Thursday, December 30, 2004

Turkey is a lucky country

One of the few optimistic things I've every read from a Turk about their country.

"Comparatively, Turkey is improving. There are certain deficiencies and we need to do a lot of hard work, but Turkey is on the right road.

We need to think about this as we enter New Year. There is no need for pessimism.

Just go and see the real Turkey. You’ll be able to see this country’s real potential. Wherever I go in the Middle East, Far East, Africa or Latin America and whomever I talk to, I hear the same words: “You are a great, strong and lucky country.”

How lucky we are!"

Turkey is a lucky country

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Turks welcome lira reform, but expect confusion over zapped zeros

"As Turkey prepares to launch a new currency in 2005 in testimony to its successful fight against chronic inflation, many Turks greet the reform with approval but are also apprehensive about possible confusion as people get used to the new money."

"Our purses will finally grow lighter," Muazzez Avci, a 58-year-old housewife, said. "And no one will laugh at our money again."

"For Turks, the zero-ridden Turkish lira became a source of national shame as a symbol of economic failure as they juggled with wages measured in billions in a country with a budget calculated in quadrillions."
Turks welcome lira reform, but expect confusion over zapped zeros

My Neighbor should be from Different Religion

"Bigoted imams and preachers who consider Islam and terror a combined thing and representatives are singled out and whereas previously all Islamic nations were put in a single basket, now there is a different attitude towards Algeria and Turkey. Islamic representatives who hate the West are now a problem and because of them they are for the first time curious about what Islam says."

"Religion is passing through a world wide renaissance. Becoming secular does not have an opposing concept and is a natural process. The reestablishment of religious views is the problem of today as faiths are gaining meaning gradually all over the world. This is a fact which has deep roots and effects over hundreds of years."

"Saying that today belief is not important goes against the lessons of a bloody history. Belief can be independent only if your neighbors have different religions. It is necessary to accept the fact that Turkish Islamic understanding has been in practice for hundreds of years with its philosophical and theological foundations that were developed in the midst of other religions..

Today the idea that religious people must be reactionary has been weakened in the world. "


'Turkey is too Big for EU'

One of the latest conspiracy theories:

" Turkish Greater Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazicioglu says that the real goal of the European Union is not to make Turkey a full member but to break it into pieces.

Yazicioglu says that the EU is trying to split Turkey into parts, as it is too large for them and said that that's why they put in clauses about the so called Armenian Genocide, Cyprus, Aegean region and minorities."


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Church in Captivity 2004: The Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Eastern Orthodox Church faces continual persecution in Turkey. This was brought to light recently when the US Ambassador used the title Ecumenical Patriarch on an invitation to a party he sent out.

"The government of Turkey insists that the office of the Ecumenical Patriarch must be held only by a Turkish-born citizen, even though a more qualified candidate may be found among the plethora of educated Orthodox clergymen worldwide thus leaving the church at times without the brightest and the best. This is like saying that only an Italian can be Pope of Rome."

"Ignoring the pleas of the United States and the E.U. to reopen the Halki Theological School, Turkey has closed the last Christian Theological school left in Turkey. This means that clergymen may no longer be educated by the exceptional standards of the famed Patriarchal school of Halki."

"We heard the Muslim call to prayer in this supposedly secular country, but Christains are not accorded the same rights or more importantly respect."
Hellenic News of America

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Turkish Experiment with Westernization By Habib Siddiqui

Al-Jezeerah's website offers their reason why Turkey's experiment with being a western European country is bad. Some of what he says really makes the opposite arguement. It shows me why they don't want Iraq to be a democracy.

"The history of westernization in Turkey portrays the features characteristic of this movement everywhere else, only perhaps more clearly."
The Turkish Experiment with Westernization By Habib Siddiqui

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Where East still meets West

"COME WALK through the ancient streets of Istanbul in the cool days of an approaching winter. There is a bit of snow on the ground, and the sun dances on the Bosphorus, that narrow body of water that traditionally separates Europe from Asia."

"There was a day when Istanbul coursed with different religions, nationalities, and sects, and the streets were filled with the babble of a dozen tongues. For this was the capital of one of the world's great polyglot empires, and Istanbul was among the world's most cosmopolitan cities. But with the fall of the Ottomans and World War I, all that ended."

