July 16, 2012
Very good article.
It’s useful to highlight this:
the Turks are not “true” Muslims according to the Arabs whereas they are not “true” Europeans according to the Europeans.
So who are the Turks? Where do they live?
Well I think that I’ve discovered a new continent on our planet. Its name: Turkope. Jules Verne would be proud of me!
I quote the whole article (well done Mr Bağış) :
“An article by EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış entitled “Visa restrictions are shutting Turkey out of the EU” was published on The Guardian on Saturday. In his article, Bağış pointed out recent verdicts of the EU court of justice and the national courts of some member states such as the Hannover and Munich courts of Germany that Turkish nationals have the right to visa-free travel, and asked why, then, Turkey is still being ostracized.
“A European-contrived mass exodus scenario of Turks rushing to EU countries as economic refugees is absurd and distorts the realities of our nation’s development. Thanks to Turkey’s substantial economic growth, we are more likely to witness quite the opposite. If the size of Turkey’s population is the justification, then how can the exemption from EU visas of millions of citizens of the western Balkan countries, or 200 million Brazilians or 120 million Mexicans be explained?” Bağış asked.
“It is discouraging to hear echoes from Europe claiming that Turkey is “too big, too poor and too Muslim” to fit in. Rhetoric of this nature is outdated. Yes, Turkey is big relative to most EU member states, but this is one of the reasons Turkey is on its way towards becoming one of the world’s top 10 economies. As for the “too Muslim” part, Turkey is a secular state. The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, praised the value of secularism and democracy to Tunisia, Egypt and Libya after attending Friday prayers in Tripoli last September. It should be recalled that these values are complementary, not mutually exclusive; Turkey is and hopes to remain a source of inspiration in the Muslim world.”
Stating that the imposition of the Schengen visa requirement on Turkish citizens remains a serious obstacle for Turkey, Bağış wrote, “As the minister for EU affairs, it is my responsibility and privilege to break down the wall that is impeding Turkey’s EU accession, one brick at a time. In addition to bricks of prejudice, politics and bureaucracy, the perception that Turkish citizens will engage in mass migration to Europe if the visa requirement is eliminated is baseless, and offensive. Turkish tourists, students, artists, merchants and businesspeople who have neither desire nor interest in migrating to the EU are being subject to a discriminatory and high-cost, low-value visa regime. It should come as no surprise that Turks have even begun moving out of Germany in the hope of finding better employment opportunities back home.””