Monday, 28 September 2009

German Election Results May Be Bad News for Turkey and Good News for Europe

In the German election, Angela Merkel's CDU and her allies in the FDP appear to have prevailed. Most likely they will be able to form a government of their own. This could be of key significance in relation to Turkey joining the EU. Merkel has always been opposed to Turkish accession, but hitherto she has been forced to operate within the constraints of Germany's grand coalition government. This coalition involved all the major German parties, including the left-leaning SPD, which favours Turkish accession. Germany's foreign minister, Steinmeier, is a member of the SPD, and follows the party line in support of the Turks. Coalition politics meant that some middle line had to be found. But that should now go out the window. Merkel should now be able to oppose Turkish accession unrestrainedly.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Turkey Assaults European Free Speech

Astonishingly, even before Turkey has managed to get in to the European Union, it is already assaulting free speech in Europe - the core foundation of any democracy.

The colourful episode that brings this truth to light is the documentary made last year by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Broadcast on ITV, the documentary, Duchess and Daughters: their Secret Mission, showed Fergie and her daughter, the Princess Eugenie, sneaking(because they weren't granted permission) round orphanages in Turkey, filming and commenting on what they saw. Conditions in the orphanages were shocking. Children and teenagers were literally shackled to their beds in some cases, showing what a barbaric country Turkey really is.

When the documentary was broadcast, the Turkish government, rather than act as a civilised government would - which is to say express horror about what had been revealed and promise to investigate and tackle the problem - instead attacked those who had made and broadcast the documentary. Ludicrously, the Turks accused the documentary makers of wanting to scupper Turkey's bid to join the European Union. They even alleged that crimes had been committed, including by the Duchess of York herself, and have apparently discussed attempting to extradite her to Turkey to face trial!

This is a showcase example of exactly the kind of insidiously corrupting effect Turkey will have on European freedoms if it is allowed to join the EU. Their Islamic totalitarian culture will gradually warp and distort our own civilised norms and, at least at first, it will happen so slowly that we barely notice it.

Incidentally the documentary can be viewed on YouTube here:

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 1

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 2

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 3

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, Part 4

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Interview with Sibel Edmonds

The American Conservative magazine has published an astonishing interview with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in which she lays bare the vast extent of Turkey's espionage and influencing operations within the United States. Lacking similar information about Europe, we can only assume that similar activites are going on here and that European decision-makers are being bribed and blackmailed to facilitate Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

The interview includes the following bombshell revelation:

Edmonds: "The monitoring of the Turks picked up contacts with Feith, Wolfowitz, and Perle in the summer of 2001, four months before 9/11. They were discussing with the Turkish ambassador in Washington an arrangement whereby the U.S. would invade Iraq and divide the country. The UK would take the south, the rest would go to the U.S. They were negotiating what Turkey required in exchange for allowing an attack from Turkish soil. The Turks were very supportive, but wanted a three-part division of Iraq to include their own occupation of the Kurdish region. The three Defense Department officials said that would be more than they could agree to, but they continued daily communications to the ambassador and his defense attaché in an attempt to convince them to help."

This, of course, is interesting, as one of the arguments cited against Turkey's acceptance into the EU is that it would be an American Trojan horse. The fact that Turkey refused to allow its territory to be used for the Iraq invasion is often mentioned to counter this claim. Now, it seems, the Turks refused their permission, not out of some morally-principled opposition to the war, but out of pique that their demands for a carve up of Kurdish Iraq were not acceded to.

At Least 6000 Websites Censored in Turkey

At least 6000 websites are being censored in Turkey according to a recent analysis. These include YouTube, MySpace, Last.fm, Geocities, Google Groups and WordPress. Does this show respect for free speech? Is this civilised behaviour?

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Sibel Edmonds Case and Its Implications for Europe

The Sibel Edmonds case is an American scandal that has been bubbling away quietly for years. Few people have heard of it and no mainstream American news organisation has been willing to go near it. It repays close attention, however, as it is hightly suggestive of the kind of covert activities the Turkish government may be undertaking in Europe in support of its bid to join the European Union.

In summary form, the story is this: Sibel Edmonds was a Turkish woman who had emigrated to the United States and taken US citizenship. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, she was recruited by the FBI as a translator (translating Turkish, Farsi and Armenian). After a few months she was approached by another Turkish translator working for the FBI who was also a Turk (Melek Can Dickerson). Dickerson was married to a high-ranking US military officer. Edmonds became aware that Dickerson had worked for some organisations which were the subject of FBI investigations (like the American Turkish Council) and had lied on her CV. Dickerson, along with her husband, came to Edmonds' home and had a conversation with her. Edmonds interpreted this as an attempt to recruit her into the Turkish spying network. She immediately reported this attempt to her superiors. The matter went up the chain and culminated in Edmonds having her employment terminated.