"One has to look to London and Paris now for the same diversity that Istanbul once stood for. The end of empire for Europe meant the influx of those over whom the Europeans once ruled. But in Istanbul most of the vibrant minorities went elsewhere. That a few remain at all, however, says something for this city and this country in a region where tolerance is in such short supply." / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Where East still meets West

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christ was out of Christmas a long time ago

In Turkey, all the secular traditions of Christmas (Tree, Santa, gifts, decorations), have been grafted onto a made up New Year's Holiday, but I bet most Americans could walk through a mall here and look at the decorations and think it was to celebrate Christmas.

We live in the largest solely Muslim nation in the world and yet December looks much like a lot of America. The pictures you see here are from Turkish sites celebrating the new year.

"The painful fact is that Christmas is already secularized in the United States, and it's been that way for a long time."

"Just look at the Christmas symbols. You don't see Baby Jesus' smiling face on Coca-Cola cans. That honor belongs to the undisputed king of American Christmas: Santa Claus."

"If ever there were a case of a religious symbol being secularized, Santa is it.

Originally, Santa was St. Nicholas, a fourth century Turkish bishop known for his charity. His feast day, which was widely celebrated in Europe, is Dec. 6 — close enough to Christmas to establish him as a holiday figure, in his case that of a kindly fellow who hands out goodies to children.

The St. Nicholas tradition was brought to the United States, although there was one problem with him in a largely Protestant country: He was a Catholic saint.

So over the years, St. Nicholas' Catholic vestiges were stripped away. Clement Moore's immensely popular 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," now better known as "The Night Before Christmas." established him as a mythical figure complete with a reindeer-powered sleigh. His priestly garments were redrawn as a distinct red suit and his name morphed into Santa Claus, or just Santa.

There's nothing Catholic — or religious — about Santa now. He's some sort of jolly elf."

Christ was out of Christmas a long time ago

Evangelical Leader calls for Referendum on Turkey's Controversial EU Bid

"The chairman of the National Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, has made a call for a referendum on Turkey’s proposed membership into the European Union. Bishop Wolfgang Huber, in Berlin said, "I believe a referendum on that would be the right thing."

"Turkey’s population consists of 99% Muslim, and although these historical entry talks are set to begin, EU officials have been careful to point out that the commencement of the entry talks would not guarantee that Turkey would eventually join."

"The Orthodox leader’s lawyer said, "A secular state should not get involved in religious affairs."

Bartholomew and twelve other senior Christian leaders were charged in the predominantly Muslim yet secular country, and were apprehended with the rare charge of "preventing others from observing faith and conducting religious services". The charges could have led to a five year imprisonment."
ChristianToday > Evangelical Leader calls for Referendum on Turkey's Controversial EU Bid

Monday, December 20, 2004

Religious tolerance in Turkey a key in talks with EU

"Erdogan, who is described as a devout Muslim, is anxious that Turkey cast its future with a secularized but historically Christian Europe. And Turkey has undertaken a number of human-rights reforms, including abolishing the death penalty and acting to rein in torture, along with political and economic measures. But the long scars of history and the short fuses of contemporary events threaten the effort."

"Certain basic rights, especially religious freedom, are not fully respected in Turkey, despite the reforms undertaken,"
Winston-Salem Journal | Religious tolerance in Turkey a key in talks with EU

Turkish tradition vs. Western values

Much of Turkey is changing and becoming more modern, but the conflict between old and new has caused many a generational divide. This conflict affects all young people who turn to Christ as well. Pray for these young Christians who face persecution, abuse, and disownment from their families as a result of their choice to follow Christ.

This story illustrates the differences in the old and the new view of things.

"A runaway personifies Germany's multicultural debate"

"She is 18 years old, living in a shelter whose address cannot be disclosed because she escaped from her Turkish-born parents. The reason, she said, was that they were threatening to kill her unless she agreed to marry a man from Turkey whom she had never met."

"She said that her would-be betrothed was wealthy and therefore able to pay a big price for a bride who also would allow him to gain a German passport and German residency."

"Shortly before she turned 18, Jasmin said, her parents found a wealthy Turkish man whom they wanted her to marry. She refused. There were arguments. One day, her parents showed up at her workplace, threatening to kill her if she did not leave with them."
Turkish tradition vs. Western values

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Turkey struggles to civilize the national `traffic monster'

" Turkey may be a democracy, but anarchists control the streets.

A stoplight is just a suggestion. The direction on a one-way street is determined by whoever has the biggest bumpers. It's a matter of size and prestige; imports take precedence over local brands, and an SUV always trumps a sporty Mercedes."

