Turks snubbing arranged marriage with EU?

The excellent Dutch weblog Sargasso has an entry on Turkish cult novelist Burak Turna, whose latest book The Third World War or Üçüncü Dünya Savasi is turning into a regular best-seller in Turkey. One quote from Turna, taken from the International Herald Tribune:

”Turks are waking up to two facts,” Turna said at a café near Istanbul’s bustling Taksim Square, where he was greeted like a rock star by young fans. “One is that everything told to the Turkish people by EU leaders is lies. Two, that a Muslim country will never get into an EU that doesn’t want us”.

Fair enough. However, in his novel The Third World War Turna acts out Turkish feelings of anti-EU resentment in the following way:

The year is 2010 and the European Union has rejected Turkey. Fascist governments have come to power in Germany, Austria and France and are inciting violence against resident Turks and Muslims. A vengeful Turkey joins forces with Russia and declares war against the EU. Turkish commandos besiege Berlin, obliterate Europe and take control of the Continent.

Continue reading

Where the River Bends

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the female Iraqui blogger River Bend, but my feeling is that those of you who aren’t would do well to make her acquaintance. Juan Cole describes her in his blogroll as an Iraqi nationalist, but reading the posts she doesn’t seem to be a nationalist in any stronger sense than say Blair and Bush are patriotic, or than Schroeder and Chirac are in the defence of their respective corners (of course this may well be problematic, but it is just to put things in perspective). Iraqi nationalism could also mean Baath, and this isn’t the case here. Indeed what she has to say about the Kurdish question is remarkably similar to what the Spanish PSOE seems to be proposing in connection with the Basque and Catalan ‘problems’ here in Spain. And this is not an idle comparison, since I think if you don’t get your mindset round what the ‘problem’ is in Spain, you are never going to begin to understand what it is in Iraq.

Reading one of her posts earlier this week, I couldn’t help been drawn towards an unfortunate parrallel: that between what is now taking place in Iraq and the topic of one of Scott Marten’s recent posts: the headscarf. Wouldn’t it indeed be ironic if we were about to witness a similar – if diametrically opposed error – being committed in two places at once? Whilst young French girls may be denied the right to religious expression at one end, young Iraqi ones may be denied the right to secularism. at the other And all in the name of democracy. Strange world.
Continue reading