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July 02, 2007


Like many pro-EU-integrationists, I'd be happy to see Turkey join. The German EU presidency (worst of all EU governments, with the history of racist German treatment of Turkish migrants who I believe still cannot get German citizenship, even into the second and third generation),has been against for all the wrong reasons. But of course there are some absolutely right conditions too re capital punishment, minority rights etc. Impossible to predict, right now, how things will go with the forthcoming Turkish elections or with EU membership. Impossible to predict how things will go in my own country, in these very frightening times, never mind in Turkey. I've just been reading some of the endless, horrible xenophobic, Islamophobic public comments on the BBC news website about recent events in England and Scotland. It's not surprising. But it's horrible. For all I am desperately opposed to some of the economic and cultural effects of globalisation, I remain convinced that European integration has to be the right way to go - to build, in as open-minded a way as possible, on what we have in common...

I second Jean here. I am not a EU national, but I still agree with everything she says. It's really sad how, on a personal and empyrical level, one can witness the profound differences, mutual resentment and anger there is between, say, Greek, (Greek) Cypriot and Turkish young people. Greek students I know always had a passive-agressive comment to make about Cypriots, and viceversa. And when the Greek Cypriots are asked to talk about Turkey, well, there's hell. And these are postgraduates doing humanities degrees.

And yes, you should have seen The Sun's cover yesterday... so disgusting.

Thanks for your perspectives, Jean and Ernesto. I agree with both of you.

"...in a world that seems to be becoming more polarized with every passing day..."

"...dialogue, trade and cooperation between nations as a path to understanding and peace..."

Amen. Looking at things from the other side of the Atlantic, I am frightened and bone-weary of the damage that has been caused by the administration of our country (US) drawing spurious lines in the sand. The resulting polarization in our own country as a result of these policies, which of course have contributed to the problems you allude to above, is as severe as anything I've seen in my lifetime.

I've somehow stopped getting comment notifications from TypePad, so I missed seeing yours quickly. Sorry! thanks very much for the comment - and I couldn't agree with you more. It's extremely sad and disheartening to see what's happened in our country; I was just writing about that very subject in my journal this morning. I'm glad some of us have an online connection as a way to discuss these trends and our feelings about them.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.