Turkish delight?

As I have mentioned in this blog perviously, I was not hugely impressed with some of the arguments used, on both sides, during the recent referendum campaign in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty. But perhaps the most outrageous slogan used was found on one anti-Lisbon poster: ‘Hello Lisbon, Hello Turkey, No Way’. This was outrageous for many reasons. Its basic suggestion (presumably that the Treaty would pave the way for Turkey’s admission into the EU) was nonsense factually, but that’s not my main gripe. Rather, what I abhor is the racist innuendo. The voter was to be seduced into the fear that voting yes would hasten the arrival of Turkey in the Union, with the subtext being that before we could say ‘mass migration’ hordes of Turks would come gunning for our jobs.

Lest I am misunderstood, there are perfectly reasonable questions that can asked before anyone decides on Turkey’s membership; but that was not the point here. This campaign seemed to me to want to adopt a position on largely racist grounds. Another approach with the same subtext is sometimes used by others wanting to stop Turkey’s accession: that unlike every other EU state, Turkey is not a Christian country in its religious and cultural origins. Turkey, we are being told, has a population that could subvert European culture – white Caucasian culture. Its citizens, already used to doing menial jobs in some European countries that the local workforce will no longer touch, would suddenly gain full rights.

Thankfully the posters did not do the trick, and I would like to think that this demonstrated once again that the Irish are not as open to political racism as some might have feared. But all this shows nevertheless that Europe needs to be more explicit in saying that it does not define itself in line with a neo-aryan outlook, and that its main purpose is not to maintain a particular set of ethnic cultures and to keep out others. I for one hope that it will not be long before Turkey is a member state of the EU.

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8 Comments on “Turkish delight?”

  1. Vincent Says:

    Why do you think so.
    For myself, I would be on the other side at the moment, if for no other reason that we have not digested the last meal.
    And I think we should tidy up the mess the EU made of the union of southern Slavs, because 80% of that shit was directly caused here.
    Nor, do I feel the ‘us’ about the EU. I did feel this, but not any more. Nowadays, there is the strong feel of the relationship of Californians to Mexicans.
    Also, it might help a bit if we were in the one time-zone, one less thing to cause division.


    • I have some sympathy with your points, Vincent. But the EU decided some time ago to adopt the expansion model;, and once you’ve gone that way you can’t turn back. They could have decided to stick with a small number of states and go for integration – but probably that pass was sold way back in 1973 when Ireland, the UK and Denmark were admitted, each of which was likely to create complications, in different ways. It’s one of those things: if this were the kind of club we’d like to be in, we wouldn’t be in it.

      • Vincent Says:

        Yes Ferdinand, but I’ve seen the beauty of Schengen, and I’ve little problem with this side or the other side of the Belarus or as far as the Iranian border. I think that the ideas of the EU are all to the good, mostly. Further I think it a bit rich of French people to have such issues with Turkey, when since Francis Premier days until today she has been ‘the’ friend of France in that region. All except for 20 or so.
        No, my problem is one of biting off more that can be chewed properly. Which can leave sections of the new admissions society in a state of horrendous flux. The south of Poland, well either side of the Tatra, which could benefit from targeted infusion of real cash, but this cash is spread so thin.
        I feel it is better that a state at a time be admitted, and that there is a deluge of cash for a short time and not the drip feed we have now.

  2. Perry Share Says:

    Without wanting to reignite the Lisbon debate, I was always of the view that there was a strong neo-fascist element in the No campaign, as personified by Coir/Youth Defence and Eirigi. The most gratifying thing about the recent result was to see these nasty elements put back in their box. The Turkey theme was just part of their racist discourse, inseperable from the likes of the BNP.

  3. analytical Says:

    I support the turkey join the EU, it is better for the country.


  4. What annoys me about the 2nd Lisbon debate is that all the Yes side resorted to the fear tactics strategy to get their way, when they criticised the No vote in Lisbon one for using threatening tactics.

    The treaty should have stood on it,sown merits, but in reality most of us did not understand it, and the reality of Turkey becoming a full member of the EU, is light years away.

    The notion that That Turkey will take all our jobs etc, is unreal, in the real commercial world, Ireland has lost all lower value jobs already, and they won,t be coming back, and as such Ireland is going to have to accept a high level of unemployed people for probably about 40 years. The EU might eventually also have to face up to that, but one thing is for sure, that is not the people of Turkeys fault.

    It,s bad management by our EU governments.

  5. Shane Gilchrist Says:

    Turkey’s future is in the EU and she will have a very important role in developing the EU. I look forward to the day when Turkey joins us.


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