Monday, April 06, 2009

President Obama on Turkey

Not eating it for Thanksgiving, but visiting it for undeniable religio-political purposes. The President of the United States flew in to Ankara yesterday and will be in Istanbul tomorrow. As Cranmer said some months ago, the choice of which Islamic capital from which to make his first speech to the Islamic world would be a crucial decision for the President, the symbolism of which could have significant repercussions for the coming years of his presidency. While neither Ankara nor Istanbul is to provide the setting for the speech (it is likely to Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Jordan), that he has chosen to visit this secular (but increasingly Islamic) state before any Arabian capital is no less significant.

Relations with the Turks have been a little strained since Ankara opposed the invasion of Iraq. Things were not helped by the Turkish desire to invite Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas to a friendly evening of coffee and nargile. But the foreign policy of President Bush is viewed as a myopic monogamy by President Obama, and Washington now wishes to polygamise US relations and ‘engage’ with such groups. Hamas can no longer be ignored if the Messiah-President is to restore peace to Israel, but he quite obviously cannot be seen to be supping with the devil himself. If all goes well, he can leave that to Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gül. Turkey is a NATO ally – the only Muslim country in the western alliance – and is viewed as a bridge between the Islamic East and the Christian West. And the US needs Turkish cooperation (ie troops) as they seek to address certain local difficulties in Iran and Afghanistan.

And so the President shall pussy-foot around the sensitivities. He shall turn a blind eye to the country’s internal constitutional issues and the Prime Minister’s autocratic tendencies; he shall promise to continue providing intelligence on the Kurds and the PKK; make a few positive noises about energy pipelines from Asia to Europe (without promising to foot the bill); and conveniently forget the congressional resolution that the Turkish massacre of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915-1923 was ‘genocide’.

And what can he offer Turkey in exchange?

Interestingly, at a time when EU member states are increasingly sceptical about Turkey joining the club, President Obama is positively effusive. He said during his visit to Prague: "The United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbours and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and violence, forging a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interest. Moving forward towards Turkish membership in the EU would be an important signal of your commitment to this agenda and ensure that we continue to anchor Turkey firmly in Europe." He understands that Turks are increasingly identifying with the rest of the Islamic world and taking hard their eternal postponement of entry to the EU.

But France and Germany are both opposed.

President Sarkozy said he had always been opposed to Turkey's EU entry: "I have been working hand-in-hand with President Obama but when it comes to the European Union it's up to member states of the European Union to decide," he told French TV. Chancellor Merkel said that while close links with Turkey were important, its future status in Europe was ‘still open for discussion’.

But President Obama is most desirous to see Turkey the 28th member of the Union. He, of course, does not have to worry about subsidising all their farms, the human rights issues, the lack of freedom of religion, the territorial disputes with Greek Cypriots, or the potential flood of cheap labour which will be unleashed across the continent through the free movement of people.

Conveniently, the President shall find Pope Benedict and the United Kingdom willing allies in this pursuit: it is (surprisingly) the Vatican's desire and that of both the Conservative and Labour parties to secure Turkish entry to the EU at the earliest opportunity.

Though quite why His Holiness and David Cameron are not listening to Edward Leigh on this matter is beyond Cranmer.


Blogger Forlornehope said...

Widening the EU to include Turkey would, once and for all, end the "ever closer" drive of the union. It would be a powerful move in the direction of a union of nation states that agree to accept common rules only where necessary. Those rules include freedom of movement for goods, capital and labour and an acceptable practice of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. It makes every sense for federalists to oppose Turkey's entry and every sense for moderate sceptics to support it.

6 April 2009 at 09:47  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Obama should go home and mind his own business.

Oh wait, I forgot that the New World Order is his business.


6 April 2009 at 09:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Millions of half-educated monoglot unemployed Turkish and Moroccan men walking the streets of Europe, visiting the jobcentres, their kids filling up the comps - yes, this is exactly what we want!
I can't imagine a better recruiting move for the BNP.