"This isn't to say there aren't rules. Tired of waiting in a traffic jam? Follow local custom: Pull into the oncoming lane and act insulted when confronted by honking vehicles coming from the opposite direction. See a friend standing on a sidewalk? Stop and park in the middle of the road and stroll over for a chat. Missed your exit on the highway? No problem: Back up.

The problem is worst in Istanbul, the cultural and commercial capital, where streets are narrow and a driver's license can be purchased for $100, no experience required. The everyday mayhem includes careening taxis and buses hurtling from stop to stop, often passing each other along the way like red-and-white elephants."

If you want to read more, you may have to log in.
Username: fyounospam
Password: nospam
Chicago Tribune | Turkey struggles to civilize the national `traffic monster'

Do we want the Turkish peasantry here?

"Fairness would demand that Turkey now be fully allowed into the EU - but alas, post 9/11, the issue is no longer fairness but the survival of European values of democracy, tolerance and freedom of speech."

"Within the EU, Sweden and Germany have received most Turkish immigrants - and most of them are not the cosmopolitan sophisticates of Istanbul, but are from the relatively backward communities of Anatolia."

"Moreover, with a religious culture that generally disdains contraception, abortion and women's "rights", the Muslim population will almost certainly grow disproportionately. Bernard Lewis, the pre-eminent British scholar of Islam, predicts that by the end of this century, Europe will be predominantly Muslim."

". . . in reality, the real problem lay - and still lies - elsewhere: in the possible freedom of movement of 73 million Turks, many of whom are illiterate, pre-Enlightenment peasants. To allow millions of such people to pour into the Europe would be cultural suicide."
Telegraph | Opinion | Do we want the Turkish peasantry here?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Turks Ask God for EU Membership

"Turks try to initiate a deal with God for joining to the EU. According to interview by Turkish channel ATV, the Turkish pilgrims heading for Mecca (Saudi Arabia) will pray God for “helping the nation for EU membership”."

"When the reporter asked, most of the pilgrims said that they will be praying for Turkey’s membership to the EU. Surprisingly, there were no curses against Western world or the EU, contrary to stereotyped profiles of the Muslims advertised around the World. An important part of the pilgrims said the membership is vital and they will ask God to help Turkey. The remaining part of the Muslims told that they agree with their friends but they want this to happen if the membership will do some good for the Nation."
The Journal of Turkish Weekly

Friday, December 17, 2004

Turkey’s day of destiny

"This week, with Turkey’s entry bid to the European Union likely but not certainly to be given final approval, we cannot help but ask, "What is Europe?"

"It is Christianity that has provided the common morality and common identity that made talk of union in the late 1940s a possibility despite the wars of past times. The poet T.S. Eliot broadcasting on the BBC to a defeated Germany in 1945 declared that "An individual European may not believe the Christian faith is true; and yet what he says, and makes, and does, will depend on the Christian heritage for its meaning."

"Through all the ages it was Islam that was, by and large, the tolerant religion that respected the ‘Peoples of the Book’, giving Christians and Jews when it ruled over them a great deal of autonomy. The bombing of synagogue in Istanbul last December was the first hostile act (probably carried out by Al Qaeda) against Jews in Turkey for 500 years.

The Christians for their part have rarely been tolerant, unable to come to terms with Islamic and Jewish minorities in their midst. The long persecution of the Jews in Europe which culminated in Hitler’s gas chambers was always pursued by Christians not Muslims."
Khaleej Times Online

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Where Goes the U.S.-Turkish Relationship?

This article provides an excellent analysis of the current relations between the US and Turkey. You can see how much it has deteriorated.

"Throughout the 1990s, Turkish foreign policy analysts had an easy job. After all, Turkish foreign policy was predictable. Ankara cooperated enthusiastically with Washington, whether in the Middle East or in the Balkans. Turkey aligned itself with Israel and kept at arms length from Middle Eastern neighbors such as Syria and Iran. In Europe, Ankara traded heavily with the European Union (EU) but did not allow the EU to dictate foreign policy. The European Union's frequent allegations and criticism of human rights abuses in Turkey, especially with regard to Turkey's fight against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan) terrorists, soured the relationship, which deteriorated even further when the EU declared Turkey unfit for membership at its December 1997 Luxembourg Summit."

