Abant Platform Debates EU and Turkey
On the second day of the of the Abant Platform scholars, journalists and civil organization leaders discussed the present politcal and economic position of the European Union and the issue of Turkish assession to the EU.
Some attendees of Muslim background began the talk criticizing EU nations for sheltering Islamphobia. In response European Union expert Joost Lagendijk and writer for Today’s Zaman pointed out that racist anti-Muslim parties in Holland only won 15% of the local vote and 85% of Dutch voters “hated such parties.”
Armenian journalist Lili Gasparian stated that she felt that Turkey should not join the EU because her experience in France as a student was that French and European culture created by the EU was “cold and impersonal.” Gasparian, however, found Turkish culture to be warm and friendly. Lagendijk then asked Gasparian to be careful in making massive generalizations about all European nations and peoples.
Italian Professor Lanfranco Aceti said he no longer supported the existence of the EU because at its inception Aceti thought the EU would be a democractizing, equalizing construct. However, Aceti related multiple examples where EU nations protect their national political, economic and academic corrupt structures. Aceti stressed that he felt Turkey had been lucky not to have been accepted into the EU.
The Abant Platform is a conference bringing prominent thinkers to the scenic Abant Lake region of western Turkey. It will finish on Sunday.
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