they have equal opportunity.” Any American or European audience would applaud this expression of concern for Kurds, but both Kurdish people and other Turks were angry at the choice of words by Obama.Selahattin Demirtas, of the Democratic Social Party (DTP) which supports Kurds, responded by noting, “Kurds are a pople living in their homeland and they are one of principal founders of the Turkish Republic.”

In Turkey, a “minority” is considered to be a religious group, not an ethnic group as are the Kurds. The European Union and Americans use the word to define a group.

Turkey’s Troubled Path To The European Union

President Barack Obama on his visit to Turkey came out strongly in support of that nation’s entrance into the European Union, but his views were not necessarily those of Europeans. The Council of Europe on Tuesday urged more constitutional reform in Turkey that would meet the concerns of secularists. The ongoing crisis between secularists who fear the Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Erdogan seeks to undermine Constitutional guarantees that Turkey is a secularist state. The Council of Europe took note that “many reforms announced by the government are perceived from the outset as attempts to erode the founding principles of the Turkish Republic.”

The Council of Europe is still not pleased at failure on the part of Turkey to ensure torture is not used in prisons as well as greater evidence the rights of minorities is protected. If Turkey is able to address these issues the question of entrance to the EU might well be resolved.

Obama Urged To Shut Up By Europe!

During his recent visit to Turkey, President Obama spoke of his strong support of the Turkish bid to enter the European Union and expressed the hope it would soon be a reality. However, his words aroused a storm of protest from German and French politicians who believe the president is interfering in the internal affairs of the European Union. While Obama could say, “Turkey is bound to Europe by more than the bridges over the Bosporus,” many German leaders do not share that same vision. Bernd Posselt, a member of the European Parliament, responded with, “it is a meddling in the internal affairs of Europe” and suggested, “he should accept Turkey as America’s 51st state instead.” Most European leaders accept the US has a voice in NATO issues, but who enters or does not enter the EU is their business.

President Sarkozy made clear that while “I have been working hand-in-hand with President Obama, but when it comes to the European Union, it is up to the member states.. to decide.” Barack, this is not Chicago.

Obama Urges Turkey To Be Bridge

President Barack Obama continued his voyage of diplomacy in Europe and the Middle East. On his visit to Turkey, the American leader urged Turkey to become an important bridge between Christian nations and the Muslim world. He emphasized as an American, “we don’t consider ourselves Christian, Jewish, Muslim. We consider ourselves a nation bound by a set of ideals and values.” He made clear his nation and Turkey could develop a new partnership which can bring together Muslims and Christians. The goal according to Obama is creation of a modern international community in which nations respect one another despite differences.

He also refused to back down on earlier statements that Armenians were murdered during the Ottoman Empire. Obama said it was time for both Armenians and Turks to move on and cease fighting old battles. No truer words could be spoken. The past is dead, we live in the present and if Turks disagree with the view that Armenians were murdered, so be it.

Obama Backs Turkey Entry To EU

The admittance of Turkey into the European Union has created a controversy between Muslims and Christian Europe as to whether the presence of non-Christians within Europe requires accepting reality for the need of a Muslim nation in the group. President Obama on his European trip, urged the European Union to admit Turkey. “The United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbors and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and Violence.” However, his request encountered strong opposition from President Sarkozy of France who stated bluntly: “I have always been opposed to this entry, and I remain opposed.”

The issue is whether continued Muslim immigration will eventually alter the demographics of the continent and reduce its current Christian majority. However, the fact there are most Muslim does not translate into a Muslim majority. Europe is many, many years from such an eventuality. Perhaps, the real issue is developing economic and educational programs that lead to integration of Muslim within Europe and the eventual creation of a new mixture as to what constitutes being a European.