"But today the situation is far different. On May 20, 2004, for example, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused both Israel and the United States of "state terror."[2] The frequency and harshness of criticism of the Jewish state has increased greatly.[3] The shift within Turkey has been dramatic. Ankara's foreign policy is moving into alignment with that of the EU. Today, the Turkish foreign ministry endorses 95 percent of the EU's foreign policy decisions.[4] Not only did Turkey stay out of the war in Iraq, but it has maintained at best lukewarm support for U.S. initiatives on the Middle East ranging from the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI) to holding the Iranian government accountable for its clandestine nuclear program."

Where Goes the U.S.-Turkish Relationship? - Middle East Quarterly - Fall 2004

Child’s Bible now in Turkish

"The first 15,000 copies of the Turkish edition of God speaks to His Children is now available. Known also as the Child’s Bible, the book is a collection of biblical texts for children and has been printed in 40 million copies around the world."

From Far-right to Far-left, Turks Oppose EU

Of course 20% of Turks don't want to have anything to do with the EU:

""There is no reason for Turkey to become a part of the European Union -- it can only become a province or a colony of Europe," argues Dogu Perincek, a veteran Maoist militant and president of the Workers' Party (IP)."

""It will mean the end of the Turkish Republic as we know it," warns Mehmet Sandir, vice president of the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP). "It will be something completely different," he told AFP."

"The EU is a sucker's market," Perincek said in a recent interview with AFP, accusing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "lying" to the people about the benefits of joining the bloc."

From Far-right to Far-left, Turks Oppose EU

The Turkish Paradox

If you would like to know more about Armenian Question, there is a great ongoing debate over it at the following link. This link is to the llatest in a series of articles dealing with this difficult situation.
FrontPage :: The Turkish Paradox by Gamaliel Issac

Turkey will not apologise for Armenian genocide

Could Turkey forfeit EU entry for something that happened in 1915?

"TURKEY has reacted angrily to a demand by France that it accept responsibility for a “genocide” against Armenians nearly 80 years ago, which is thought to have influenced the Nazi Holocaust."

". . . a Turkish government spokesman said: “There was no such genocide, so there is no question of recognising a genocide that did not happen.”

One Turkish official said: “They are just trying to make us angry. It is their last chance to cause trouble against us.”

Times Online - World

Turkey as an Asset

"The size, demography, economy, geography, but most of all the culture of the country are all regarded as a burden by many in the EU. From France to Slovakia, from Austria to Poland, people fear that Turkey may "Islamize" Christian Europe. Many believe that hoards of Turkish workers will flood "Europe" and "steal" jobs from the indigenous Europeans.

Most of these concerns are unjustified and far from the reality, but they need to be addressed."

"Needless to say, Turkey is not yet a haven of human rights. There are still areas in urgent need of rectification."

". . . in terms of identity the majority refer to themselves primarily as Turks and only secondarily as Muslims.

By a large margin, Turkish Muslims strongly reject fundamentalism and religious intolerance. They are representatives of a moderate Islam highly tolerant of other religions."

Highly tolerant is debatable, but maybe more tolerant than other Muslim countries is a better way to put it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here's another one. Posted by Hello
The Bears of Istanbul - Bears created by artists from all the countries of the world came to Istanbul. Here are a couple of my favorites. The "Statue of Liberty" bear was the American entry. Posted by Hello

Human rights record haunts Turkey’s EU ambitions

"In recent years Turkey has made huge strides in stamping out human rights abuses.

The death penalty has been abolished, the once dreaded state security courts dismantled, and cultural and linguistic rights broadened for the country’s Kurdish, Arabic and Bosnian communities.
Ahead of this week’s EU summit to decide whether to launch membership talks with the country, prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-oriented government has approved proposals to scale down police powers, in addition to other far-reaching constitutional and legislative reforms.

Yet human rights violations continue. Across the Muslim nation’s remote and impoverished south-east, women like Ayse Ozgur are still prone to crimes of violence."

KurdishMedia News - Daily Kurdish news updates

EU Membership will Mean End of Independent Turkish State

"Out of the approximately 71 percent of Turkish people who support EU membership, 76 percent have no information about the EU in general"

"Europe has not been transformed by any foreign culture and civilization that has internalized within it and will never be. On the contrary, Europe has transformed them and will continue to do so. Secondly, Turkey and Turks will join the EU not as "one and undivided" Turkey and Turkish people," but in a fragmented and deflated state."


