Blasphemy resolution update: OIC, West pledge to “combat intolerance”

Flag of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference

Flag of the OIC. Image via Wikipedia

The real consequences of Breivik’s attack:

In what can rightly be described as a seminal step in relations between the Muslim world and the Western world, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the leading nations of the Western world led by the United States and the European Union agreed Saturday to take concrete steps to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.

The high-level meeting was held at the historic Yildiz Palace in Istanbul. It was attended by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Cathrine Ashton along with foreign ministers and officials from France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Poland, Romania, Denmark, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, the Vatican, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Arab League and African Union. The meeting was co-chaired by OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ever since he took office, the OIC secretary-general has been working on formulating ways and means to stop acts of religious intolerance. (Really? Because in the Mohammed cartoons, he actually fueled the conflict… and he is one of those who see plots against Islam everywhere and a “pandemic of Islam vilification” than should be fought against with a “blashphemy monitoring mechanism”).

“It was during my address to the 15th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva that I outlined a new approach toward evolving a consensus against incitement to violence and intolerance on religious grounds that could endanger peaceful coexistence and must be viewed as a direct contrast to the very notion of a globalized world,” said Ihsanoglu. “I am glad that the eight points in the proposed approach found resonance with all the negotiating partners. They formed the basis of the consensus reflected in Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. The importance of the consensual adoption of this resolution should be duly recognized.”

via OIC, West pledge to combat intolerance – Arab News.

But there is more:

The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had announced the intention of the U.S. State Department to organize a coordination meeting during her participation in the meeting which she co-chaired with the OIC Secretary General, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Istanbul on 15 July 2011. The meeting issued a joint statement emphasizing the dire need for the implementation of resolution 16/18.

Turkey: Top Military chiefs resign

Actually, this is not surprising at all. And so, the last secular Turkish bastion falls and now Erdogan can appoint someone who is more supportive of his view of democracy (1, 2):

Kuleli Military High School

Turkey’s top military officer stepped down from his post Friday, a surprise move that exposed growing tensions between the country’s military and Islamic-leaning government.

Gen. Isik Kosaner, Turkey’s chief of the general staff, retired a year ahead of schedule. His decision came as a shock in Turkey and rattled its currency.

Security analysts widely saw the move as a confirmation that Turkey’s military—the second-largest in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the U.S.’s, and long seen as the country’s dominant power—has had its wings clipped amid a lengthy power struggle with the ruling Justice and Development Party. Continue reading

Turkey: the new Turks are very similar to the old ones

Turkish people

Turkish people. Not a lot of prospects that their descendants will look like them, if we consider the results of this poll, Image via Wikipedia

In the year 2011, 23 percent of Turks think men should be able to marry up to four wives, but not the opposite – against 10 percent in 1996. Interestingly, 60 percent, both male and female, think women should obey men, while 33 percent think women deserve to be beaten by their husbands if they do not obey – compared to 19 percent in 1996. And, naturally, 70 percent think children may be damaged if mothers work. The political findings of the survey are no less interesting. Seventy-five percent of Turks think the West is at fault for poor relations with Muslim nations. And 53 percent blame the U.S. and West for poverty in Muslim countries. Unsurprisingly, 82 percent have a negative opinion of Christians while only 4 percent have a favorable opinion of Jews. Forty-five percent and 41 percent think that the most violent religions are Christianity and Judaism, respectively. And only 9 percent of Turks believe Arab groups carried out the attacks on 9/11.

via Enjoy your New Young Turk – Hurriyet Daily News.

Anyway, let them enter the European Union… as a “gesture of conciliation with the Islamic world”… 😯

TX to MFS.

Spain: Zapatero wants Morocco and Turkey in the EU as a “gesture of conciliation with the Islamic world”

You know, the only problem Spain has nowadays is, of course, that Turkey and Morocco (an autocratic Monarchy in which the King is also the “Commander of the Believers…) aren’t members of the European Union. Absolutely appalling.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero - Royal & Zapater...

Image by Guillaume Paumier via Flickr

That the only casualties of the twin bombings of Norway are European origin and people outside the Islamic religion has not prevented the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, calling on EU leaders for Morocco and Turkey to be allowed entry into the European Union as a gesture of reconciliation with the Islamic world.

