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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pamuk on Europe

Lovely short piece in the Guardian by Orhan Pamuk, reflecting on Turkey and Europe.

In it, he reminisces nostalgically about the time when people in Turkey and elsewhere were interested in the Turkish EU bid. Nowadays however, he concludes,

as Europe struggles with the euro crisis, and EU expansion has slowed down, very few of us still bother to think and talk about these issues. And unfortunately, the positive interest surrounding Turkey's possible future membership has also waned. This is partly because freedom of thought remains regrettably underdeveloped in Turkey. But the biggest reason is undoubtedly the large influx of Muslim migrants from north Africa and Asia into Europe that, in the eyes of many Europeans, has cast a dark shadow of doubt and fear over the idea of a predominantly Muslim country joining the union. 
It is clear that this fear is leading Europe to put up walls at its borders, and to gradually turn away from the world. As the slogan of liberté, égalité, fraternité is slowly forgotten, Europe will sadly turn into an increasingly conservative place dominated by religious and ethnic identities.
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