Turkey In Europe 2
At Galliawatch I have posted at least twice on the ambiguous position of Nicolas Sarkozy vis-à-vis Turkey. Another article at the very patriotic Europae Gentes website has similar thoughts:
Europe, Europe. Although he agreed to the reopening of discussions on three areas of Turkey's membership (and in so doing contradicted himself relative to his campaign declarations) Nicolas Sarkozy has just announced publicly to his European partners that he might oppose the opening of discussions on new areas of debate. For him, the priority must be the adoption by the EU of a simplified treaty after the failure of the referendums on the constitution. The issue of expansion, ergo of the advancing or not of the process of Turkey's membership, should be left to the European Council that meets in December 2007.
Is Sarkozy stalling for time both to keep his campaign promise that is still fresh in people's minds (i.e. his opposition to Turkey's entry) and to persuade the Commission to accept his mini-treaty?
Currently the president is adopting a most ambiguous stand on Turkey: at once hostile to speeding up the membership process through the opening of new debates and, at the same time, unwilling to completely close the door. It is logical to assume that Nicolas Sarkozy is maneuvering strategically in an environment where he has, today, few supportive partners.
And yet, will he continue to defend the idea that Turkey is not part of Europe if that becomes a stumbling block in the relaunching of plans to construct Europe? We can't be sure. For the moment it is clear that the Turkish question is still causing disarray among European leaders who are still unwilling to open the essential debate on their own identity.
The bottom line: will Sarkozy trade his position on Turkey for an acceptance of his version of the European constitution? Even if he does it will only mean new debates and discussions, not an admission ticket for Turkey. That will no doubt come later, in some as yet undetermined quid pro quo.
One thing no one ever mentions in the debate on national identity is the identity of Turkey itself. Browsing through the splendid gallery of thousands of photographs at D. Osseman's website, it is bewildering that anyone would want to neutralize or denature such a fascinating land, by forcing it to become European, in the modern sense of the word: decadent, morally diluted, and largely atheistic.
I realize that Europe in its traditional sense, not Turkey, has everything to lose by such a merger. But I still wonder why there hasn't been more of an outcry from Turks concerned about their own culture. Of course Turks with ulterior motives are not going to voice a protest - they see Europe as their next territorial extension. But are there others who see dangers for Turkey?
Philippe de Villiers is the only one I know of who said that to force Turkey to be European is to disrespect Turkey and its uniqueness.