The Spanish Government’s President spoke about that support in phone calls to both to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Alawite ruler of Morocco (what do Erdogan and King Mohammed VI have to do with Norwegian murder? No Muslim was murdered, no Moroccan or Turkish citizen was murdered or hurt…), in which he reiterated his commitment to the alliance of civilizations as the only way possible for a north-south agreement. Zapatero argues that both Turkey and Morocco meet the requirements set by the EU to join their project. Continue reading

Libya: EU recognizes rebel council, offers its support

A delegation of Libyan rebels, led by the leader of the National Transitional Council (NTC), has met with NATO and EU officials to discuss the ongoing situation in Libya.

For a long time, European governments treated the NTC with caution, as they did not know what it was or what its members wanted.

However, the NTC has now been recognized by several countries as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people, and in recognition of this, its leader Mahmoud Jibril was received in Brussels on Wednesday.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denma...

Image via Wikipedia

Jibril held talks with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO headquarters, and Rasmussen expressed the importantance of the visit.

“They [the NTC] have a great responsibility for the smooth transition to a democratic and inclusive future in Libya,” said Rasmussen.

via EU recognizes Libyan rebel council, offers its support | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.07.2011.

“Hamas will never recognise the Israeli state”

Well, nothing really new in this:

Hamas would consider a “truce” with Israel, but will never recognise the Jewish state, senior leader Ismail Haniya said on Tuesday as thousands of Gazans celebrated the group’s 23rd anniversary.

Speaking before flag-waving Palestinians from across the Gaza Strip, Haniya said the Islamist group would never recognise its sworn enemy.

“Let it be understood far and near that after the war, the siege, the internal and external plots: we will not recognise Israel,” he told the cheering crowds.

“Our founder Sheikh (Ahmad) Yassin said: Liberate what you can of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and where it cannot be liberated, declare a truce,” he said, referring to the group’s spiritual leader who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

Ahead of its anniversary celebrations, Hamas reiterated its aim to recover all of historic Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.

“We will cede none of it, and we will not recognise the so-called state of Israel,” a statement said on Monday, adding that its aim was to make Jerusalem the “capital of the state of Palestine” and pledging to work against Israel’s “methods of Judaisation” in the Holy City.

The strident statements stood in sharp contrast Haniya’s remarks on December 1, when he suggested Hamas could accept a negotiated peace deal if the Palestinian population and diaspora approved it in a referendum.

Hamas “will respect the results of a referendum even if the results conflict with Hamas’s positions,” he told foreign journalists at the time.

“We accept a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the land occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the issue of refugees.”

Meanwhile, we are sending more money to them through the Palestinian authority, and they are going to be very well off thanks to us.

The European Union continues his anti-Israeli stance and has “threatened” Israel with “recognising the Palestinian state” (which one?) if Israel continues building settlements, inside its borders. Although afterwards it seems that they have thought a little about that and have announced they will “wait for appropriate time” for recognizing it.

Chomsky: "Europe won’t accept Turkey because of racism"

Chomsky: EU won’t accept Turkey because of racism:

European racism is the main reason why Turkey will not be accepted into the EU, says Noam Chomsky according to Turkish newspaper, Today’s Zaman.

Europe can claim with some justification that Turkey has not satisfied all of the human rights conditions. On the other hand, I don’t really think this is the reason. …I think it is plain racism,” Chomsky said in an interview with the newspaper on Sunday.

…Chomsky added that there are worse human rights violators among European countries and pointed to Britain which participated in the war in Iraq.

“Has Turkey done anything like that? On the contrary, it refused to participate in the invasion. That’s a much higher level of observance of human rights and even international law…I always felt Europe was more racist,” he said.

The MIT professor visited İstanbul on Friday to participate in an international conference on the freedom of expression, and said he had seen great improvements in Turkey’s approach to human rights, especially in its treatment toward the Kurds.

