Negotiations with the EU have scarcely begun and the Turks are already irked. They seem to be afraid they are going to be rejected (I hope they’re right) and that they will eventually be embroiled in a victorious war with Britain and the US (I hope they’re wrong). “Turks embrace novelist’s war on EU,” from the International Herald Tribune, with thanks to Omo:
ISTANBUL 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.
Some critics will be quick to dismiss “The Third World War,” a new futuristic novel by a 30-year-old Turkish writer, Burak Turna, as the wild imaginings of a conspiracy theorist and literary shock jock – and in many ways it is.
But the novel, which dominates bookstore display windows in Istanbul, has sold more than 130,000 copies in just two months and is rising on best-seller lists across the country. As Turkey embarks on 10 years of tortuous talks to join the EU, Turkish observers say the novel’s popularity reflects the growing wariness of Turks about a Europe that is increasingly wary of them.
“Turks are getting fed up with the EU’s constant demands – and ‘The Third World War’ has tapped into that,” said Sinan Ulgen, a Turkish commentator. He noted that the book’s pithy, cinematographic style has helped it resonate with taxi drivers, government officials and housewives alike.
Turna is no fringe figure. His first novel, “Metal Firtina” (“Metal Storm”), became the fastest-selling book in the history of Turkey when it was published in December, a time of deep Turkish ambivalence about the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The book is a fictional account of a U.S. invasion of Turkey that provokes a Turkish agent to detonate a nuclear bomb in a park in Washington, leveling the capital. Overnight, the grungy former journalist and philosophy student became a chat-show celebrity, a cult figure among 20-somethings and an unofficial cultural barometer for his country.
Turna says Turks’ fear of U.S. domination, reflected in the popularity of “Metal Storm,” is being supplanted by a growing Turkish ambivalence about Europe – an ambivalence that has lurked in the Turkish soul since after World War I….
These days, he says, he spends a lot of time playing video games. His favorite? A game called the Rise of Nations in which countries compete for global domination. “I love to pretend that I’m China and to bomb Europe into the Stone Age,” he says.