Since then she has been trying to speak out about what she discovered in the course of doing her job. She is subject to tight legal restrictions in what she can say in public. The US government invoked the State Secrets Privilege to suppress her free speech in various cases. Those who have investigated her claims, including official investigations, have found them highly credible.

Last month, she testified at a court hearing and spoke more openly about what she knows than she has done hitherto. There are MP3 highlights of her testimony here. In essence what she says is that the Turks, through various front organisations such as the American Turkish Council, were running a vast, covert influencing operation in the United States. This operation primarily targeted politicians, including some very powerful and high-profile ones, such as Denny Hastert, former speaker of the House and now a Turkish lobbyist; Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and various other influential neocons. Edmonds says that the Turks used bribery and blackmail to pursue their goals. These goals were the acquisition of US military secrets, including nuclear secrets, and the circulation of this information to countries including Libya and Saudi Arabia; suppressing any discussion or recognition of the Armenian genocide; and general support for Turkish foreign policy.

One anecdote that she tells is of a Democratic congresswoman who was married with children but was also bisexual. The Turks arranged for a female Turkish agent to seduce her and film the whole thing. This film would then have been used for blackmail purposes.

OK, all very interesting, but how does it relate to Europe? First of all, the revelation that the Turks have been seeking nuclear secrets and sharing them with countries like Libya and Saudi Arabia shows us where Turkey's heart really lies. It is a typical Middle Eastern Muslim country, not some secular, quasi-European state as its supporters maintain.

More importantly, however, it suggests the kind of influencing operations the Turks may be running in Europe, too, in support of their accession bid. Joining the European Union has been Turkey's major strategic objective for decades. If they are willing to engage in bribery and blackmail just to suppress discussion of the Armenian genocide in America, what wouldn't they be willing to do to support their EU accession bid?

Certainly, it is difficult to understand the enthusiasm of so many European politicians, like the disgraceful Emma Bonino, for Turkish accession, given how overwhelmingly opposed their own people are to the idea. Is it possible that bribery and blackmail are taking place on a mass scale to support Turkey's application? I find the idea plausible.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Turkish Government Muzzles Media Critics

The Turkish government has just imposed a €1.7 billion fine on the country's largest independent media conglomerate, the Dogan group. The amount is almost equivalent to the entire value of the company. A few weeks ago a fine of €350 million was imposed on the same group. Together the two fines imperil the very existence of the company.

Newspapers belonging to the group had been fierce critics of the Turkish government. Tensions between the ruling AKP party and the media organisation at one point reached such a pitch that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on his supporters to boycott Dogan group publications.

The Turkish government is clearly using the law as an instrument of oppression against its critics, much as Putin does in Russia. Is this civilised behaviour? Is this what we expect of a European country? No! Turkey yet again demonstrates that it is unfit to be a member of the European Union.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The British Council Financing Pro-Turkey Propaganda

The British Council is a public body that subsists largely on funds from the British government. Its remit is to spread knowledge of the English language and British culture and to assist the formation of cultural ties between peoples. Given this rather innocuous mission statement, therefore, it is disturbing to note that the organisation is indirectly propagandising on behalf of Turkey's admission to the EU. It provides funds for the so-called Independent Commission on Turkey which recently released a report condemning Europe for refusing to be enthusiastic about the prospect of 80 million semi-literate, semi-civilised Muslims turning up to destroy European civilisation from within.

No one who reads the report issued by this "Independent Commission" could be in any doubt about where the commissioners stand. There is not even a pretence of impartiality. They are actively lobbying for Turkish accession and deploring any effort to impede it.

So we are presented with a situation in which British taxpayer funds are being used to propagandise the British public on behalf of a controversial political issue. This is absolutely outrageous, and a gross violation of the British Council's remit. Of course this is no great surprise since for the last few years it has been led by none other than former European Commissioner and failed party political leader Neil Kinnock.

This violation of acceptable norms should not be casually tolerated, however. If you are a British citizen, please contact the British Council here and complain about their inappropriate funding of pro-Turkey propaganda activities.

Today I sent the follow email of complaint to the British Council :

As a British taxpayer I want to communicate my resentment to you of the fact that you are providing funding for the so-called “Independent Commission on Turkey”. The work of this commission has shown that it is a propagandistic body. Rather than impartially examining the “challenges and opportunities” of Turkey’s prospective EU membership, as stated in its charter, it has, in fact, become a lobbying organisation actively campaigning for it.

The potential accession of Turkey is a controversial political issue. Opinion polls have shown that a clear majority of Europeans are opposed to Turkish membership. In providing funding for propaganda on a controversial political issue, therefore, the British Council has, in this instance, exceeded its lawful remit. It cannot be right that British taxpayer funds are used to propagandise the British population on a matter of legitimate controversy.

I ask that you immediately cease to provide funding for the “Independent Commission on Turkey”.

