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Just how secular Turkey is these days?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Winner, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Cato the Elder

    Cato the Elder King

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    That's the problem though, they are a European country. Both the Ottoman and the modern Turkish culture are undeniably intertwined with the rest of the region, to a level similar to that of the Caucasus states, another group of countries considered for eventual EU membership. Their leaders are undeniably Eurocratic, and a good portion of their urban population is too. However, the difference between Turkey and the Caucasus states, is that there are a lot of Turks and they're nearly all Muslims. And some people, like you, Winner, are morbidly afraid of Muslims for no reason except nitpicking handy little stories about them to fuel their xenophobia.

    Once Turkey is up to the point where them joining will upkeep or improve economic and political stability, and the Cyprus issue is solved, I see absolutely no reason to keep them out. Not doing so would be a grave mistake, in fact, definitely to the Turks and probably also to a pretty decent part of the Muslim world.
     
  2. Dr.Mindbender

    Dr.Mindbender King

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    I can't give an assessment of what section of the population that are secular-oriented, but damn I know fo sure that the constitution of Turkey is predominately secular in principle.
     
  3. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
    DONT OPEN THAT CAN OF WORMS!!!!!!!

    *runs as Winner prepares his ammo
     
  4. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    No, they're not.

    Interwined, perhaps. But for most of the time, Turkey was the invader and oppressor. It's culture belonged to the Middle East, not to Europe. The so-called modern Turkish culture is a product of relatively new and forcible attempt to Westernize the whole country after WW1. Does it make Turkey European? No.

    Oh please. Leaders in many countries pose themselves as modern Western rulers. This article in OP shows that the reality is often quite different.

    Yeah, I was waiting when you resort to lowly accusations. Look, I am not a fan of Islam, that's correct. On the other hand, I've never criticized Turkey on this basis, it's still a secular country and unlike other Middle Eastern countries, it doesn't allow Islam to dictate government policy.

    Turkey is simply not European. It does not belong to Europe, just as Japan doesn't belong to Europe. It's not an insult to call someone not European. Turkey is a part of a different region, and it can play a very positive role there, as a model country. I also advocate strong ties between the EU and Turkey, including an economic union and close political/military cooperation.

    Membership of a country which most EU citizens don't consider to be European would fatally hurt the pan-European idea and lead to failure of the political integration.

    Not at all. European Union need to focus on internal consolidation and deeper integration. It also needs to win the support of the public, and that's not done by letting non-European countries in.
     
  5. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    Just something, the Arabs never liked Turkish rule. They felt betrayed after Ottoman positions were usually given to the conquered people of the Balkan and Anatolia then to the Arabs.

    There is like 10 other reasons but Im too lazy to state them.
     
  6. Dr.Mindbender

    Dr.Mindbender King

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    I think you need to look up the meaning of the word "intertwined" more carefully if I were you. You might even finally learn to spell it!
     
  7. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    I am perfectly aware of that. Turkey is closely related to other Muslim countries with Turkic heritage, rather than to the Arabic countries.

    The problem is that some people believe that you can undo 500 years of history in just few decades of "Westernization". Turkey is different from other countries in the Middle East, but that doesn't make it more European. It simply doesn't qualify for membership.
     
  8. Cato the Elder

    Cato the Elder King

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    Is intertwined not the same as being part of? One can't deny that Turkey's culture has a massive influx from the Middle East, but so do the Caucasus states, and I don't see you lobbying for their exclusion. There are enough European aspects in Turkey's culture alone, especially, once again, amongst its urban population, and so long as they are on par with the neccesary categories to join, they should. Saying "European" culture and Turkish culture differ as much as "European" culture and Japanese culture is naive, bordering on idiotic.

    Also, I find it ironic that on the subject of the Lisbon Treaty its No-voters are "uninformed" according to you, and a revote should be done lest the Irish want to stay inside the European Union, but when it comes to Turkey, all of a sudden all of Europe is well-informed, and their opinions do matter. Anyone with any political insight will realise though, that a lot of this "Turkey isn't European" stuff is mostly based off of their being an Islam-majority country, and being brown to boot. In fact, I'd consider them even more propagandised by fringe parties than the Lisbon No-voters, and that's saying something.
     
  9. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    No. Europeans have been meddling in India, China and the whole south-east Asia for centuries - does it mean that France, the Netherlands, Britain or Portugal are Asian countries? No.

    Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe, just as the Europeans colonized other culturally different parts of the world.

    This argument is a double-edged sword - Ottoman history is just as connected with non-European regions: the Middle East, Caucasus, North Africa, Arabia.

    I am not lobying for their admission either.

    That was not what the analogy was supposed to demonstrate, as you surely know.

    You mistake the modern character of Turkish cities for European culture, which is quite common these days. The truth is that Turkey is a culturally torn country, it doesn't belong to any larger cultural grouping, which is a result of the post-WW1 attempt to change the cultural background.

    Funny, one of the repeated reasons why people vote against European treaties are that they believe they'd allow Turkey's admission to the EU. Opposition to Turkey's membership isn't based on lack of information, it's based on "cultural instincts" of the European peoples. If we go against that, we'll kill any prospect for closer integration. Europeans simply don't want Turkey to be a member of their club, that's a fact we have to appreciate.

    Well, like it or not, religion is a very important part of any culture. Islam is not associated with European culture, which logically creates a rift between Europeans and Turks.
     
  10. Shekwan

    Shekwan Kim Chi Quaffing Celt

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    Yeah I hope so, it's not a good idea to go dicking people around in negotiations when you're trying to sell yourself the way the EU has.
     