Turkish PM challenges EU to prove it not a Christian club

"he European Union (EU) must admit Turkey in order to show that it is not opposed to Islam and it is not a Christian Club, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday."

". . . if these countries burn their bridges with the rest of the world, history will not forgive them." The EU leaders are widely expected at this week's summit to back the launch of accession talks with Turkey, probably some time in 2005."
Xinhua - English

Monday, December 13, 2004

Church in France Concerned About Human Rights in Turkey

"Archbishop Simon said that COMECE "is asking heads of state and government to see that the Turkish state commits itself henceforth to grant official juridical status to religious minorities present in that country. This commitment is in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. It should form part of the conditions prior to the opening of accession negotiations and to the conclusions of the next European Council."

Basically, this means there is yet another group putting pressure on Turkey to provide more rights to religious minorities.

Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome

Islam and democracy

"Moderate Muslims must show that the two are entirely compatible

"Democracy’s failure to take root in key Arab Muslim countries is a sign not of incompatibility but of work still to be done and the durability of dictatorships. Europe should seize the Turkish opportunity to show the world the true depth of its tolerance — and it should ask itself tough questions about why Washington rather than Brussels conceived of this weekend’s conference in Rabat."

Times Online - World

Friday, December 10, 2004

Can We Reach the World in Our Lifetime?

"Over the centuries, Christianity spread across Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Early missionaries like Ambrose, Ulfilas, Patrick and Boniface were used of God to convert the pagan tribes of Europe. In time, Christianity spread from England to Russia. It seemed that the world was ripe for the Gospel as the Middle Ages dawned.

However, there were incredible obstacles to overcome: the rise of militant Islam, the ultimate failure of the Crusades and the spiritual decadence of the church itself. By the 16th Century, Martin Luther and others were calling for a total reformation of the church. When the pope refused, the Protestant movement was born in the heart of Europe with a focus on clarifying the theology of the church. But it would be nearly two centuries before they would reach out beyond the European continent."

"The question is: Where do we go from here with what we now know? Those who have gone before had paid a great price to preach the Gospel to a world in great need of a Savior. In many ways, they were strategic in their methodology for their time. Today, with the benefit of worldwide data, information and communication, we have a greater opportunity than ever. The 200-year history of modern missions and well-documented successes and failures challenge us to be accountable for being strategic in our generation."

EPIC International: Resources

Islam and West are not 'Separate'

From Jack Straw, the British Foreign Minister

"We are told by some that the so-called secular "West" is doomed to clash with countries of majority Islamic faith. In its most extreme form, that view is promoted by the fanatics and terrorists who thrive on hatred, and strike at every symbol of tolerance and understanding."

"we reject completely the view that Islam is doomed to clash with the so-called "West".

For a start, the two are not separate entities. The Turkish city of Istanbul was for centuries a centre of Christendom, and retains a rich Christian (and Jewish) heritage today. St Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus is part of the Christian bible."

ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2004120914590): "iations now, in line with the recomm"

Thursday, December 09, 2004

EUbusiness - Erdogan lauds tolerance as 'Garden of Religions' opens in Turkey

"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged Wednesday that his government would remove any remaining obstacles to religious freedoms in Turkey as he opened a complex of Muslim, Christian and Jewish worship sites.

The "Garden of Religions" in the Mediterranean resort of Belek, which contains a mosque, a church and a synagogue, was inaugurated to underscore inter-cultural tolerance at a time when Turkey is under fire from the EU for failing to fully respect the rights of its non-Muslim minorities."

"Leaders of Turkey's non-Muslim minorities hailed the inauguration of the "Garden of Religions," but not without some barbed remarks on legal snags restricting their activities.

"Catholics are able to practice their religion in Turkey but do not have (property) rights over churches. I hope they will have that right one day," Father Alphonse Sammut, a representative of the Catholic community said, according to Anatolia.

Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Mesrob II, for his part, said that non-Muslim places of worship should be opened in all major Turkish cities.

"This should be done either by rennovating historical sites or by building new ones as the one here," he said."

EUbusiness - Erdogan lauds tolerance as 'Garden of Religions' opens in Turkey

Turkey Plays Down Row with U.S. But Chides Envoy

"Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has sharply criticized U.S. policy in neighboring Iraq and a senior member of his ruling AK party described a recent military offensive against insurgents in Falluja as "genocide," infuriating Washington."

