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European Culture: The Question of Turkey. The Enlightenment, Modernity, and European Identity The Enlightenment was a European philosophical movement.

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Presentation on theme: "European Culture: The Question of Turkey. The Enlightenment, Modernity, and European Identity The Enlightenment was a European philosophical movement."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Culture: The Question of Turkey

2 The Enlightenment, Modernity, and European Identity The Enlightenment was a European philosophical movement which closely coincided with the Scientific Revolution The Enlightenment was a European philosophical movement which closely coincided with the Scientific Revolution Both movements emphasized the role of reason, science and rationality as a way of understanding human behavior and the natural world.Both movements emphasized the role of reason, science and rationality as a way of understanding human behavior and the natural world. In the political domain the emphasis on reason, science and rationality emerged as a critique of the religiously dominated, oppressive politics of the middle ages. In the political domain the emphasis on reason, science and rationality emerged as a critique of the religiously dominated, oppressive politics of the middle ages. From this philosophy was born social/political movements like the American and French revolutions, participatory democracies, and the separation of church and state.From this philosophy was born social/political movements like the American and French revolutions, participatory democracies, and the separation of church and state. This movement continues to strongly influence European perspectives on ‘good governance’ and economic policy. Membership into the European Union requires adherence to policies that reflect Enlightenment thinking. This movement continues to strongly influence European perspectives on ‘good governance’ and economic policy. Membership into the European Union requires adherence to policies that reflect Enlightenment thinking.

3 The Birth of the European Union The European Union emerged out of the European Economic Community (EEC), which was formed in The European Union emerged out of the European Economic Community (EEC), which was formed in Its goal was to ensure peace through greater economic integration.Its goal was to ensure peace through greater economic integration. Original countries included: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Italy, and West Germany. Followed by 5 episodes of expansion to include Denmark, Ireland, the UK, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, and Sweden.Original countries included: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Italy, and West Germany. Followed by 5 episodes of expansion to include Denmark, Ireland, the UK, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, and Sweden. In 1992, a treaty enlarging the concept of the EEC to that of the European Union was signed at Maastricht, Netherlands. In 1992, a treaty enlarging the concept of the EEC to that of the European Union was signed at Maastricht, Netherlands. In 2004 the EU accepted 10 new members: Cyprus (not including the Turkish controlled north), the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In 2004 the EU accepted 10 new members: Cyprus (not including the Turkish controlled north), the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey have formally applied for membership. Their membership has been frustrated by resistance within Europe and within their own borders.Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey have formally applied for membership. Their membership has been frustrated by resistance within Europe and within their own borders.

4 The Goals of the EU Economic and Social Integration of Europe Through the elimination of tariffs and passports people, goods, and money should be able to easily move throughout the European Union.Through the elimination of tariffs and passports people, goods, and money should be able to easily move throughout the European Union. This should lower transaction costs for doing business in the region; allow countries with small population growth, like France and Germany, to acquire necessary labor; and to increase income equality around the region. This should lower transaction costs for doing business in the region; allow countries with small population growth, like France and Germany, to acquire necessary labor; and to increase income equality around the region. Through the creation of a common currency businesses can lower transaction costs across Europe, travel between countries will become cheaper, and Europe will be able to exercise greater global economic influence through monetary policies.Through the creation of a common currency businesses can lower transaction costs across Europe, travel between countries will become cheaper, and Europe will be able to exercise greater global economic influence through monetary policies.

5 Goals of the EU To serve as a geopolitical counter weight to the US. To serve as a geopolitical counter weight to the US. The United States’ decision to preemptively attack Iraq led European leaders to adopt a global intermediary and peacekeeping role in order to curtail the US’s future reliance on such military solutions.The United States’ decision to preemptively attack Iraq led European leaders to adopt a global intermediary and peacekeeping role in order to curtail the US’s future reliance on such military solutions. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Initially designed to serve as a counterweight to Soviet Expansion, the end of the cold war has redefined NATO’s role in global politics.The North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Initially designed to serve as a counterweight to Soviet Expansion, the end of the cold war has redefined NATO’s role in global politics. Original members included The US, Canada, Western Europe and Turkey. Original members included The US, Canada, Western Europe and Turkey. NATO is considered an important precursor to the EU. So why has Turkey’s membership into the EU been so contentious? NATO is considered an important precursor to the EU. So why has Turkey’s membership into the EU been so contentious?