So, now it results that after 500 years of Ottoman dominion over the Balkans (with the mixture of races and physical types that causes), Europe lets Balkan countries enter the EU and not Turkey but the problem is racism. It’s amazing this guy can sell books…

European Union: Nigel Farage on "The state of the Union"

Found at A Arte da Fuga:

Somalia: Expansion of AU Force studied at Madrid meeting

We’ll see what results this meeting has. Expatica:
Representatives of 45 nations and international bodies met in Madrid Monday to consider plans to strengthen an African Union peacekeeping force in war-torn Somalia.
The AU force, known as AMISOM, comprises about 7,200 troops, and the meeting of the UN-backed International Contact Group on Somalia, which is to conclude on Tuesday, will “look into a possible reinforcement,” Spain’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Stepping up the fight against maritime piracy in waters off the coast of Somalia and finding ways to boost support for the country’s transitional government will be among the other topics discussed, it added.
Delegates from 45 nations and international organisations, including the United States and the European Union, are taking part in the meeting which was closed to the press.
Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the top United Nations envoy to the country, Augustine Mahiga, are among the participants.
Ahmed warned in a speech before the UN General Assembly on Saturday that Somalia is “a weak link” in the fight against international terrorism and urged nations to continue to assist in training its forces and supporting the AU peacekeeping contingent.

Gaza: 100,000 children attend radical Hamas summer camps

100,000 children attend radical Hamas summer camps and another 10,000 children, the ones opened by the Islamic Jihad:

“Hamas continued to gain strength this past summer as about 100,000 youngsters underwent radical anti-Israel indoctrination at dozens of summer camps run by the terrorist group – which also attacked United Nations camps, its main competition – according to a report released on Tuesday by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

According to the report, more than 100,000 children and teenagers participated in the Hamas camps, which included paramilitary training and military parades. The Islamic Jihad terrorist organization also opened 51 different summer camps for over 10,000 children.

In contrast to the Hamas camps, the United Nations has been running summer camps throughout the Gaza Strip for 250,000 children. These camps, run by UNRWA, are being held at over 150 locations in Gaza. The participants engage in arts and crafts, sports and other cultural activities, and are mostly between the ages of six and 15.”

I haven’t listened to any important leader protesting this as they did with the Qu’ran burning. And this is nothing more and nothing less than children’s exploitation and abuse….
Meanwhile, the European Union has ruled illegal to freeze assets from Al-Aqsa, Hamas’ supporters. The  evidence, presented by Dutch Government, that linked the supposedly humanitarian actions of the Dutch branch of the Al-Aqsa Foundation in funding the terrorist group, cannot be considered as a “good reason” to black-list the whole Foundation. A court speaker have said that, the State Members should present “better reasons” to black-list it or remove it.

Turkey: Erdogan succeeds in reforming Constitution

“TRT1, the state television broadcaster, reported that with almost 90% of the ballots counted, 59% of Turks voted ‘Yes’ to a package of constitutional amendments that would restructure the judiciary and increase civilian jurisdiction over the military, which has deposed four governments since 1960.
Opinion polls in the run-up to the vote suggested the result would be much closer, with a majority of surveys predicting the amendments would scrape through with just over 50% of the vote. Analysts said that if early polling holds, it would be a ‘major boost’ to the government heading into national elections expected to take place next summer.
‘This is an overwhelming result, given opinion polls had pointed to a marginal ‘Yes’… Clearly the undecided voters have come out and voted in favor of the continuation of the reform process,’ said Simon Quijano-Evans, head of emerging-market strategy at Credit Agricole Cheuvreux SA in Vienna.

