Elaine Meinel Supkis
The fates of several countries are intertwined this spring. France, Germany and Turkey: three countries whose elections and economic situations intertwine in dangerous ways. Turkey wants to join Europe but the Turkish Muslims are filled with anxiety and anger over the destructive course the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire is causing. France just narrowly elected a right winger who attacks Turkey and who will fight to stop Turkey from integrating with the European Union. But Germany wants Turkey as an ally, as usual.
Many Turkish adults would back the country’s most powerful political party in the next parliamentary election, according to a poll by Sonar. 29.04 per cent of respondents would vote for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in this year’s Great National Assembly ballot.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is a distant second with 14.08 per cent, followed by the National Action Party (MHP) with 12.18 per cent, the True Path Party (DYP) with 12.07 per cent, the Youth Party (GP) with 10.07 per cent, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) with 8.27 per cent, and the Motherland Party (ANAP) with 8.03 per cent. Support is lower for the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Grand Unity Party (BBP).
In the November 2002 ballot, the right-leaning AKP elected 363 lawmakers to the 550-seat legislative branch. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a member of the AKP, has served as prime minister since March 2003. The next legislative election in Turkey is scheduled for Jul. 22.
The colonialist attacks on the former Ottoman Empire is firing up a religious revival that is growing, not weakening. In Pakistan this month, the anger of honest patriots there are being directed more and more towards the military dictator whose army is in the pay of the Christian West. The fact that very loudly pro-Christian/pro-Jewish invaders have bought the military and use it to attack the people of Pakistan is radicalizing the people of that nation. And so it is all over the Middle East and beyond.
The Turkish government has been quite liberal compared to say, the medieval government of Saudi Arabia, a very backward nation when it comes to human rights, civil rights and anything one can name. The Ottoman empire was built on the backs of many religions. Although the Sultan showed favoritism, he didn't seek to crush other religions so all sorts of ancient and unusual religious communities such as the Copts in Egypt or the Armenian Christians as well as a variety of Shi'ites and former Crusader Christians in Lebanon, etc. lived in relative peace. Like all empires, this one rotted, went bankrupt and got in trouble.
But whatever its past problems, it was barely any different from, say, Spain. Same rot, same intolerance only not so bad, actually, compared to Spain's history, an ugly story, Jews as well as Christians lived without much fear compared to Spain where they were displaced, tortured and burned at stakes! Grrrr.
Anyone pretending the West is civilized has to take a good look at history. The history of 'ethnic' cleansing and killing people of the 'wrong' religion is long and... very recent.
Security officials from Europe's largest countries backed a plan Saturday to profile mosques on the continent and identify radical Islamic clerics who raise the threat of homegrown terrorism.
The project, to be finished by the fall, will focus on the roles of imams, their training, their ability to speak in the local language and their sources of funding, EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini told a news conference after a meeting on terrorism.
Italian Interior Minister Guiliano Amato said Europe had extensive experience with the "misuse of mosques, which instead of being places of worship are used for other ends.
When Christians commit mass murder and try to create revolutions and insurrections like we saw here, the government doesn't start spying on all churches or make preachers toe some line! The GOP is infested with Talabanistic preachers talking hate and murder not to mention that harridan, Anne Coulter. But here they are, playing the religious bigot game in Europe as well as the US. Unfortunately, the West has a very bloody, ugly record of ethnic and religious cleansing and this stinks.
One has to say this over and over again: our Constitution, before we tore it up so we could have a war on terror, was very strict about religious politics: it is forbidden. The Church and state are not to be one and ethnic cleansing, despite the fact we have done is often enough especially to the natives here and Africans we kidnapped and enslaved. But we are not supposed to do it and we must show shame for doing it.
Yet here we are, in the 21st Century and we are the backers and sponsors of that ethnic-cleansing capital of the West: Israel. This is infecting everyone and setting everyone on a path of confrontation and murder.
Both (French) candidates -- but especially Sarkozy -- have shown a woeful insensitivity, if not outright ignorance, of the impact of their policies on Turkish opinion, already deeply offended by European hesitations. A rejection by Europe will have adverse consequences for Turkish domestic and foreign policy; for Turkey’s neighbours -- Iraq, Iran and Syria -- and for such unresolved conflicts as those between Israel and the palestinians and between the Greek and Turkish parts of Cyprus.
Surprisingly, issues of foreign policy were almost totally absent from the contest for the French presidency, with both candidates evidently more at ease debating such questions as unemployment, health care, pensions, and law and order.
It is unfortunate that the French presidential election has coincided with a crisis in Turkey between the secular establishment, backed by the powerful armed forces and the government of prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his moderately Islamic AKp (Justice and Development party).
Unfortunate? Hell, this is all directly connected. It is a small world, after all. And getting smaller. The fear of Muslim domination haunts many Europeans who used to and I would dare say, still do fear, Jewish domination. And like the previous fears, this can lead to yet another European ugly spasm of murder and cruelty. Unfortunately, the Jewish community which has considerable power due to their collective wealth and education, are quite happy to see Europe devolve in this way. They figure, Muslims will be under fire everywhere and everyone will hate them and they will fight harder and then we will see this entire planet earth cut up by huge replicas of the Berlin Wall crossed with the Great Wall of China! And then we will all sit behind these stupid walls and hate each other. Right. What a future.
