September 21, 2006

Elif Shahak

Good news from Turkey

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,1877748,00.html

After the Pamuk prosecution the media coverage of these cases where novelists are intimidated by the Turkish authorities about the Armenian massacres is having some sort of an effect. The Turkish Prime Minister has even made it clear that the part of the law which was used to prosecute on this occasion may be withdrawn. Presumably the temptations of EU membership are seducing even the rigourous Islamic government of the former Virtue party and its Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan.

These cases confirm the successful nature of the process of EU membership- by dangling it in front of Turkey the government and Turkish judiciary are being intimidated into making more progressive steps. How long this will last after the prize is given is a more unsure prospect? The thing that we lack is a kind of intermediatory membership- say free trade but not free movement- a second class of EU membership or an EU escalator which could go down as well as up. This victory for the novelist, Elif Shahak, is an acheivement of EU membership but also demonstrates to me the care that we need to take with Turkey- neither opposition nor proposition of their membership but a conditional acceptance seems here the way forwards.

1 comments:

edmund said...

that kind of ignores the implications of turkish membershiop for the effects of the Eu-from cultural solidarity to CAP costs

I think it's also true that in many ways it's very bad the way the EU has monopolised the "good club" role -not least because it's restricted to european countries -it would be much better if say some league of democracies (which included the US or Candada or Australia) had that role


I think it's also worht , wiht the restricions on freedom of speech that have endured lifted by Eu membership plus political correct absurdities that go down badly enough in christian countries, the chance of a real islamist revivial may be best helped by Eu membership