Many of the proposed amendments would improve individual liberties and protections, and those enjoy wide support.
But the package is controversial because it also would greatly expand the Constitutional Court and Turkey’s top judicial body, until now bastions of secularist opposition to the government. As recently as 2008, the Constitutional Court came within one vote of shutting down the ruling Justice and Development party, or AKP, on grounds that it was a threat to Turkey’s secular foundations. Opponents of the government worry Ankara would be able to pack the courts if the package passes, transforming the balance of power within the country.
“A vote for ‘Yes’ is a vote for the Islamists. They plan to change Turkey in a negative way,” said Onur Sagunc, a 26-year old retail assistant. He said he voted “No” as soon as polls opened at 7 a.m.”
The amendments also would expand membership of the Constitutional Court to 17 judges from 11, and the powerful Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors to 22 members from seven. Given that new appointments would be made at a time when the AK party controls Parliament and President Abdullah Gü also is a member of that party, the political tenor of the courts could change dramatically.
Investors are looking to the poll for clues as to whether Mr. Erdogan’s party will secure a third-term majority government at next year’s national elections.
To full Islamism, installed in every corner of the Judiciary. I’m curious how the Army is going to react to this results.
But if there is an article supporting Erdogan that is Should Turkey’s Erdogan worry the West? @Newsweek:
Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy have made clear their antipathy toward Turkey’s full membership of the European Union. The rejection has hit Erdogan hard, say people close to him. Having invested so much political capital to implement EU–dictated reforms, Erdogan now “feels a deep sense of personal betrayal,” says the longtime backer. The prime minister himself recently told diplomats: “If the motivation of the Turkish people for full membership in the EU decreases, it’s because of EU policies toward Turkey.”
Erdogan, says Byford, “seeks a fundamental change in [Turkey’s] relationship” with the West, to “an ally but not a subordinate.” He takes pride in the fact that Turkey has emerged stronger than ever from the economic crisis, says the former AKP M.P. Now his No. 1 goal is to make the people rather than generals the real arbiters of Turkey’s future. Those people will doubtless in time vote him down for arrogance and for his clumsy attempts to silence opposition. But if by that time Turkey is more at peace with itself and with its neighbors, then Erdogan’s gamble will have paid off handsomely.
Of course, being condemned by religious hate, supporting Ahmadinejad and accusing Israel of “state-sponsored terrorism” aren’t important things. Just trivial details…

"EU, Maghreb share "common interests" on migration, security"

European Union: adapted from original orthogra...Image via Wikipedia

Lesueur, a general delegate at the Thomas More Institute, said the EU had a role to play in putting an end to the conflict between Morocco and Algeria over Western Sahara, a 266,000 square-kilometre territory that has been a bone of contention between the two countries.

According to him, the new distribution of portfolios within the European Commission should accelerate progress, as several commissioners are concerned by the issue. He also proposed to appoint a coordinator.

“We urge the EU to reinvest itself in the region and place its relations with the Maghreb at the top of its agenda,” he said.

Moreover, “the EU should help projects and business development,” he said, stressing the importance of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), launched in 2008 under the French EU Presidency.

On migration, Lesueur explained that Morocco had problems similar to those faced by Europe in dealing with its southern neighbourhood. As sub-Sahel migrants move north to reach Europe, “Maghreb countries are transforming themselves into transit countries, and are also slowly turning into host countries,” he said, remarking that thousands of Senegalese are currently living in Algerian capital Tangiers.

This, he argued, highlights the common challenges faced by Europe and the Maghreb, as he says the countries in the region may soon start experiencing ethnic tensions and even racism.

To deal with such problems, Lesueur says the EU’s Frontex agency should open offices in the South Sahel region and work in close cooperation with Maghreb countries. “It is not sufficient to return illegal migrants from Spain to Morocco,” he stressed.

In reality, he said the EU’s migration policy “is being played out in Nouakchott [Mauritania] and Dakar [Senegal],” not on the island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily. “Lampedusa represents the failure of the EU’s migration policy,” he said.

Similarly, he said European security and anti-terrorism policy is not being played out at the EU’s southern borders, but 3,000 kilometres away. “In the anti-terrorism area, Algeria and Morocco have pretty well cleared Al Qaeda off the ground,” he remarked. But the organisation has now retreated further south to Mali, Cameroon and Senegal, he said.

So the EU is beginning to act protecting countries which are not inside the EU. I think we have enough problems inside our borders which are not solved by now, to defend countries which are not inside those borders. But I’m sure this is just the next step after the “United Economic Space”, negotiated with Morocco.

There are a lot of people worried about Turkey entering EU. Morocco should also worry every free citizen: a theocracy with no possibility of changing into a democracy, expelling Christians for “proselityzing”, mistreating homosexuals, opponents to the regime (specially Saharauis) or who demonstrate against fasting in Ramadan and shutting down (or banning) MSM for insulting Islam or the King. An ideal partner…

Of course, Algeria has also a growing problem with Islamism and has condemned people to three years in prison for owning a Bible. So, I don’t think it’s an ideal partner either.

