18 mars 2005

Politics and commercials

I am venturing into grounds that I do not feel comfortable in at all. Still, without risks, life is not worth living and so on.
Pacha Tours, a travel agent exclusively specialising in Turkey, has launched its new advertising campaign. "Yes to the entry of Europeans into Turkey" goes the slogan.

I find that extremely clever. And I like to think it's being wryly funny. What non-Europeans might not know is that a major debate was started a few months ago about
Turkey's EU entry. I fear it boils down to a we're Christians/they're Muslims kind of controversy (bordering on/well into racism for some), which makes me cringe a little.

Indeed, Turkey has been a holiday of choice for a long time, as it's cheap, it's sunny, it's cultural...
If I forget about Midnight Express for a second, I'd looooove to see everything that Turkey has to offer (which precludes it from being my holiday destination, because of all the energy that would have to go into it, unless I go visit Lilith first, in which case I'll probably be more rested coming back from Edinburgh - oh no, hang on, that's completely unlikely).

I seem to recall (but I was sooo young at the time, how can I be sure...) that the entry of Portugal, Spain, and Greece led to a similar debate, mostly because of how poor those countries were at the time. Now I can't vouch for Portugal and Greece, but I'm pretty sure Spain has enjoyed some kind of economic miracle... And then, if we're still going to try the poverty argument, letting all of Eastern Europe into the EU wasn't exactly going to increase the per capita GDP.
So poverty must be out of the equation.
That leaves us with some murky religion/race consideration.

Granted, I'd not necessarily be thrilled if Europe were to annex the rest of the world on the basis that we're all brothers and love each other, whatever race, sex or creed, because that would kind of smack of imperialism.

But
Turkey, come on. They're in the EUROvision song contest, for christ's sake.