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02 January 2010

Turkey is part of Europe. Fear keeps it out of the EU

Analysis of readers comments on the above Guardian Cif post by Tariq Ramadan 6 August 2009 - See full post here

A massive 95% of Guardian Cif readers disagree with what Tariq Ramadan has to say about Turkey and the EU.

Sample chart

This is based on the first 75 comments made on Mr Ramadan's post. In total over several days it attracted over 300 comments, the first 75 setting the pattern. This is a high number for a Cif post and shows the interest in the topic. For information about Mr Ramadan see here and here

Readers CommentsVotes for Comments
Strongly For9121313.2
Strongly Against5472.0362088.0

The numbers involved are significant. Readers could vote for more than one comment but even allowing for this, the 4115 votes counted above for and against Mr Ramadan's arguments, could easily represent over a thousand people - a good sample by any standard.

The following small selection of extracts from readers comments gives a good summary of what they had to say.

…. Turks, in general, are more likely to identify with their co-religionists in the Middle East than with Europeans, though they may favour EU membership because of the economic benefits. If Turkey joins Europe it will quickly become the most populous member state and therefore the one with the greatest voting weight in Brussels and Strasbourg. It would have more clout in Europe than, say, Britain or France.

…. A Muslim evangelist who also happens to be the charismatic face of the Muslim brotherhood in Europe supports the full entry of a country of nearly 70 million Muslims, and which borders Iraq. Iran and Syria, into the EU. Surprise surprise.

…. So it's fear, and not the fact that Turkey doesn't have free speech and has an abysmal human rights record? Really?

…. Turkey is in crisis and doesn't know where it wants to be. …. It would be very bad for both parties. So naturally Tariq Ramadan is in favour of it because he sees everything through a single prism, "is it good for Islam".

…. Turkey may be argued to be part of Europe geographically, the same way Israel, Russia, Ukraine or Georgia could be considered. But …. sections of the country are more on par with Iraq and Afghanistan than Europe. Tribal, archaic and under developed.

…. I just want to ask why the Judeo-Christian perspective of European history is apparently something to be "overcome", while the Muslim history of Turkey and other Eastern lands is perfectly okay and not subject to a requirement to become more diverse in the same way that people seem to wish for Europe to become more diverse. Why the double standard?

…. Turkey's EU admission would put the frontiers of Europe up against Iran and Iraq. Instead of being a "bridge" between East and West, Turkey would become a tunnel.

…. Turkey is a fascinating country with it's own distinct history and cultural mix. One thing it is not is European. It's influenced by Europe, as are say, India and Morocco, but it's no more European than India or Morocco. For you to claim that pointing this out is "racist" shows how meaningless the term racist has now become (as well as exposing your anti-European, anti-white agenda).

…. When the Turkish PM comes out with this ...... "I repeat... assimilation is a crime against humanity," …. in a speech to parliament in Ankara …. When talking about Turks in Germany I think my fears of Turkey joining the EU are justified. See here

…. Turkey bans biologist Richard Dawkins' website. One good reason why Turkey shouldn't be part of the European Union.