6 April 2009 at 11:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Widening the EU to include Turkey would, once and for all, end the "ever closer" drive of the union."

We heard that rubbish regarding the east european countries.

6 April 2009 at 11:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Turkish membership business predates the current islamic wars. Against European opposition it has been relentlessly promoted by the United States and Israel. In parallel, there is the murky matter of who has been supporting the military plotters in Turkey's 'Deep State' plot that is now unraveling in the courts? Europe need to be on its guard - the last thing it needs right now is to be drawn into these sinister Middle Eastern machinations.

6 April 2009 at 11:52  
Anonymous Homophobic Horse said...

So the EU and Obama wants to undo the liberation of the Balkans and Eastern Europe of the Turkish yoke, they want to undo the Battle of Tours, they want to undo the victory at Vienna.

The BNP are not the extremists, they are in the context of this battle Freedom Fighters.

6 April 2009 at 12:03  
Blogger Goodnight Vienna said...

This is what happens when the world is carved up into factions - the EUs and the EU-nots. Every country left out feels smaller so looks for somewhere else to hang its hat. Much better to leave it to independent sovereign states to trade amongst themselves rather than clubbing together in pseudo-alliances which weaken those on the outside and promote the myth of 'globalisation'.

6 April 2009 at 12:27  
Anonymous len said...

Turkey has, so it seems,a 99% muslim population this will surely put bible believing christians in a minority?
Perhaps this is the intention of the E U?.

6 April 2009 at 13:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you have failed to mention the most serious result of accepting Turkey into the EU - it will at a stroke allow the total overwhelming of Europe with muslims. If we think it's bad now, well wait till Turkey is a member. I hope that the EU collapses before that eventuality. I don't want muslims living alongside me. I want them as far away as possible because they spell trouble for everyone.

6 April 2009 at 14:32  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

If you promise not to tell anyone your grace I will let you in on a secret, Barack Obama, is the BNP's recruitment strategist.

Keep it to yourself though.

6 April 2009 at 14:45  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Two thoughts, 1/ Is the "bomb under the turban" a reference to the Dutch cartoons portraying Mohammed as a terrorist with said bomb in situ that caused ructions not long ago, and thus a swipe at the film that was banned from being shown in the House of Commons about terrorism & the Koran, which resulted in its maker being denied access to the country.
I thought that Bling was mainly connected with the "Gangsta" culture of Black Lads, So why is the boy wearing it White? is it because of racial sensitivity? I've got some great friends who are Black Christians, as of course is John Sentamu.
Clumsy try Klic, I'm sure your anti Christian mates in Westminster expected better.

6 April 2009 at 15:38  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Sorry for late comment, This of course refers to Sundays report. Apologies to all.

6 April 2009 at 15:51  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Todays Comment: Perhaps the future "President of Europe" Mr T.Blair has been whispering in Mr Obama's ear about NWO, & how it would benefit all concerned. Of course Gord missed the boat coming in a distant second. Always the bridesmaid never the bride eh Gordon?

6 April 2009 at 15:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I though it was illegal to be a Christian in Turkey? Yet we want to let this Muslims into the European Union?

6 April 2009 at 16:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am filled with Hate. If God is a parent, then hate is His most neglecting child.

When I was young, I used to wonder, if I listened real hard, could I here the sound of hate. Not the screaming and shouting, not the crackle of gunshot, but does it actually have a sound, a voice maybe? And if I asked it, 'why are you such a monster', would it ask for forgiveness? Would it it say 'I am sorry', and feel somekind of remorse, or would it even understand what it has done?

Maybe it would turn to me, while sqeezing the life out of someone, as if it where some warm loving embrace, and it would say, 'what do you mean, why do you call me a monster, can't you see how tight my embrace is, do I not hold you close to me, do I not keep you warm'?