Besides, if Islam/Shariah is the Law’s source in these states, I’m sure the measures taken will be different. Or not?

Switzerland: the "Alliance of Civilizations" will analyse the "minarets’ crisis

The flag of EuropeImage via Wikipedia

The ministerial conference of the Alliance of Civilizations, to be held in Cordoba on 3 and 4 May as part of the Spanish EU presidency, will address the impact of the crisis provoked by the Swiss decision to ban the construction of minarets in mosques.

The meeting will take the title Religious freedom in democratic societies and with the participation of some 300 people, including ministers, religious scholars and leaders of EU countries, as reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for organizing the event.

Among the guests will have a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, who will present the impact it is having the measure in his country on the minarets in the Muslim worship centers.

Most Swiss citizens approved the ban on building minarets in a referendum held on 29 November.

The Swiss Government has been saying that this decision should not be interpreted as an attack against Islam or its adherents, although it has caused great unrest in Muslim countries and has encouraged far-right parties in other European countries to go in the same direction.

A meeting of delegates will attend Córdoba candidate countries for accession to the EU, the EU institutions and the Council of Europe.

Also invited to the bishops of the eight cities of Andalusia and the representatives of the major religious communities.

The conference will feature several panels, which will discuss issues such as pluralism of faiths, the role of religious leaders and combating radicalization and religious extremism.

It is not yet confirmed attendance of Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos s deputy for Córdoba.

Moratinos organized in the capital of Córdoba in October 2007 a meeting to discuss a religious intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in Western countries. It was held on that occasion by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The Alliance of Civilizations was initiated by Spain and Turkey in 2004 to help foster understanding between religions and cultures.

The group of friends of the Alliance, integrated into United Nations, has around one hundred countries.

Why religious freedom is not analysed in un-democratic societies, for example, in Islamic societies? Why always democratic countries should under the microscope, while huge Human Rights violations are taking place in other parts of the world, without anyone caring about them because the place they are happening are not democratic countries?

Really fed up of hypocrisy…

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Somalia: Spanish frigate Victoria destroys pirates’ mother ship

Spanish frigate Victoria.

The Spanish frigate is participating in the so-called Operation Focus inside the Operation Atalanta, the EU operation to control and monitor the pirates from theSomali ports in which they operate. This morning, a helicopter from the Victoria located a whaler, who was used as the mother ship, and several suspicious skiffs. Upon reaching the area to inspect the boats, the military have seized the frigate weapons and other material for acts of piracy. Aftwerwards and following the instructions of command of Operation Atalanta, they went to destroy the mother ship.

Photo: Telecinco.

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Estonian president: "Europe must think about Turkey’s membership"

43th Munich Security Conference 2007: The Pres...Image via Wikipedia

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said Friday Europe must think about Turkey‘s membership from a global and strategic perspective and approve Turkey’s membership.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Friday, Ilves said that he was pleased to be in Turkey.

“I had visited Mr. Gul while he was the prime minister. I have warm feelings towards Turkey and have made statements in the past in support of Turkey,” Ilves said.

“Relations between Turkey and Estonia began a long time ago. Turkey had recognized Estonia as a new country at a time of occupation by the Soviet Union and rejected the Soviets’ occupation of Estonia. Turkey has always had great support for Estonia,” Ilves said.

“Turkey has the right to be present in the EU. Europe must look at Turkey’s membership from a strategic perspective,” Ilves said.

“There are Turcology departments in Estonia’s universities and many Estonians know how to speak Turkish. It is crucial for the peoples of our two countries to get to know each other. Estonians come to Turkey as tourists and we expect to see Turkish tourists in Estonia,” Ilves also said.

If it’s so important for Estonia, just let Mr. Ilves sing: “Let’s get together and feel alright“. But don’t try the rest are going to accept his ideas, specially when Turkish president was condemned for religious hate. Turkey is a democracy, so a majority of Turks didn’t consider important that fact when they voted for him.