Already, the Crusaders from the West who invaded Iraq illegally on the idiotic charge that Saddam might get arms and be able to repulse our forces...gads...we are madly building walls all over there. The Turks, when they ruled, had no walls at all. And we are civilized, right?
Last month, a German judge provoked an outcry by citing the Qur’an as grounds for denying a divorce to a German Muslim woman whose husband beat her.
Last week, Der Spiegel ran a scare story on the case with a cover showing an Islamic crescent rising over the Brandenburg Gate. But the most fascinating aspect of the case was neither the clash between Western and Muslim values nor the multiculturalism of the judge.
The most gripping element was that the judge’s ruling drew outrage not only from women’s groups and politicians, but from Muslim leaders as well.
Germany — like most Western European nations — is wrestling with how to integrate its growing Muslim population. The issue has become more intense since September 11; Mohamed Atta organised the plot from Hamburg.
Germany’s population of 82.4mn includes a Muslim minority of 3.2mn to 3.5mn, the largest in Western Europe after France. And the numbers are steadily rising. But the intense public debate here on issues of identity, religion and belonging makes Germany’s prospects for coping seem more promising than France’s.
About three-quarters of Germany’s Muslims, including most of the 800,000 who have become citizens, are immigrants from Turkey and their descendants. (Only about 5% are of Arab origin.) Turks came as guest workers in the 1960s and 1970s, and stayed.
I once lived in Germany. I made speeches about the Vietnam war and while in France, met the Vietnamese who were of course interested in me since they knew through the KGB that I was connected to the CIA even though I was very young. Hahaha. Anyway, I was very interested in meeting all sorts of people while in Europe and learning from them and this is how I met many remnants of the previous empires. The North Africans in France, for example. DeGaulle was very unpopular for giving up on Algeria and he was beset by assassins and others. And we didn't like him for the opposite reasons.
I was and still am anti-colonialist. And I found it fascinating to learn how many people lived in mixed communities. In Germany, I discovered the Turkish community by accident. Namely, bumping into them as they cleaned the streets at dawn, for example. Using hand signs and multiple languages, it was possible to get introduced. The forwardness of a young woman doing this disturbed them but I quickly figured if I covered my head and asked to see the babies, they would happily take me home.
I spent a lot of time, learning about these people who live within Germany yet were nearly invisible. Some of the children of these Gastarbeiter have come to the United States and it amuses me to visit people from this sub-group here in the Northeast and see them reading Turkish news in German mailed to them from momma and papa in Germany! Whatever trouble their children have in school in Germany, the ones I know here, their children excell in school. Perhaps this is due to America being a big immigrant nation and our schools are much more diverse and liberal. German schools are very hard on outsiders. I know, I went to school there as a German, not at a school for foreigners.
Back to the issues today in so many elections: I love to look at statistics. And we can learn a lot from them. Here are some important ones concerning Germany, France and Turkey:
These are 2005 statistics but it gives us a good idea of what is going on. Germany is dying. The death rate is very significant. Germany has, despite the Turkish minority having a higher birth rate than Christian Germans, one of the world's lowest birth rates. Near by in the statistics is Japan and it is rather funny that the world's number one and number 2 nations with the biggest export statistics are both not having replacement children but are losing population, Germany, badly.
Japan doesn't allow virtually any immigration but Germany does, to some extent. And they need immigrants. I looked at their website for immigration and they want IT workers. Like my son, I suppose. The French fear Muslims more than Germany because they colonized a good sized chunk of Africa and it was mostly the Muslim sectors. The French are nervous about the numbers of African Muslims drifting in and so the idea that Turkey could let their citizens travel anywhere in Europe frightens them.
They are not so scared of all this to start having more babies, of course. Looking at the numbers, we can see that Turkey is where most of Europe was in the 1950's. Once they get integrated into the machine, their birth rate will drop, too. Here in the USA, ours is dropping also. And when Catholics from Mexico, used to big families, comes here, they end up within two generations, only 2 children or less.
So the fear that Muslims will sweep the earth are misplaced. Rather, the tide of humanity that beats upon the shores of many lands is coupled with a lessening of the impulse to have children. Generally speaking, the drop in infant deaths means fewer babies are needed. Turkey's death rate is much higher than France or Germany's rates. Japan's rate is even lower.
As we watch nuclear Pakistan fall apart and pre-nuclear Iran laugh at our impotence, as Europe struggles to come to terms with Turkey, driving Turkey into the Vortex of religious warfare would be beyond stupid. For they would turn against Europe and the United States and that would leave us with another 60 million foes. Hitler, Napoleon, the Soviet State, there is a long list of governments who thought the road to victory was gaged by how many enemies one creates.
Note that this is also a great way to destroy one's empire. The USA should be pushing for Turkey to be included in all things we are doing, this includes expanding their influence in NATO, etc. But the need to turn every religion against each other so we can steal the Holy Land is at the bottom of this slag heap of garbage and alas, this means increasing the struggles to deliberately alienate the minds and hearts of all Muslims.
And always, the real question is, will all Muslims turn to China for alliances? The Chinese are busy bees, buzzing in and out of all the countries and embassies of this part of the earth. And neither they nor their hosts, tell us what is going on.