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Sunday 15 August 2010

Blue Rondo A La Turk – 2

Continuing from looking over Young Dave’s apparent support for Turkey’s eventual membership of the EU, I began to look at how the whole business might look from the other end of the telescope.

After all the scare stories put about by the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate, one might think that Turkey was a monolithic mass of migration minded Islamists, all ready to head for the UK the moment their leaders signed the treaty of accession.

But, with the local economy growing at the start of 2010 at a double digit percentage, and unemployment falling, while interest rates remain low, one might wonder why there would be a rush to leave, only to fetch up in a country like the UK where the economic situation, given the upcoming removal of capacity from the economy by the Coalition in the form of spending cuts, is rather less certain.

Indeed, if Turkey were to join the EU, the freedom of movement that is used by some to spread scare stories about Muslims would also give those outside Turkey the right to move the other way. That might just be a hard sell, given the history of the region: were there a Turkish version of the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, the headlines could be just as lurid as in the original.

After all, in the UK there are parts of the Fourth Estate admitting that Turkey, although overwhelmingly Muslim, is a secular country, while suggesting that there might be some kind of lurch into fundamentalism. Turn that around, and think how Turks might be sold on the thought that all those Christian countries, although nominally secular, might use the EU as a Trojan Horse to start the Fourth Crusade.

Improbable? Most certainly. But no more so than the idea that tens of millions of Turkish citizens want to abandon rapidly growing, familiar and temperate Turkey for the uncertainty and occasional hostility of damper, windier UK.

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