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Turkey vs. The European Union

By Gabriel M. Sawma, Esq.

The Treaty of Amsterdam amended the Treaty on European Union. It was signed in Amsterdam by the head of states on October 2, 1997

Article 9(1) of the Treaty of Amsterdam reads as follows:

“ Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall compliment and not replace national citizenship”.

In other words, citizenship of the Union is dependent on holding the nationality of one of the Member States. Anyone who is a national of a Member States is considered to be a citizen of the Union. In addition to the rights and duties laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community, Union citizenship confers special rights:

  1. Freedom to move and take up residence anywhere in the Union.
  2. The right to vote and stand in local government and European Parliament elections in the country of residence.

Without going in details about the privileges and rights of citizenship in the European Union, I would like to magnify the dangers that could arise if Turkey becomes a member of the European Union.

On April 14, 1987, The Turkish government sent a formal application for membership in the European Union. According to United Nations World Population prospects, Turkey’s population is estimated to be more than 73,302,000 by 2005. (in 1996, it was estimated to be 62,000,000 according to Turkish published reports).

The total population of the European Union is estimated at 456,790,700.  While the world population has doubled in the last forty years to six billion, the population of Europe has been going south. Of Europe’s forty seven nations, only one, Muslim Albania, was by 2000 going up, at a birthrate sufficient to keep it alive indefinitely.  In his book “The Death of the West”, Pat Buchanan says:

“In 1960, people of European ancestry were one-fourth of the world’s population; in 2000, they were on-sixth; in 2050, they will be one-tenth. These are the statistics of a vanishing race…”

How bleak the situation is? The average fertility rate of a European woman stands at 1.4 children. By 2050, Buchanan says: “Europe will have lost the equivalent of the entire population of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany..”

How does Europe solve this problem of shrinking population? By mass immigration, which has already begun.  In 2000, “England took in 185,000 immigrants”, a record, reports News Magazine, June 5, 2000. “In 1999, 500,000 illegal aliens slipped into the European Union,” said Pat Buchanan, a tenfold increase from 1993. In May 2001, the Washington Post reported:

“Just a year ago, discoveries of foundering ships jammed with human cargo of 500 to 1000 people would have been a novelty that generated headlines and outrage across Europe. But now they have become routine in the waters between Turkey and destinations in Greece, Italy, and as far as the French Riviera.”

Millions of people have been migrating into Europe in the last quarter of the twentieth century, coming mainly from Islamic countries. They brought with them Their Arab and Islamic culture, traditions, loyalties and faith. They created “replicas of their homelands in the heartland of the West”. They never melt in the pot of Europe, never adapted to the European culture, unwilling to open up to the European people by engaging in a gratitude mode of behavior, disrespectful to national laws and to Christian institutions which helped and nurtured them and welcomed them as human beings and protected their civil and human rights which were denied to them in their former homelands. Europe allowed them to practice their religion free of any discrimination and helped them build their mosques. All these were afforded to them regardless to the bad treatments that Christian are facing in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt and other states in the middle East and Africa where Christians are not allowed to build churches (Saudi Arabia), or do repairs to their churches when repairs are needed (Egypt and Turkey).

As the massive tide of Islamic immigration crash into Europe, European leaders seem to realize the dangers of this flood of people coming from Islamic nations from the Middle East and Africa. Among those are the German Christian Democratic Party leaders Angela Merkel and Edmund Stoiber.  Ms Merkel is irritated at U.S. demands that Turkey be a member of the EU. A membership of Turkey would confer on Turks the right to be citizens of the European Union, with all the rights and privileges that any citizen of the EU would have.

Ms. Merkel told the New York Times correspondent, Roger Cohen:

“We don’t say they should not be Muslims. But we do say that we are a country with a Christian background, and Turks must understand this…Inviting Turkey to become a candidate for the European Union membership was a mistake. There are differences of values. We do not have the same understanding of human rights. Try opening a Christian Church in Istanbul”.

Lord Alton of Liverpool U.K. referred to his fact finding mission to the area of Tur Abdin in south east Turkey. He pointed out that the “Kurdish conflict in the south east had decimated the Christian community there, which is made up mainly of Syrian Orthodox and Chaldean Catholics whose presence in the area stretches back at least 1600 years”. Lord Alton’s statement which is published on the internet says that “80 years ago there were around 200,000 Christians living in Tur Abdin, but today there are only an estimated 2000 ..”. Many Christian villages have been destroyed and emptied of people. Numerous Christians have been beaten, injured or even killed at the hands of both sides. Between 1987 and 1997 there were nearly 40 unsolved murders involving Christians in south-east Turkey.

Speaking on behalf of the Government, Baroness Scotland of Asthal said that “many issues had been identified which Turkey will need to address in order to become eligible for European Union accession”. She said in the British government regularly raised human rights concerns with the Turkish authorities, including treatment of religious minorities and their approach is one of constructive engagement at both bilateral and EU level”.

Wilfred Wong, Jubilee Campaign’ Parliamentary Officer, says, “for many years Tur Abdin’s ancient Christian community has been caught between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish military, both sides accusing the Christians of collaborating with the other when all they wish is to be neutral and live in peace. At least 37 Christians have been murdered in south east Turkey and their killers have never been caught. We suspect that this may be the work of Islamic extremists. Turkish Protestant Christians have also faced increasing harassment from the police in the last year and it appears to be an attempt to stifle the growth of this little church which is comprised mainly of believers from Muslim backgrounds.”

Allowing Turkey to become a member in the European Union, will add 16 to 18% Turkish citizens to the Union. In addition to the millions of other Moslems who currently live in Europe.

September, 18, 2004

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