Which Turkey, which Europe?

Which Turkey, which Europe?

What do the ruling Islamists of Turkey and the xenophobic fascist or neo-Nazi or nationalists bordering on such European perpetual illnesses have in common? Simple, a description of identity taking into consideration only the ethnical and religious-cultural elements and seeing each other as what can best be described as “the other.” Was it a result of the Ottoman conquest dagger that managed to go as far as Vienna or the Italian coasts, or the Crusades and the subsequent occupation of Istanbul and Anatolian cities by a coalition of Europeans? Irrespective, deep in the social history of the European peoples, Turks are those vandals roaming around with their blood dipping swords and for Turks, Europeans are those greedy imperial beasts trying to divide and swallow the Turkish homeland…

Can such adverse and poisonous perceptions change? Of course, provided there is political will and peoples on both sides of the divide are convincingly explained that it is now time to build a common future by leaving behind the torturous past very much like what the British, French, Germans and the other European nations achieved in their bilateral and multilateral relations over the second half of the previous century. Were not they the very same nations killing each other in the first and second quarters of the same century? But, they managed to develop the will to build a common peace and prosperity area, rather than killing each other, that came to be the EU project… That’s indeed why the EU is the greatest peace-building and maintaining project humanity has ever managed to develop.

European fascists, neo-Nazis and ultranationalists bordering on such heinous ideologies continue to hate everyone and everything, among them Turks, that they consider non-European. European nations suffering from economic hardships, unemployment or even job security problems turn into bullets of xenophobic rifles of such aficionado politics and leave no space to efforts aimed at building a common future. The rise of xenophobia, ultra-nationalism and neo-Nazi politics in the European sphere is thus very important for a Turkey aspiring to have a place in the European family of nations, a common peaceful future. Despite their immense success in opinion-making in European countries, such adverse and mutually hazardous ill political groups constitute a minority. Thus, provided Turkey manages to stay on course, “clean” its house adequately from the “conquest” mentality and allow its bright face – the Gezi spirit for example – to surface and thrive, the more than 200-year-old European vocation of Turkey will succeed. The current bold and bald politics in Turkey cannot last forever.

Should Turkey be a member of the EU or should it have an advanced partnership as frequently voiced by German’s chubby chancellor lady or a membership a la carte like the Norwegians? This is an irrelevant question for now because the nature of the membership or even whether Turkey should be a member must be a question asked to Turks when “technically” Turkey is declared qualified for membership.

One Turkey of various groups has been aspiring for EU membership with many different interest calculations. One Turkey of various groups is demanding EU membership as they see membership as the sole road to satisfy a set of political ambitions. Another Turkey is opposing EU membership because of identity differences, very much like the European die-hard anti-Turcos. And a Turkey of various groups is of the opinion that what’s important is not membership, but the process must continue until Turkey is qualified fully in all 35 chapters of the acquis communautaire…