Mehmet Ali BrandTurkish Daily News
Turkey just got a new enemy, said Mehmet Ali Brand in Ankaras Turkish Daily News. French Presidentelect Nicolas Sarkozy already has one crystalclear policy: to keep Turkey out of Europe. Sarkozy says Turkey is clearly an Asian country with cultural and religious ties to the Middle East, and that it therefore has no place in the European Union. No other European leader has been so unambiguous in opposing Turkeys candidacy for E.U. membership. Its plain that Sarkozy sees Muslims as fundamentally unEuropean. He has criticized his countrys own Muslim citizens for failing to assimilate, saying, in essence, Whoever doesnt love France can leave it. Such a vocal and powerful opponent will hurt the European cause in Turkey. Those here who already doubt the wisdom of joining the E.U. will simply say the cause is hopeless and should be dropped. We cant let that happen. Sarkozy cant decide whether Turkey is European or not. Only we Turks canby enacting the judicial and political reforms that would bring us up to E.U. norms. That job is now harder, but it wont be impossible.