There is no chance Turkey will be admitted to the E.U.
Some of the many reasons for this are located in the fact that Turkey let the murderer of Don Andrea Santoro, the priest murdered on February 7, 2006, get off lightly. And the Turkish authorities did nothing to publicize, throughout Turkey, exactly what it was that prompted those teenagers to harass him, to demand money, and then finally to return to kill him — he who in Trabzon (Trebizond) did nothing to anyone, but merely had a congregation of eight or perhaps nine people, several of them Georgian women.
Turkey may think that the Santoro episode is over, but it will never be over — just as the Armenian murders will never be over, or the bombing of the Galata synagogue, or hundreds of other outrages big and small, until the Turkish population connects what has been done, not by “Turks” but by “Muslim Turks,” following the tenets or prompted by the attitudes of Islam, to the contents of Islam itself. The secularists, the beneficiaries of Kemalist restraints on Islam, have a duty not only to resist Erdogan, but to undo him altogether, and then to push, push even harder those Kemalist constraints which they accepted without sufficient gratitude or understanding.
Kemalism was not meant to make Turkey merely safe for commerce, for the assorted Sabancis of this world. It was meant to transform it, by offering the most advanced a way out of Islam (without open apostasy) and offering the primitive a substitute cult (the cult of Ataturk replacing the cult of Muhammad, the cult of “The Turk” replacing, or limiting the appeal of, Islam). The fault of the Kemalists is not that they went too far, but that they never went far enough. As long as some could be free, they did not think they had to pursue the link between Islam and crimes committed, either in the past, or in the present, by Muslims in Turkey. Wrong.
Start with a simple case. Start with the murder of Andrea Santoro.
For more on the case, see Corriere della Sera, February 9, 2006, page 10, especially the article “Insulti e minacce al prete, il giorno prima di ucciderlo” by Marco Imarisio.
Meanwhile, in Turkey some influential voices are already saying that Turkey has lost interest in EU membership. Several different things explain this declared loss of interest:
1. Recognition that this is unlikely to happen, and that the process of candidacy will expose Turkish practices and Muslim beliefs to close, possibly humiliating, scrutiny. The fiction that Turkey is secular, advanced, Western, etc. will be exposed.
Both Turkish “secularists” and Turkish True-Believers will not wish to humble themselves, or see themselves receive a rejection that they already feel as a humiliation, so like anyone touchy who forefeels he will be turned down for something, they claim to have lost interest.
2. Recognition that Turkey cannot possibly obtain such admission without changing so many things that it will be a threat to the Army as the guardian of Kemalism — and this is something that some Turkish secularists are unwilling to sacrifice.
3. Recognition that Turkey cannot possibly obtain such admission without changing so many things that this will threaten Erdogan and his supporters, and the reappearance of Islam as a political force. Thus Islamic parties and their supporters may have decided that whatever worldly (economic) gains may be achieved for Turkey by its entry into the EU, the damage to Turkey as an Islamic state, and the danger posed to its Muslimness by further contamination from the West, is not worth it.
These motives vary and reflect contradictory fears from different people. The end result is the same.
For all this the Turks should put the blame right where it belongs. That blame belongs to Islam, and to the way Muslims have historically treated non-Muslims. But since the Cult of Muhammad was replaced by the Cult of Ataturk, and Islam was at least provided with a rival in the Cult of the Turk and the Turkish Nation, now is perhaps the time for secular Turks to use the denial of Turkey’s admission as a way of encouraging more secularism, rather than a retreat into the psychic consolation prize of more Islam. Erdogan and his primitive followers should not be allowed to use what they will paint as “Christian hostility” to further the cause of Islam. Rather, the intelligent Turkish secularists, who make up about one-quarter of the population, should realize they took Kemalism for granted for too long and did not do enough to defend and expand upon what Ataturk accomplished. Nor did they ever make clear what was wrong with Islam — using for that pedagogic task the examples of all of the Arab states and Iran. That would have been enough. That would have been more than enough.
Who to blame for Europe’s Nay-saying neinsagen gigantic and obvious NO? The horrible Iranians. The even more horrible Arabs. It is they, and “their Islam,” that gave nice “moderate” and “forward-looking” Turkish Muslims such a bad reputation. And now just look at what they’ve gone and done, those Arabs and Iranians — they’ve turned the West against us.
Keep up that theme. Spread it around. If you are a secularist in Turkey, you want that certain rejection used for your benefit, and not for the benefit of Erdogan and Erbakan and all the rest. You want to weaken Islam, and to turn the Turks away from the Iranians and, above all, the Arabs. Even if Turkey cannot become a member of the E.U., you want it to become more like a European, i.e., non-Muslim state, and less like one more Muslim one.