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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Wednesday November 17, 2004
06:21 AM

Do they have sheep? Do people marry there?

[ #21892 ]
Dear Log,

«Like many of Turkey's 12 million ethnic Kurds, the girls who weave colourful kilims in a chilly room on Soguksu's treeless outskirts do not speak enough Turkish to follow events conveyed by the community's sole concession to modernity - the satellite dish.

Of the EU, one girl says: "No, I don't think I know that place. Do they have sheep?" Like the rest of the group, her birth has never been registered, and she has not received an education."Do people marry there?" she asks. "Do they believe in God? What do they eat?"

Outside the workshop, Bekir Bingol, a father of 15, says he has heard that Europe is "very clean". He adds: "But I've got the brains to know that all these mountains and all these hills don't belong there. Anyway, I wouldn't want my daughters not keeping our traditions. If they got other ideas they might not read the Qur'an."

Prof Ergil identifies four types of Turks: the global Turk who lives abroad (numbering 500,000); the well-off international Turk, who reads the foreign press (5.5 million); and the rural and urban parochial Turks (30 and 35 million respectively) who are desperate to improve their lot.

"The first two categories can communicate with each other and the outside world, and for them Turkey is just like a European country," he says. "The other two have absolutely nothing in common with the first, but they are very supportive of Turkey joining the EU. Frankly, these people are like cannonballs chained to the ankles of this country. It has to drag them in its race towards civilisation."»

--"The west is ready for the EU. The east is lost in the past: Much of Turkey is still a world away from Europe, culturally and economically"