June 27, 2005


Eleventh-hour call for EU to halt its talks with Turkey (Anthony Browne, 6/28/05, Times of London)

NICOLAS SARKOZY, the French Interior Minister and a possible future president, has demanded that the European Union close its doors to Turkey, just three months before the entry talks with the Muslim country are due to start.

M Sarkozy called for the “suspension” of future EU enlargement while the union sorts out its internal political crisis by revamping its institutions.

The swipe at Turkey will heighten tensions between France and Britain, which has taken the lead in championing Turkish membership of the EU and which will host the start of the membership talks in October 3. The remarks also brought a swift retort from the German Government, which said that the EU must stick by its commitments.

Why would a nation that has a future hitch itself to a bunch that don't?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 27, 2005 11:13 PM

Perhaps the Germans will attack France over the right to keep their Turkish 'guest workers'. Wars have started over less.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 28, 2005 1:47 AM

The Turks sided with France against us in '03. I see now the French have responded with their characteristic loyalty.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 28, 2005 6:18 AM

The Turkish foreign service definitely should have a show on Comedy Central.

The Turks need to have some kind of 'national conversation' about what sort of nation they are. Are they an Islamic state whose focus should be the horrible Arab states and the theocratic Iran and should it move in that direction? Is it a part of the West and should it secularize at least as much as the US or Germany if not as much as France? Or is it some kind of hybrid state like Singapore, Israel, Taiwan, Japan, etc? And if it is a hybrid state how do they define themselves?

In the meantime, they should scrap the Lira and dollarize. The Turkish lira has an exchange rate to the dollar roughly equal to Avogadro's number.

Posted by: bart at June 28, 2005 6:46 AM

The Turks are trying to be the first Islamic Western state. The hardest thing for them is not to secularize, Ataturk did that, it's for them to open to prosleytization from Christians without the legal hassles and other forms of harassment that currently goes on. It's one thing to say we are a secularized state with an Islamic heritage. It's another to completely abandon the ingrained proscriptions about religious freedom.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at June 28, 2005 2:15 PM
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