Turkey and the World

Turkey is quite unique. As a muslim country, it is an example to the rest of the muslim world. It’ secular government can only be praised for keeping fundamentalists at bay. The commotion around Abdullah Gul from the muslim AKP and his bid for presidency sparked protest and evoked gigantic rallies from secularists, opposing the possibility of someone seen as orthodox to be president was a hopeful sign. Turkey’s government has remained secular for almost a century now, even though military intervention was sometimes necessary to achieve this.

Yet for all that is good about the Turkish society, I don’t support it’s bid for membership of the European Union. Just recently Sarkozy hindered the advancement of Turkish integration in the EU, something he had vowed to when running for president. With Angela Merkel & Nicolas Sarkozy as leaders of the two most powerful continental nations of Europe, I doubt the Turks will make a lot of progress towards their goal. This is a good thing, for Turkey, despite it’s secularism remains a fundamentally non-European country. Europe has no need for an influx of yet many more millions of muslim immigrants, for it has been unable op till now to fully integrate those who are already there.

The fact that Turkey is not willing to admit and apologize for the genocide on the Armenians, and the persecutions of the christians within its border shows all the more that it is unfit to be part of Europe. The way the Kurds get treated nowadays shows another negative aspect of Turkey. The repression against the Kurds in Eastern Turkey and the border dispute with the Kurdish autonomous province in northern Iraq make the situation in the Middle East all the more tense. Just recently they bought high-tech airplanes to be used as advanced weaponry against the ‘terrorist’ Kurds, weapons, oh irony, bought from Israel.

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מדינת ישראל

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The 13th of june there were elections for a new president in Israël. Candidates were Shimon Peres (Kadima), Reuven Rivlin (Likud) and Colette Avital (Labor). Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister won after the other candidates retreated from the race because they didn’t got enough votes. Vice Premier Shimon Peres was elected Israel’s ninth president , capping a six-decade political career in which he has held every senior government post. While he started his political career in the far left mapai party(founded by Ben-gurion himself) he left labour in 2005 to join the centrist party, Kadima (founded by Ariel Sharon). Which shows us that labour (and the left in general) isn’t all that bad in Israël and surely isn’t the same like, say, the European left.

The elections followed after Former President Katsav was accused of fraud and rape. Though it is a ceremonial function, Peres might be able to restore the prestige of it with his record as a Nobel Laureate, former prime minister, defense minister, protege of David Ben-Gurion and founder of Israel’s nuclear program. He is also seen as a strong supporter of peace. Maybe this can help in negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas and bringing Israël partly to peace…(though it won’t help with that pesky hamas!)

 -“If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem but a fact that must be coped with.” (Shimon Peres)