vendredi 7 septembre 2007

On Turkey, the EU, the war on Islam and other matters

Here's an interesting article I read on BBC:

Turkey's soul unveiled

Internationally acclaimed writer Elif Shafak says women's bodies have become a battlefield for competing views of modern Turkey.

Just because I spent my holidays in Turkey I've become an "expert" on Turkish matters for a lot of people. They ask me what I think about the AKP victory and the fact that Gul is the new president of Turkey. Media here in France have been calling Gul an islamist, the more moderate ones a "former islamist".

I think kinda like Elif Shafak, and I'm not that worried. So basically I say to people here in France:

  • Wait and see, the AKP has proved to be a pro-european party in the past. Gul is not going to change the way the AKP has been leading the country since 2002.

  • Turkey is a secular country and I'm confident it will remain a secular country (but that also will depend on how Turkey is considered by the West in the next years methinks, because if we enter in a West/Islam conflict... I dunno).

  • Turkey is also a muslim country and it is not because there are women covered that automatically you have to think that fundamental islamism is spreading wildly. Not once, in Istanbul or in Izmir (and yes I know those cities are the most liberal but still), did I felt weird or object of open or less open criticism because I was not covered or because I was wearing "light" clothes and it's not because people knew I was a tourist, because a lot of people actually thought I was Turkish.

    I know that there is pressure from radical islamism, but there is pressure all over the world, even in western countries, and this is linked to the way the West is overreacting to terrorism by considering that all muslims are potential kamikazes.

  • Europe would be making a terrible geopolitical mistake not to continue the negotiation about joining Turkey to the EU and Sarkozy is a demagogue dumbass.

The geopolitical stake has been underlined by the International Crisis Group in a report issued the 17 August 2007: "Turkey and Europe: the way ahead"

"Europeans who attack the prospect of Turkish membership of the EU underestimate the damage they do to European interests. The mistrust generated already has caused Turkey to reduce its contribution to Europe’s common security policy. Ankara is showing signs of independent military policies over which Europe has diminishing leverage. Europe’s energy security is not being advanced."
I think some pressure from other Western leaders and also from the business world prompted Sarkozy to change his position about the Turkish membership the 27 of August 2007 :

Here is what he said about it:

"If this essential reflection about the future of our Union ("What kind of Europe for 2020-2030 and what kind of tasks?") is launched by the 27 (members), France won't oppose that new chapters of negotiation between the EU and Turkey could be opened in the months and years to come, under the condition that those chapters are compatible with the two possible visions about the future of their relationship: membership or close association without going as far as the membership. I won't be hypocritical. Everyone knows that I only favor the association. It's the idea that I defended all along the political campaign. It's the idea I defend since several years. I think that this idea of association will be recognized one day as the most reasonable. In the meantime, like Prime minister Erdogan, I wish that Turkey and France take up again the privileged ties that they have woven over a thread of a long shared history."

In fact, what worries me the most is:
  1. The fact that the World is rearming, specially the Middle East with weapons sold by the US:

    46 billion euros in the next 10 years, said Condoleezza Rice the 2 August. Who are buying? Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrein, Qatar, Oman and the UAE. At the same time, we learn the 15 August that Washington is gonna raise by a quarter its military aid to Israel: 30 billion dollars over ten years.

    France is not the last either in this mortal business: France should sell more than 6 billion euros worth of weapons in 2007 - 3.38 billions in 2004 — said a spokesman of the French army the 18 September 2006.

    See SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Yearbook for 2007:
    Chapter 8 - Military expenditure
    Chapter 9 - Arms production
    and specially Chapter 10 - International arms transfers

  2. The second point that bothers me is the tendency of West leaders to amalgam Islam and fundamentalist islam

    See for example the speech Sarkozy gave to the French ambassadors the same day he said he did not oppose to negotiating with Turkey:
    "The first challenge (that the World faces at the beginning of the XXI century) -and without doubt one of the most importants- is how to prevent a confrontation between Islam and the West."
    and then he goes on talking about Al Quaeda...

I would reply happily to him: the first challenge is the overwhelming poverty of the majority of humans in the World, and I mean poverty in the West and the underdevelopped countries alike, compared with the insolent wealth of so few.

If we could try to solve this challenge, even a little, then the confrontation that radical islamists are seeking would lose its fuel.

In this particular, the SIPRI Yearbook has become my own private Bible-Coran-Torah-HolyMollyBook. Allow me to cite it:

"Governments allocate large sums of money to their military sectors with the stated purpose of providing security for their citizens. The rationale that underlies this is based on a narrow traditional concept of security that links it to the risk of organized violence. Recent security analyses—taking different and broader definitions of security—call into question how far military measures can go towards providing security. They recognize a range of non-traditional security risks that cannot be addressed by military means. (...)

8 million lives could be saved annually for an annual investment of $57 billion in basic health interventions, and the cost of attaining the Millennium Development Goals has been estimated at $135 billion. These levels of investment are small compared with the level of world military expenditure, which amounted to $1204 billion in 2006.

While economic scarcity and competition for resources are potential sources of conflict and violence, using the world’s resources constructively to address hunger, environmental factors and poverty—including by transfers from the richer countries to the high-mortality developing countries—is likely both to improve human survival directly and to strengthen international security indirectly."

So my worries 1. + 2. = III WW... So needed in time of economical crisis, some would say... but are we really in economical crisis?

You think I exagerate maybe, but by 2020, the number of deaths and injuries from war and violence will overtake the number of deaths caused by killer diseases such as malaria and measles.

Now, thinking it over, wouldn't it be better for our Planet that we exterminate each other and leave Mother Nature happily and savagely alone?

1 commentaire:

Guls a dit…

we talked about this woman on the cruise, and i was surprised when i learnt that she was writing for an islamic newspaper. SOLD OUT!!!

Grrr... I'm so f*$@#ing angry, and totally annoyed by the fact that we couldn't even get into deeper convos with my intellectual friends because of this AKP thing that occupied us from the beginning to the end...