Monday, October 23, 2006

Is there anyone surprised by this?


BBC BREAKING NEWS for October 22, 2006


The end of Ramadan brings with it unexpected news that Turkey has withdrawn its application to the European Union. The abrupt move comes following a surge in religious and nationalist pride that has swept through the Islamic world following the 7/27 attacks on India, Malaysia and Indonesia, who together represent over 350 million Muslims.

Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a profound belief that the Islamic world needs, “to unite and act as a single body in order to counter western terrorism.”

Following Erdogan’s statement, the next announcement from Ankara was the President’s announcement of the government’s decision to convene a pan Moslem counter-Christian terrorism summit under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. Further, Erdogan, General Staff Chief Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, and The Turkish National Security Council (MGK) have indicated they intend to explore the possibility of both comprehensive cross-border cooperation with Islamic forces resisting US occupation in Iraq, while at the same time securing stable relations with the current Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) based in northern Iraq, whether by diplomatic persuasion or military measures.

Buyukanit also indicated that perhaps his country’s withdrawal from NATO was another imminent possibility. “Despite differences,” he said, “Turkey, the Kurds and the new government of Iraq, share a common goal of eliminating safe harbors for Christian militants.”

Unsubstantiated reports arriving from the press conference suggest President Ahmet Necdet Sezer may have also made several vulgar and therefore unprintable references in passing regarding French leader Nicolas Sarkozy who has long been a thorn in Turkey's bid for EU membership.

Fueling this movement is growing global interest in Hadhari Islam, a modernistic approach to Islamic values heralded and promoted by Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and which already finds much in common with Turkish civil values.

According to an official Hadhari website maintained by the Malaysian government: “Hadhari emphasizes development, consistent with the tenets of Islam but simultaneously focused on creating a dynamic economic, trading and financial system.”

Which is to say the controlling group of Islamic centrists have expressed no intention to withdraw from international life, as might be expected, but just the opposite. Talk across the Islamic world is now how best to accelerate economic, industrial and military growth –with or without help from the west.

Therefore the Turks are jubilant that despite the government’s abrupt withdrawal from EU talks, a consortium of global business leaders, convening at Meeting of the Turkish Investment Advisory Council held in Istanbul, indicated that they would continue investing in Turkey. Trade will therefore likely go on as usual with Europe and the rest of the world. However, Turkey –at least for the time being– has deemed unreasonable any economic partnership with states or organizations predominantly opposed to the nation’s core Islamic values.

Receiving news of the Turkish withdrawal, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn expressed profound disappointment on the turn of events. Speaking to European reporters he said: "Turkey is the guide of the Muslim world from Morocco to Malaysia. If you hinder Turkey, a clash of civilizations erupts between the West and Islam."

But as another reporter for the Times noted, quoting Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse Five, whenever the author denoted an end to things long taken for granted: He said, "So it goes."