  1. Erdogan calls Israel “principal threat” to peace in the Middle East.
  2. Germany: Merkel calls for “biligualism and integration” of Turkish immigrants.
  3. Merkel against Erdogan’s initiative of Turkish schools’ net.
  4. Turkish constitutional reform angers judges.
  5. Erdogan seeks influence through Turkish emigrants.
  6. Saudi King awards Erdogan.
  7. Erdogan’s double standards.
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Morocco: "Christian proselitism is terrorism", ulemas say

{{pt|O presidente Luís Inácio Lula da Silva e ...Image via Wikipedia

Read at El País:

7,000 Moroccan ulemas (Islamic scholars) rejected in a common message the Christian proselitism in their country and considered it even like a “moral rape” and “religious terrorism” that “tries to divert Moroccan children from their faith”.

The collective text released this weekend is the last episode of the campaign by the authorities in Rabat against foreign Christians who settled in Morocco accusing them of proselytizing and trying to shake the faith of Muslims, a crime in the Moroccan criminal code.

Throughout the month of March about 70 Christians have been forced to flee the country, as calculated by the different churches, but the Moroccan Interior Ministry acknowledged only the expulsion of 16 who ran a small orphanage in Leuh Ain, in the Atlas Mountains .

The Christian victims of the decision of the Interior are all Protestants except a Franciscan who lived in Larache. It is the first Catholic ever expelled from northern Morocco, as the Archbishop of Tanger has said. He also denies that they had been proselytising, while attending the small community of foreign Catholics in that city.

The message of the ulemas expressed “full support and great pride” of those who subscribe to “the relevant historic decisions taken by the government to abort the hypocritical  part by a Christian group of proselitizing” in the country. Their performance with the children, the message continues, is “a moral violation, a form of religious terrorism and is equivalent to the abduction of innocent children.”

These tough decisions,” the statement concluded, “reassure us about the future of the national faith protected by Divine Providence that watches and by His Majesty Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, as defender of the faith (…)” . The text of the scholars of Islam was spread by its highest hierarchical body, the Supreme Ulema Council chaired by the monarch (NOTE: speaking about division of State and Religion).

The Archbishops of Rabat and Tangiers, the apostolic nuncio in Rabat and the official representative of Protestant churches in Morocco have demanded an explanation to the authorities on the wave of expulsions, but so far they have obtained none. Some Moroccan converts to Christianity have been the victims in March apparently of police harassment.

At least two governments, the U.S. and the Netherlands, have criticized the measures taken by the Moroccan authorities, but not the Spanish that is currently chairing the European Union. The bulk of the expulsions were carried, however, during the first weekend of March. At that time it was held in Granada the first summit between Morocco and the EU supported by Spain.

So, ehhm, our dear President stopped from critisizing Morocco because they were negotiating the “united economic space”. Hasn’t he sooo marvellous a relationship with Moroccan King? Weren’t this Govt staunch defenders of Human Rights?

Oh, wait, the expelled ones were Christians…

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Erdogan Calls Israel 'Principal Threat' to Middle East Peace

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey...

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Relations between Turkey and Israel, already at a low point, took a further battering Wednesday when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Israel as “the principal threat to peace” in the Middle East.

…Mr. Erdogan’s clashes with Israel and rapprochement with Iran and Syria have led some analysts to believe Turkey is making a fundamental foreign-policy shift away from its Cold War partners in the West, in particular the U.S., and toward Middle Eastern powers such as Iran. At a recent meeting of foreign-policy analysts in Istanbul held by the Turkish Policy Quarterly, Israeli and Turkish analysts agreed on one point—the alliance those two countries built on shared security concerns in the 1990s is probably unsalvageable.

But a 38-page report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think tank on Turkey’s new role in the Middle East, released Wednesday, said the belief Turkey is turning away from the West is “incorrect.” The report noted that Turkey’s trade with Europe continues to outweigh its trade with the Middle East by a wide margin, and European Union membership remains its core goal. But the report also warned that Mr. Erdogan risks losing the trust of Western allies.

via Erdogan Calls Israel ‘Principal Threat’ to Middle East Peace –

And… Turkey is going to raise the subject of the (alleged) Israeli nuclear arsenal on the next Washington meeting. We’ll see what happens…

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France: Sarkozy Still Opposed to Turkish EU Membership

This is an update of this story:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a staunch opponent of Turkey’s membership in the European Union, may pay his first visit to Ankara later this year.