The Independent Commission on Turkey

The so-called Independent Commission on Turkey recently released its second report. You can read a summary of the report in this article published by the Commission's chairman, Martti Ahtisaari, in the New York Times. (Why is this guy publishing an article about Turkish accession to the EU in an American newspaper?) It identifies what it calls a vicious circle in which murmurings in Europe about Turkish accession cause Turks to become disenchanted with the EU, and therefore less inclined to pursue the reforms required to turn their country into something that has the appearance of being civilised. This, in turn, feeds European unhappiness. I've no idea whether such a vicious circle exists, but I certainly hope so.

The report repeats the lie that "a promise" has been made to Turkey. No promise was made to Turkey. The Negotiating Framework for Turkish accession specifically states that "these negotiations are an open-ended process, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed beforehand".

The commissioners claim that the EU's "credibility" as an actor on the world stage will be in question if Turkey is not accepted as a member. On the contrary, the accession of 100 million Muslims to the European Union will permanently cripple the European Union's ability to achieve a unified foreign policy stance on most major issues. And countries do not become credible actors on the world stage by obsessing about what other people think of them. It is striking how many of the arguments from Turkey's European apologists relate to "sending a message to the world" or the like. Countries gain credibility on the world stage when they vigorously pursue their own interests and affirm their own values, not when they cravenly seek the favour of foreigners.

I did a little reading on this Independent Commission on Turkey. It is a self-appointed body, without any official status whatsoever. Funding for it is provided by the British Council and the American George Soros. It is deeply disturbing that an American is propagandising the people of Europe on behalf of Turkey; and that British taxpayer funds are being used to propagandise the British people on a politically controversial issue

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Turkish Foreign Minister Still Smugly Confident About EU Entry

Despite the murmurings from the governments of France and Germany and, of course, the overwhelming opposition of the European people who are denied a voice in the matter, Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is still smugly confident about his country getting into the European Union.

"We have full confidence that our French, British and other colleagues will keep their commitment... " he said. It is outrageous for him to claim that there is any "commitment" to Turkish admission. There is no commitment. There is a process whose outcome is not certain. Diplomatic objections should be raised to this official Turkish insistence that there is any commitment.

He went on to make a number of other preposterous statements in an article he published in the Swedish press. Extracts below :

"There is no need for convincing, it is already sure that Turkey and the European Union will integrate in the future."

"Like us, Sweden realises that Europe can never be a strong and united entity as long as Turkey remains outside the EU."

He also implied that in implementing reforms to make his country marginally more civilised, the Turks were doing Europe some kind of favour. Of course it is the other way around. Europe is doing the Turks a favour by showing them how to become a more civilised country.

"The negative voices that we keep hearing from some countries in the EU just spread doubt among our citizens and impede our efforts to continue reforms."

The AFP also has a nice picture of Ahmet Davutoglu and Olli Rehn, the EU's enlargement commissioner, smugly smiling and shaking hands with one another. They think they've got it in the bag. They think they can ride roughshod over the European people and inflict a perhaps mortal blow on European civilisation. And perhaps they can. We need to find a way to stop them.

I sent an email to the great Olli Rehn recently, pointing out the responses to articles about Turkish EU membership in the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, which indicated the overwhelming opposition to Turkish entry of people from both the left and right wings of the political spectrum. Of course the great man didn't deign to reply to an insect like me. If you're an EU citizen, why not make your feelings known to him at the email address below :

Olli.Rehn@ec.europa.eu

The only way we can stop this nightmare from occurring to is to make these people quail in their plush offices; make them fear for their perks, their no-tax salaries and their chauffeur-driven limousines; let them feel the hot breath of popular anger at their backs.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

France Shamefully Silent About Turkish Atrocities

This year there is a Turkish season in France. These seasons are officially-organised programmes of cultural events relating to a specific country, designed to promote greater understanding between peoples. They take place each year and feature exhibitions, performances and concerts and the like, but also intellectual events such as debates, discussions and lectures. Shamefully, the organisers of the French event this year have decided to exclude any coverage or discussion of the Armenian genocide, deferring to Turkey's infamous sensitivities on the subject. This is cowardly after-the-fact complicity in one of history's greatest crimes.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Turkey Now the World Headquarters of Creationism

Some interesting facts emerge from this article in the Independent about creationism in Turkey:

Only 25 per cent of Turks believe in evolution.

Only 50 per cent of Turkish science teachers believe in evolution.

Adnan Oktar, a Turkish preacher, is waging a global creationist campaign, sending free copies of his anti-evolution books to schools and universities around the world.

Five Turkish teachers lost their jobs for teaching evolution.

The Turkish Education Minister supports Intelligent(sic) Design.

Only 1% of Turks are atheists. (How does this square with claims that Turkish culture is just like Europe?)