‘We are coming!’
Inan Türkmen, a second-generation Muslim Austrian-Turk is a man in the news these days with his confrontational book, “We are Coming,” in which he argues that Europe’s future is Turkish “whether you like it or not.”
As reported in the international press, Mr. Türkmen’s thesis is: “Regardless of whether or not you [Europeans] like us [Turks] … whether or not you want us in the European Union, our influence in Europe is growing. We are more numerous. We are younger. We are more ambitious. Our economy is growing faster. We are stronger.”
In an interview with the Vienna-based newspaper Die Presse, Mr. Türkmen says he decided to write “We are Coming” after getting “hot under the collar” over a recent book about Muslim immigration by the renowned German economist Thilo Sarrazin. Mr. Sarrazin’s script has inevitably angered immigrant and non-immigrant Muslims: “I do not want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live in a mostly Muslim country where Turkish and Arabic are widely spoken, women wear headscarves and the day’s rhythm is determined by the call of the muezzin,” he writes at one point.
So what? Would the Muslims want their grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live in a mostly Christian country where western languages are widely spoken, men and women boast the cross and the day’s rhythm is determined by the ring of church bells?
In a highly confrontational essay titled “You Germans Need the Turks more than the Turks Need You,” published by the Financial Times Deutschland, Mr. Türkmen writes: “Our consolation is that Turkish influence in Europe is growing and there is nothing you Europeans can do to stop it … Soon you will not even realize it because you will all be a little Turkish ... In the future, freckles will become an increasingly rare sight in Europe. The point is: The future belongs to Turkey.”
Not of that is surprising. In these days of the Turkish feel-good mood and exaggerated doses of self-confidence, cultural produce like films, TV soaps and books made by the Turks for the Turks featuring the newfound pride are increasingly abundant.
I am curious, though, why the “more numerous” Indians, Chinese and Brazilians do not hope to make the lands around their countries “Indian, Chinese and Brazilian.” Will the Turks like Mr. Türkmen dream of Turkifying the Americas, Africa and the lands down under after having Turkified Europe? When will the whole world become Turkish?
Perhaps I should give some more ammunition to Mr. Türkmen, in case he wishes to use it in another scientific article he may pen for an international paper: The world’s tallest man is Turkish. And so is the man who shot the Pope, then declared himself the Messiah, and most recently went to Mecca on a Muslim pilgrimage. We can also boast for ranking at the top of the world’s standings in curbs on civil liberties and women’s rights.
We top any European list of rights violations. We are number one in Europe in death by road accidents and fatal occupational injuries. Our economy may be growing faster, but we are still among Europe’s bottom league of nations in terms of per capita income. All the same, we can be proud that out of the entire world’s 35,000 terror convicts, 15,000 are in Turkish prisons.
I am not saying it, Mr. Türkmen; but prominent Hurriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan, himself a graduate of an imam school, wrote on Monday that “we have an inferiority complex vis-à-vis (western) foreigners.” That suggestion would fall into the expertise and scientific jurisdiction of sociologists and psychologists, and I am not the expert.
But watch out, Mr. Turkmen, with your proud demographic facts and figures, Turkey may become “Kurdish” before Europe has become “Turkish.”
And stop watching too much fantastic screen produce like Conquest 1453, Süleyman the Magnificent and the Valley of the Wolves. The collective feeling of glory, especially when unfounded, has not brought fortune to Turks.