Saturday, October 02, 2004

Europe, Bolkestein concluded, "would implode."

An article in the NYT about EU expansion to include Turkey. Mostly the same stuff I addressed earlier in the week. Here are some interesting poll numbers:

A French opinion poll released Tuesday indicated that 56 percent of the French oppose Turkey's membership. President Jacques Chirac said Friday that he would require a national referendum on any future expansion. While Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany has reacted favorably, a poll released Friday showed 57 percent of his country's population opposed. A poll issued earlier this week stated that 62 percent of Germans wanted the matter to be decided in a referendum.

And some valuable quotes.

Yucel Gundogdu, a Dutch-born on Turkish descent: For him the European Union's decision is a kind of litmus test for Europe. "If the E.U. refuses Turkey for cultural or religious reasons, then it's racist," he said. (Racist has become the universal curse word of our age, so much so that it has lost its meaning. To refuse Turkey for cultural or religious reasons doesn't equal racism. Being anti-Muslim is bigotry but not racism.)

At a nearby table, a group of young men of Turkish descent playing cards said in chorus that Turkey should not be allowed to join. "They will flood into Europe," said Akag Acikgoz, 21, a Dutch-born bouncer at a nightclub. "I don't want the Turks to join, even if they are my people."


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