  11. Cato the Elder

    Cato the Elder King

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    I do not believe Turkey and the Western European colonial situation is in any way comparable, except perhaps certain city-states like Singapore and Hong Kong, because the cultures simply barely mixed. I think a better analogy is the one between the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic cultures in Great Britain and Ireland. Although you can't call either of them purely culturally Celtic, there's an undeniable mix between the two in all regions, moreso in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales than England, but still undeniable whatsoever. The same goes for Turkey and Southeastern European culture, the two were connected, mixed, much more than was done in pretty much any colony.

    Also, I don't know why Islam is seen as a threat to European culture. Islamic and Christian nations have had to do with one another since about a century or so after Mohammed, including on European territory, and even though we can never say that Islam is an integral part of Europe, we can't look at a nation as uneuropean simply for having an Islam-majority population. That one would be afraid of Shari'a law is understandable, but Turkey's never going to lobby for this in the realistic future.

    Therefore, a country which has been connected with the rest of Europe for ages, has European land, is secular, and shares European values, should not be denied membership in the European Union. Once Turkey reaches this point, we really should let them in.
     
  12. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Um, ask few people from Southeastern Europe about this, you might be a little surprised.

    Ottoman rule was by no means comparable to what you described. The only parts of the Ottoman-occupied Europe where there was some sort of deeper cultural mixing were Bosnia, Albania and the present day Turkish Thrace. The rest remained culturally distict from the non-European parts of the Ottoman Empire.

    Did I use the word threat in this thread (no pun here)? No, so let's not bring it into discussion.

    Islam has never been a part of European culture. Europeans who lived in the Middle Ages and in the early modern era saw themselves as Christians. The notion that they had something in common with the heathens would probably greatly insult them. Although the Reformation blurred the image a little bit, Christianity remained as the basis of European culture, while Islam was seen as something oriental, something which doesn't belong to Europe.

    Absolutely not. Ottoman Empire has never been accepted as equal by other European powers. They sometimes allied with it when it served their interest, but it was clear that it was the outsider.

    So, you can't really use history to argue that the Turks are part of Europe. You can't even use the culture, since the Turkish culture is certainly not European. You can only use some vague shared political ideas, but if we applied this globally, practically any democratic country could apply for EU membership.

    Morocco was refused once, though you could use exactly the same arguments to "prove" that Morocco is culturally and historically a European country.

    So, idealism aside, Turkey isn't European, it has never been and it will never be. Taking it inside European Union would be as foolish as integrating Mexico into the US.
     
  13. Gooblah

    Gooblah Heh...

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    Just for the record, what is 'European culture'? Does it exist?

    AFAIK there isn't enough in common between EU Nations to call it 'culture'.
     
  14. holy king

    holy king Deity

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    he compared it to "english"-celtic occupation. i think that's quite fitting indeed?
     
  15. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Not at all. English and "Celtic" nations were in fact all Christians, though of different brands. They shared a lot of what we now call "Western" culture. Ottoman empire had a profoundly Islamic culture, which didn't mix well with Christian Orthodox cultures of Balkans and Greece.

    About religions:

    Religions form cultures, or cultures form religions, or both processes happen at the same time.

    European culture was shaped by Christianity, originally a Middle Eastern religion adopted by majority of European nations between 0 - 1000 A.D. Most Europeans don't even realize how important Christiany was in European history, which is a pity. You don't have to be religious (I am not) to appreciate that.

    One example - Magyars/Hungarians. They have a similar history as the Turks, actually. They came to Europe as nomadic invaders, did they share of killing&looting&pillaging (the usual stuff). Then they settled down, assimilated lthe remnants of Slavic population in Pannonia and a few decades later they adopted Christianity. Christianity was a "carrier" of European culture back then: with it they adopted also the latin characters, Western learning, Western values, Western social model, Western forms of government etc. It mixed with the Magyar culture and the result is today's Hungary, a Western nation with certain traits that make it different from its neigbours. Ottoman occupation of large areas of Hungary didn't change that.

    Turkey had a similar history. Originally a Turkic nomads from Central Asia. They adopted Islam and with it the culture of Islamic Middle East. The post-WW1 development didn't change that, they haven't changed their cultural identity. They tried to, but it was impossible. To uproot 1000 years of their unique cultural and social evolution and replace it with culture which most Turks found "alien".

    Today, Turkey is the most advanced (economically, socially, politically) country of those which share the culture build upon Islam. It is not an European country though.

    So, to close this: it's much harder to "convert" or "assimilate" a whole country to a different culture. You can assimilate individuals though.

    AFAIK you're wrong, and I am not gonna explain it all over again. Google it, or use the search engine on this forum.
     
  16. Riffraff

    Riffraff Deity

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    Who cares about whether or not Turkey would fit in geographically or culturally? These are pretty much the most unimportant factors when deciding suitability for membership.

    How bout considering the financial and power-political aspects? Problems for instance would be integrating a huge state while retaining the ability of the EU institutions to make decisions..
     
  17. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Quite the other way round, only nobody dares to speak about it openly, especially not the politicans.

    Practical reasons are of course very important. Turkey, by the time it would join the EU, would have a population close to that of Germany. Do someone here actually believe that Germany, the strongest economy and most influential EU country, would allow a relatively poor, staunchly nationalistic and non-European (in the eyes of many Germans) country to become a member with the same voting strength in the EU institutions?

    I can't imagine that.
     
  18. Vorstehhund

    Vorstehhund Chieftain

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    Bingo. Last things the Germans want is millions of Turks coming through the service entrance.
     
  19. holy king

    holy king Deity

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    last things brits wanted was millions of poles coming through the service entrance.









    oh, wait, that didnt happen.
     
  20. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Justice guaranteed

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    So, Turkey cannot be in the EU because it is an Islamic country.

    Sure sends a nice message to Muslims in EU countries.
     

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