Turkey: part of Europe or...?

The Turkish government is not always making it easy for those in favor of Turkey's eventual accession to the EU. The failed attempt to criminalize adultery is among the milder irritations; Turkey's continued refusal to even begin to acknowledge what happened to the Armenians is a much more serious issue. An academic conference, organized by leading Turkish universities, was to begin proceedings today in an attempt to challenge the official version of the Armenian genocide.

It was not to be: after immense pressure from the government, including a speech in parliament in which the minister of justice called the conference a "stab in the back of the Turkish nation" and called for an "end to this cycle of treason and insult, of spreading propaganda against the [Turkish] nation by people who belong to it, the organizing university has now given in and "postponed" the event.

Were it not for tomorrow's holiday in parts of Germany, I can imagine the sort of coverage this would have gotten from the FAZ and similar circles opposed to Turkish entry. They generally use human-rights issues as a pretext to militate against something they hate anyway; but in this particular case, they may actually have a valid point. Until the official Turkey wakes up to its responsibilities, it has indeed no place in the EU.

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