Sarkozy, invited to Turkey by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Paris on Wednesday, said he may visit after November, the Anatolia news agency reported.

But the French leader refused to change his stance towards Turkey’s EU membership bid, Anatolia said, reporting that the two sides repeated their known positions during talks held in Paris.

Despite their disagreements, Sarkozy and Erdogan said they were committed to improving bilateral ties between Turkey and France. The two sides also appeared to disagree on the issue of sanctions against Iran, but Sarkozy announced full backing for Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

Erdogan traveled to the French capital in a bid to boost diplomatic ties and enhance cooperation in the fields of economy, energy and transportation between the two countries.

via Sarkozy Still Opposed to Turkish EU Membership | Asbarez Armenian News.

Well, these are good news, but the Lisbon Treaty could facilitate Turkey’s entry in the EU or, at least, a “priviledged” commercial situation, whatever France, Germany or Cyprus, think about the issue.

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Turkish PM Erdogan: Sooner or later Turkey will become a full EU member

Flags of the EU and Turkey.
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If Turkey is not included into the European Union as a full member, then the EU itself will suffer, but not Ankara, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference in Sarajevo, CNN Turk reported.

“I am sure that sooner or later Turkey will become an equal member of the European Union. This day is near. The EU will only be a Christian club without Turkey,” Erdogan told media.

via Today.Az – Turkish PM Erdogan: Sooner or later Turkey will become a full EU member.

Well, does it have to be other thing that a Christian club? Is there something wrong in that?

And yet, he maybe right thanks to the Lisbon Treaty:

Do you remember the promise made by the EU in 2004 to end the isolation of northern Cyprus by allowing direct trade between the Turkish part of the island and the member states of the EU? It was meant as a reward for the Yes-vote to the Annan-plan by the Turkish Cypriots. Unfortunately, the EU was not able to deliver on that promise because the Greek Cypriots used their presence at the EU table to block the adoption of the trade agreement. The proposal is still there, it was never withdrawn but politically it was dead because of the Cypriot determination to use their veto.
But that is no longer possible under the new rules of the Lisbon Treaty. Trade agreements have to receive the approval of the majority in the EP and of a so-called qualified majority (that means, roughly speaking, a two-third majority) among the EU member states. All pending trade agreements have automatically been transferred to this new decision mechanism. Including the free trade proposal with northern Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Turks are not assimilating in Austria, where more than half a million live, specially in Vienna:

They are here to dominate,” said Vienna-based counter-jihad acticist Harald Fiegel. “And of course, knowing a little bit about Islam, you can read it there. They are are here to dominate all the world, not just Europe.”

Fiegel monitors Islamic growth in Austria. He says Turkish Muslim immigrants are not assimilating.

“What they are trying to do is segregation,” he told CBN News. “To maintain Turkish national and religious identity.”

The same happens in Germany as we have seen lately.

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EU-Lybia: appeasement on Schengen ban

Libya has lifted a visa ban on travelers from 25 European nations after the resolution of a diplomatic row that began with Switzerland.

Libya’s Foreign Ministry says it scrapped the measure after the European Union blocked a Swiss proposal for a visa blacklist against nearly 200 senior Libyan officials, including leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Libyan ban was issued in February and caused particular concern in European nations with heavy oil investments in the country.

via Libya lifts visa ban on 25 European nations after resolution of dispute with Switzerland.

And how do you think this has been made:

“Spanish presidency of the EU “feels sorry and deplores” all “the problems” derived from the inclusion of Lybian citizens in the list of Schengen information system, whose names have all being erased”, according to Spanish FM Moratinos’ statement.

… In the press conference after the European Council in Brussels, Zapatero announced Moratino’s trip to the Lybian city of Sirte to take part in the Arab League meeting.

Oh, Lord… So Gadhaffi’s son assaults several maids on a Swiss hotel. He is arrested with his wife. Then they are both expelled from the country. Gadhaffi, instead of being reasonable (when has he been reasonable?), arrests Swiss citizens in the country and bans European citizens from entering the country. And Zapatero feels sorry and deplores that Switzerland included Gadhaffi and family in the Schengen list of banned citizens? 😐

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