The love of hate, the hate of love of hate. A love/hate relationship. I love it, I hate it; I love you, I hate you, I will love you forever!

6 April 2009 at 17:04  
Blogger Goodnight Vienna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 April 2009 at 19:19  
Blogger Hugh Oxford said...

With all due respect, I can't find much succour for your assertion that the Pope supports Turkey's entry into the EU.

If he said that Turkey's moves towards joining it are a good thing, then that is true. If it means they embrace freedom of speech, religious tolerance, equal rights and so on, is that not a good thing for all people?

6 April 2009 at 20:00  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I have always been in favour of admitting Mexico to the United States to reduce tensions over the loss of California and Texas. It will help integrate the Hispanic population of the USA if Mexico becomes a full member of the Republic

6 April 2009 at 20:47  
Anonymous Joshua said...

I think that we will all either come to terms with our differences, or, we will have one all mighty scrap that will kill millions.

But there is no real reason for anyone not to imagine that there are other life forms similar to our selves existing on other planets. Consider the vast and infinite nature of the universe. Now imagine that when you die, you find yourself surrounded by the company of other souls from planets all across the infinite universe. On each of these planets, there existed a plethora of religions, with different scriptures and holy books. And on each of these planets the people slaughter each other just like they do here, over the different ideas about God. On each planet, the son of God has appeared; also a Buddha, a Muhammad, and every other weird and wonderful deity. How ridiculous will our petty differences here on Earth seem in comparison?

When we speak of Jesus as the only begotten son of the father, we should add, 'on Earth'. Basically, such a possibility makes our behavior appear like school children fighting over marbles in the play ground.

6 April 2009 at 21:08  
Anonymous not a machine said...

i rather think mr obama should have been a little more cautious although i see he is trying to find a new dialogue with islam , in the hope that it will cross christianity of its list of infidels as reciprocation.

as your grace points out he skirts round the differences and finds the commonality which being a democrat i presume he sees as humanity .

what will islam do with its war mongers, drug lords and jihadist clerics , what will it do with the written word of allah , which clearly sets out and the method and theocracy under which followers are to exist. there is a great deal for islam to do , none of which is easy for it .

i might point out that none of this requires aid or trade , more a gesture to reform .

the usa more friendly stance to not denigrating islam shows some lack of understanding , islam chooses the terrorist against its own people, only today bahgdad suffered multiple bombings.

it is interesting to ponder what islam would be prepared to offer the world in terms of humanity and peace , its record post 1965 has been blamed on the americaisation of its people , the excuse we are told for the radical , adherent to and only to the islamic text.

if humanitarism is to be come part of islam , then it means that its clerics must teach somthing else.

we have to see where mr obama thinks he is going , he is certain that islam whishes to become a peacefull religion.

he is also setting an idea that islam has to find its dialogue with a globalised world , and that we may have to shoulder any reforms it wants to take , and not be diverted with further atrocities or small groups of terrorists.

this is a very long term project for islam to undertake.

mr obama may not have realised what the price is of his out reach . but perhaps there is a window , a more peacfull world may be possible with some desire and effort.

i do not think giving turkey full EU rights is mutually beneficial and we should look at just trade or finance.

but i say this either islam goes into this with its eyes open and truth and a clear commitment . for if it fails it will return to a medieaval relationship with the world and will be untrustworthy at the moment of the global awareness which would be a very long setback .

6 April 2009 at 23:23  
OpenID BL@KBIRD said...

Here is a little fun your Grace to bring a smile or perhaps a raised eyebrow(or cause a chill). Forgive me if it has already been seen.

I hope your Grace is fond of anagrams........


Your Grace must admit that the Lord of the Universe has a fine black sense of humor.

7 April 2009 at 06:06  
Blogger it's either banned or compulsory said...

Oh well, I suppose Turkish membership would be one way to reclaim Anatolia and Hagia Sofia.

7 April 2009 at 06:18  

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