Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pope's Visit to Turkey

Interesting news out of Istanbul.

Pope Benedict has signaled his support for Turkey's bid to the European Union. Prior to his election (when Cardinal Ratzinger), he opposed Turkey's entrance. So, one good thing has now come out of the whole German-speech debacle.

Pressure is rising against Turkey's entrance--fear of Muslims being only one of many issues involved. Denying Turkey's bid would I think send a shivering effect and isolate Western Europe even further. The same voices that call W.Europe leftist secularism to the carpet--particularly right-wing voices in US--are the ones that need to be most vociferously supporting Turkey's entrance. That is if conservatives still believe that free markets are the best form of economics. Sometimes liberals for a variety of reasons show more trust in markets in terms of foreign policy than conservative elements, who are afraid (I think) of Islamic infiltration to the West.

Turkey's governing party is Islamist is the secular republic of Turkey. But they are actually a good example--as opposed to Hamas--of how an Islamist party can go about ruling in a conservative but not authoritarian sense. Cutting them out sends exactly the wrong signal--Europe is ghettozing itself and wants out. Combinations of conservative anti-globalization left wingers with nationalistic right (Europe-only) elements. Not a good combo especially given Europe's history of flirtation with far right and far left elements.

Cutting out Turkey of the EU would send the same signal that cutting off the funding to Hamas sent. All Islamist groups, by Western standards, are verboten. This is suicide. And I use that word on purpose, as in there will be more suicide/homicide bombings if carried through.

Hopefully HH Benedict's support will sway opinion in (what I think is) the right direction--although I'm honsetly a bit doubtful.


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