Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Turkey and the EU

Erkan posted this article over on his site.

It is titled, German journalists’ clichés destroyed within few days in Turkey and continues with, 'I was pessimistic at the beginning, but now I feel over-optimistic. They have been jolted deeply, and in a very beautiful sense. They have observed that Turkey is not solely Turks living in Germany and, in their own words, that "Turkey is already mature enough for EU membership",' says Engin, who guided a group of German journalists during their one-week program in Turkey.
“I took the group to various places so that they would be able to observe the spiral tissue covering the city of Istanbul,” Engin said.
Engin took the group to see a Cem ritual -- Cem ayini, an Alawite worship service, in a ghetto district, took them to a modern business center in Maslak as well as to elegant cafés alongside Abdi İpekçi Street in Nişantaşı, cafés that they would probably see similar ones of in Paris.
“It would be inadequate to say that Istanbul shook them. Istanbul -- in the literal sense -- beat them as it gave them a mini-shock with its contradictory facades.


It ends with this, In the words of freelance journalist Dorte Huneke, who takes a special interest in the immigrant integration problem in general in European countries: “Turkey has reason enough to be proud of itself. So maybe instead of saying, ‘If you don't want us, we will turn away and go somewhere else' -- that is one of the lines we hear so often here -- it would be more self-confident to say: ‘OK. You're here, we're here. Maybe we can go together, be partners'.”

4 comments:

Dobermann said...

I was in turkey some 12 years ago, so I don't have an idea how it is today.

Also, I have decided to not go for or against Turkey's joining EU. I see the bad examples of every nationality in my work and since turkish ones are the loudest and more "In face" I think I don't have the big picture to be objective. On the other hand, they are not the worst. Trust me, I haven't cuffed a since turkish person during this employment but there have been three cuffings, one wrestling match and these have resulted to total 4 charges.

I have been involved because of my size and my experience dealing with people behaving badly. ;)

woman wandering said...

It's interesting to read what you deal with in your work because I'm on the other side of the fence in this situation.

I can empathise with you but with the other side ... it's so incredibly frustrating and an official 'stonewall' creates a battle between reason and complete frustration inside yourself.

In a way, I hope Turkey only walks towards the EU, if it can get organised it's an incredible country with massive energy ... linking it to Italy or France, with their ailing economies, might tie them down later.

I love the noise of the Turks ... they are voluble, like the Italians, but they're not a violent race, or that's been my experience.

Dobermann said...

Most of the people are ok, but for some reason person's from certain muslim countries are extremely noisy and tend to get violent when they get frustrated. It's 9 out of 10 with these ones that get fysical, sad.

I don't see the whole of the immigration (I'm glad of this), but the cases we handle here are usually easy IF the application is filled properly and all the needed documents are included, it's fast to process when it's the turn of this application. Then it's off to Immigration's background check and that's it. Usually total of 6 to 15 weeks if everything is right.

We do have to go by the book and we're happy to give advice if needed. Usually it's less time consuming to help filling the application by hand than send inquiries back and forth later. It might take 2-4 weeks more time just to get one block filled because the applicants usually don't reply to our mail and then they call upset and ask why. If one doesn't understand the letter, then it's time to call the sender and ask what's up. I'd think that the permit is so important one would call asap and not wait until they get their application rejected because there's not all info needed after total of 4 months in process.

I only work with work permits and know about them though. And most of our "customers" are happy with the service. It's the rest that consume most of our time and that's time away from the properly filled applications too.. One asshole takes ten people's time in general..

woman wandering said...

I think it might be the frustration level ... really, I was surprised by how frustrated I was getting about the 'process' and I was lucky for all kinds of reasons, not the least being the fact that I have an 'in-house local' ... something I really appreciate after trying to work out the sometimes mysterious processes of everyday life in Turkey.

The other is that the people who deal with me here all speak my language, although the other day I had a particularly frustrating time with a woman who appeared to understand english well but as our interview went on I realised she was really struggling but wouldn't admit it.

I'm not sure that there's any way to improve the relationship ... but it is demeaning trying to get into a country yourself. If your work does it all for you, it's better.

Another expat here was collecting the mail because she couldn't understand it. It's okay if it's a bill but sometimes, even working out the sender is a little disturbing. Anyways ... :)