This is an attitude that is growing hear as it is preached at the mosques and protested in the streets. Pray that it wouldn't interfere with the spread of the Truth.

Politics News Article |

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Continue to Pray for New Church

Umut Kilisesi, a new Turkish fellowship here in Istanbul, continues to plug along as it attempts to find a core group of believers to build around. Pray for God to raise up the right Christians, new and old to help this new community to thrive and grow.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Fallujah, Execution in Mosques and the Rest

More propaganda from the local news:

"To understand what is going on in the aftermath of September 11th in a wider angle in Fallujah it is important to know the thought and belief structures of Christian Zionists dominating US now with the aim of US world hegemony."

"Islam is a religion, which contains all former celestial religions and includes believing their prophets, books among basic beliefs; therefore, it is a receptive and receiving religion."

"The illegal and inhumane treatment in Iraq is just the historical reaction to hatred against Islam and Muslims."


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Stoned to death... why Europe is starting to lose its faith in Islam

"DAYS before she was due to be married, Ghofrane Haddaoui, 23, refused the advances of a teenage boy and paid with her life."

"Police across the EU are closely watching prayer meetings in makeshift mosques in cities and housing estates, and media accounts of the jihadist, anti-Western and anti-semitic doctrines of the imams are fuelling public anger."
Times Online - World

Turkey Policies on Minorities Spark Debate

"A furor in Turkey ignited by the title of a Christian spiritual leader on a U.S. embassy invitation has underscored concerns about the largely Muslim country's treatment of minorities two weeks before the European Union decides whether to open membership talks with Ankara. "

"When the U.S. Embassy sent out invitations for a reception on Thursday hosted by Ambassador Eric Edelman that referred to Bartholomew as "ecumenical patriarch" - a term long accepted by the United States and Europe - Turkish officials were furious."

ABC 7 News - Turkey Policies on Minorities Spark Debate

Friday, December 03, 2004

'Islam problem' baffles Turkey

" What difference does Islam make? To many in Europe, when thinking about Turkey's possible membership, it is the defining difference; to some politicians, it is one difference too far."

"Professor Omer Ulukapi, at Konya's university, describes the family as "the basis of our culture". But he goes on to list the factors - moral, ethical, religious and historical - that he thinks have contributed to the elevated status that the family still has."

"A very high proportion of the population describes themselves as practising Muslims - more than 90% in a 1999 survey said they kept the Ramadan fast."
BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Islam problem' baffles Turkey

War and Murder

To give you an idea of the kind of anti-American rhetoric that flows daily out of the newspapers and television stations, this article is a good example. Most of the people I meet and talk to believe things like this when they hear them.

"Now let's also look at what U. S. forces are doing in Iraq, besides Abu-Ghraib. They are completely razing historic and religious places like vandals. They are raiding mosques, schools, hospitals and killing the wounded, defenseless communities praying in the house of Allah. What is the explanation for this?"

Pure Turkishness

"Few Turks who consider themselves as 'majority Turks' -- pure, Sunni Muslim Turks -- are probably what they believe they are. Intercultural marriages both during the Ottoman and Republican times, plus the fact that Anatolia has always been a mosaic of scores of ethnicities suggest that it is silly to talk of 'pure Turks' and 'pure non-Turks.'"

"Recently, the chairman of a semi-official (now a non-governmental organization) human rights committee announced at a news conference that the findings of quite a liberal report suggested Turkey must expand its minority rights. The man did not know that one member of the committee would jump onto the stage, grab the sheets of paper from his hands and rip them up because “the report aimed at dividing Turkey.”
Turks.US - Pure Turkishness...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Erdogan Named “European of the Year”

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been chosen by the readership of a European weekly as the “European of the Year”."

Kind of makes it hard for them to keep Turkey out of Europe.

"Self-made Erdogan, former leader of the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AK), rose from selling toasted bread in the streets of Istanbul to the helm of the political party."
Islam Online- News Section

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Where does Europe end and Asia begin?

"Ukraine and Turkey are the two most vexing questions geography and history have bequeathed the European Union. "

"Turkey raises a different version of the same question, since, while the Turks in the past dominated a major part of southeastern Europe, Turkey itself is not a European society; its territory is mainly in Asia; its language has no links to the European languages; its religion is not Christian; and its neighbors are Middle Eastern and Caucasian."

William Pfaff: Where does Europe end and Asia begin?