6 Assimilation versus Acculturation In Europe, race and skin color pay less of a role in defining difference between people than does culture. In Europe, race and skin color pay less of a role in defining difference between people than does culture. Immigrants into EU countries and new members of the EU are expected to assimilate into European culture (i.e. to adopt political, social, and cultural institutions and behaviors born from the Enlightenment)Immigrants into EU countries and new members of the EU are expected to assimilate into European culture (i.e. to adopt political, social, and cultural institutions and behaviors born from the Enlightenment) This means that immigrants and new member countries must abandon ‘traditional’ cultural practices, including dress, language, religious practices, political systems, and family structure in order to be accepted into European Society.This means that immigrants and new member countries must abandon ‘traditional’ cultural practices, including dress, language, religious practices, political systems, and family structure in order to be accepted into European Society. Conversely, in the US and Canada the norm for new immigrants is acculturation; that is enough adoption to the host culture for members of minority groups to function effectively and be self-supporting Conversely, in the US and Canada the norm for new immigrants is acculturation; that is enough adoption to the host culture for members of minority groups to function effectively and be self-supporting

7 Turkey and Europe Turkey emerged as an independent nation in 1923, following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Turkey emerged as an independent nation in 1923, following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Mustafa Kemal Mustafa Kemal Ataturk “Father of the Turks”: Powerfully influenced by his experience in Europe. Believed that the predominance of religious (Islamic) thinking in Turkey inhibited its progress toward becoming a modern state. Under his authoritarian rule Turkey sought to create a secular Islamic society. Military empowered to ensure that Turkey resists becoming an Islamic state and retains its secular traditions. With a population of over 71,000,000 people, 99% of whom are Muslim, Turkey is the largest secular Islamic state in the world. With a population of over 71,000,000 people, 99% of whom are Muslim, Turkey is the largest secular Islamic state in the world. Despite many historical, political and social similarities with Europe, there is still strong resistance among some Europeans and Turks to Turkey’s integration in the EU. Why? Despite many historical, political and social similarities with Europe, there is still strong resistance among some Europeans and Turks to Turkey’s integration in the EU. Why?

8 Issues facing Turkey The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 20% of Turkey’s population is Kurdish20% of Turkey’s population is Kurdish Efforts to create an autonomous Kurdish state has occupied much of the militaries energies, especially since the US invasion of Iraq.Efforts to create an autonomous Kurdish state has occupied much of the militaries energies, especially since the US invasion of Iraq. Fighting with PKK guerillas has cost the lives of some 30,000 people.Fighting with PKK guerillas has cost the lives of some 30,000 people. Human rights abuses in this war are cited as reason to exclude Turkey from the EU.Human rights abuses in this war are cited as reason to exclude Turkey from the EU. Northern Cyprus: 1974 Turkey intervened to prevent the Greek take over of Cyprus. Southern Cyprus is a member of the EU. Turkey is the only country it he world to recognize “The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus”. Human rights abuses in Cyprus are cited as a reason to exclude turkey from the EU. Northern Cyprus: 1974 Turkey intervened to prevent the Greek take over of Cyprus. Southern Cyprus is a member of the EU. Turkey is the only country it he world to recognize “The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus”. Human rights abuses in Cyprus are cited as a reason to exclude turkey from the EU. There have been three military coups in Turkey since its independence (1960, 1971, 1980) in each case the military has stepped in to end perceived threats to Turkey’s secular traditions. There have been three military coups in Turkey since its independence (1960, 1971, 1980) in each case the military has stepped in to end perceived threats to Turkey’s secular traditions. This is viewed by some as forced assimilation into European cultureThis is viewed by some as forced assimilation into European culture

9 EU membership Several European leaders, Nicolas Sarkozy being one, have strongly resisted Turkey’s membership into the EU because Turkey’s Muslim majority is not compatible with what it means to be European. Several European leaders, Nicolas Sarkozy being one, have strongly resisted Turkey’s membership into the EU because Turkey’s Muslim majority is not compatible with what it means to be European. The French have banned the wearing of headscarves in public places, but not crosses. Turks have also banned headscarves.The French have banned the wearing of headscarves in public places, but not crosses. Turks have also banned headscarves. Many European Union members can be accused of the same human rights violations as Turkey. Thus denying membership may have more to do with perceived cultural differences between Christian Europe and Muslim Turkey. Many European Union members can be accused of the same human rights violations as Turkey. Thus denying membership may have more to do with perceived cultural differences between Christian Europe and Muslim Turkey. In short, their may be a strong perception in Europe that there is something fundamentally incompatible between the European identity, born out of the Enlightenment, and the Muslim faith.In short, their may be a strong perception in Europe that there is something fundamentally incompatible between the European identity, born out of the Enlightenment, and the Muslim faith. Forced secularization in Turkey is perceived by some as a threat to Muslim identityForced secularization in Turkey is perceived by some as a threat to Muslim identity

10 Discussion Questions In the of the debate over headscarves, what are the similarities and differences evident between the tenets of European Enlightenment and the ban on headscarves in Turkey? In the of the debate over headscarves, what are the similarities and differences evident between the tenets of European Enlightenment and the ban on headscarves in Turkey? Is it possible to balance the tenets of European assimilation with democracy in Turkey? Is it possible to balance the tenets of European assimilation with democracy in Turkey? What is the relationship between increased poverty and ethnic/religious nationalism in Turkey? What is the relationship between increased poverty and ethnic/religious nationalism in Turkey? Are there parallels in Europe?Are there parallels in Europe?


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