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TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

Articles after 2006
If Palestine, why not Kurdistan?.
A sensible solution for Cyprus
The mystery of Turkish public opinion
Bush is right on Turkey and the European Union
Let Turks live in Turkey

  • (September 2006) If Palestine, why not Kurdistan?. The USA has accepted the idea that the Palestinians should have their own state. It is not clear what differentiates Palestinians from, say, Jordanians, since they speak the same language and worship the same god, but the world seems to recognize the right to a state for these 5 million people.
    The Kurds are 25 million (14 in Turkey, 5 in Iraq, 4 in Iran, 2 in Syria). They do not have a state. They speak a language that is different from the language of the countries where they live (Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria). Their religion is different from the religion of those countries. So there is a strong case that Kurds are a better defined ethnic group than the Palestinians. They might well be the largest ethnic group in the world that does not have a national flag, a national anthem, a capital, a president, a state.
    The Kurds of Iraq have shown that they are far more mature, civilized and peaceful than the Arabs of Iraq. Kurds in Syria and Iran have similar reputations. Most Kurds in Turkey are peaceful and distance themselves from the terrorist campaign of the PKK.
    So why are the Palestinians entitled to a state and the Kurds are not?
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (February 2005) A sensible solution for Cyprus. The western obsession with preserving existing borders (a dogma also built into the "constitution" of the United Nations) is creating more problems than is solving. The sensible solution for Cyprus is to let people live with the country they want to live with. Give Turkish Cyprus to Turkey. Give Armenian Turkey to Armenia. Create a federation of Kurdish Turkey and Kurdish Iraq (and some day Kurdish Iran). Enough with the borders created by the old failed European empires.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (September 2004) The mystery of Turkish public opinion. The USA has been a good ally of Turkey throughout the Cold War, and viceversa. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, on the other hand, have been largely condemned in Turkey (as in most of the Islamic world). A recent EOS/Gallup poll shows that hostility towards the USA in Turkey is at an all-time high. But what is truly surprising is that 70% of Turks prefer the European Union over the USA (only 6% prefer the USA over the European Union). The European Union has been insulting Turkey in pretty much every possible way, letting even Slovenia and the Baltic Republics become European before Turkey is even considered a candidate. The European Union allowed a farce in Cyprus, where only the Greek part was admitted to the Union and the Turkish part is officially non-existent. The European Union has repeatedly criticized Turkey's human rights record, despite the fact that countries like France have supported mad dictators around the world for decades. The USA, on the contrary, has consistently supported Turkey's government and Turkey's aspirations, even pressuring the European Union to accept Turkey's candidacy to become a member. Saddam Hussein was widely hated in Turkey: one would expect that the Turks would appreciate the country that removed him from power.
    The USA must have truly awful diplomats if 50 years of pro-Turkish American policy and 50 years of anti-Turkish European policy result in Turkey feeling closer to the Europeans than the Americans.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (June 2004) Bush is right on Turkey and the European Union. In Istanbul, Bush delivered a speech in which he urged the European Union to admit Turkey as a member. Needless to say, his nemesis Chirac, self-appointed emperor of France and its territories (French presidents have traditionally viewed the European Union as a French colony), vehemently protested and told Bush he was meddling into European affairs (as if the USA had nothing to do with the European Union: Chirac forgets that European powers massacred each other for 1,500 years before 1945, when the USA finally told them to shut up, be friends and get united).
    Bush said that "as a European power, Turkey belongs in the European Union". This is such a simple, obvious truth (foreign minister Joschka Fisher of Germany, usually anti-American, said the same thing) that only a dictator-friendly ignorant like Chirac can dispute it. Turkey has been a European power since the fall of Constantinople (now renamed Istanbul). And a century ago it also got rid of Islam as its state religion. Turkey bans headscarves in schools (a Muslim tradition) as much as France does.
    Needless to say, bringing Turkey into the European Union would present the European Union as a truly united Europe, not just a someone's colonial ambition. But then that is precisely what Chirac does not want. He has already been hurt when he found out that the Eastern European countries are much more faithful to the USA than to France. Now he certainly does not like the idea of a country with 70 million people joining the Union and making France a negligible entity. Almost nobody in Turkey speaks French, and presumably nobody ever will. Almost nobody in Turkey cares for France's view of the world: France has traditionally had no influence on that part of the world. Nobody ever will. It is ok for Italy or even Germany to live in a world that does not care for Italy's or Germany's view of the world. It is still not ok for France to live in a world that does not care for France's view of the world. French leaders are still obsessed with DeGaulle's myth of the "Grande France" as a world power.
    Unfortunately, Chirac has the same ally he had when he defended Saddam's right to remain in power in Iraq: the Pope. The Pope has become one of the main anti-USA forces in the world, driving millions of Catholics in the streets against the removal of Saddam Hussein. The Pope is also strongly opposed to turning the European Union into a religion-neutral entity. He has insisted, time and again, that the European Union should emphasize its Christian roots. In other words, according to this two war criminals, Paris is the political capital of Europe, and Rome is its moral capital. Istanbul just doesn't fit.
    But Bush is right on both counts: Turkey deserves to be treated as a modern, civilized European union (as much as France), and it could help pacify the region. Let us not forget that the Mediterranean is the mess it is also because of France's tragic mistkes. Alas, Chirac does not see the Mediterranean as a mess because he has become powerful thanks to that mess.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (May 2004) Let Turks live in Turkey. In a national referendum, Greek Cypriots rejected a United Nations plan to reunited Cyprus, while Turkish Cypriots accepted it. The plan misfired against the European Union, which had already promised membership to the Greek Cypriots: the Greek Cypriots felt they had nothing to gain from accepting the plan, so they didn't. Since it was the Greek Cypriots that rejected reunification, let us use our brains and draw the logical consequences: the Greek Cypriots do not want to be reunited from the Turkish Cypriots, thus the Turkish Cypriots (currently protected by the Turkish army) should be left free to join Turkey. Not only is this the most reasonable solution to the problem of an ethnically divided Cyprus, but it is also the one desired by both parties: Turkish Cypriots have always wanted to be Turkish, and Greek Cypriots just voted against a the plan to unify the two sides of the island. Let us follow the will of the people, and give Turkish Cyprus to Turkey. (Surprisingly, the United Nations general secretary, Kofi Annan, expressed similar views).
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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