1.07.2006

Turkey Talk

Why is there still any talk at all of Turkey getting into the European Union?

Turkey continues to prosecute journalists, poets, academics, and writers who “insult the National Identity.” The most famous example is that of Orhan Pamuk, the internationally renowned Turkish author, who dared to write about the slaughter of a million Armenians (as well as thousands of Kurds) in the early 1900’s. Outsiders call it genocide. In Turkey, you cannot use that word; even Pamuk dares not do so.

Now, Turkey is going after a Dutch EU official for criticizing the Turkish military. Apparently Turkey’s history, past and present, is absolutely spotless, for if you even mention historical abuses of Armenians or Kurds, you are “insulting National Identity” and face legal prosecution.

There is mumbling that this sort of thing “hinders” Turkey’s quest for EU membership. What? Hinders? This should end it. Clear and simple. Freedom of speech should be a minimum for EU inclusion. Pamuk’s case being a “test” is an absolute farce. The fact that he is being prosecuted in the first place means that Turkey has failed its test.
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