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Monday, February 08, 2010

Bury the dream with this poor girl

I've been to Turkey, and I've nice memories of the place.

It was full of beautiful ancient Ottoman buildings, and earlier remnants of other awe-inspiring eras like the Greeks and Romans and Persians.

The people were urbane and friendly, the beer flowed freely, the transport infrastructure was impressive by Irish standards and the food was wonderful.

So I can see what people mean when they claim that Turkey is a European nation, that deserves to take its place in the European Union.

But of course, when I was in Turkey, I didn't leave Europe. I was in Istanbul, a city under its previous incarnations as Byzantium and Constantinople that was for long periods European in culture and still is by geography.

But on the other side of the Bosphorus is another Turkey - the real Turkey. The huge Asia Minor bulk of the country. Their cultural practices are not so obviously in tune with European norms as those in Istanbul are. Unless, of course, we're talking about European values back in the Dark Ages.

Turkish police found the dead body of a 16 year old girl in a pit in a village. She had died through inhalation of large quantities of soil, indicating that she had been alive when buried.

Her own family did this to her, to preserve their 'honour', because she had been seen transgressing their cultural rules.

What was her crime, this unnamed creature of woe? She was seen talking to boys.

There may be room in the EU for Istanbul, should it and it's Euro-hinterland ever choose to secede from Turkey, not that it seems likely.

But there will never be room in Europe for the redneck lunacies of the hillbilly Anatolians.

Application denied.

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