Friday, October 21, 2005

A dandy little invite

On Thursday the 27th of October two exciting events will take place. firstly i will finish exams and therefore my holidays begin, meaning that i will go surfing that evening for the first time this summer!! Since i have friends who surf and also happen to be bloggers some of them I thought I'd put the invite out and say, "who wants to come?" (surfing that is, not to my last exam) Pictures are of ryan this week, and then ryan next week.

Should we go here for a wave?

Friday, October 07, 2005

11 months to the day

Ok, so i've been away for awhile but i thought today a good day to write something interesting. Today is the 7th of October and on the 7th of Nov last year I departed these fine shores to the distant land of Turkey. I had myself waiting there a team of like minded individuals who love God and want more people to know him. So to the fair city of Istanbul I did travel, a place of superlatives. Its history near unchallengable by anywhere: standing in the same church as Justinian, walking around the hippodrome where they once raced the chariots, climbing battlements on the Rumeli Hasari where Mehmet the Conquerer staged his invasion of Constantinople back in 1453, the list goes on. Its also one of the key points where so much tradition and culture has passed through and even found its roots. Its seems amazing that one city/country has been the point of so much controversy and bickering for so long.
This controversy continues, Turkey for a long time has been keen to enter the EU, only the rest of Europe isn't so enthusiastic about the issue. Turkey has afew problems for starters. Its as usual still a crossroads and landbridge. A landbridge in the sense that hundreds of thousands of refugees use Turkey as their staging point for illegally entering Europe every year. EU membership would make this even easier for these people. A crossroads for the drug cartels that operate in getting the hard drugs from the likes of Afganistan into the lucrative markets of Europe, Turkey is its highways. Most importantly though, its Muslim and would in ten years time be the largest (in population) of all the countries in the EU -surpassing Germany-, giving it alot of political clout. There are mixed reactions in Europe but mainly negativity towards the proposals. Hungarys general populus for example are in support by about 53% while the likes of Germany and France sit at about 22-23% in favour of Turkey joining. (a BBC poll) Time however is running out. While Turks are keen to join they have been waiting a long time. They first lodged an application in 1959, in the past few years debate has been rife and "conditional entry" type ideas thrown around. Turks are now starting to get sick of the waiting and being played with, public support is dropping.

For me there seems to be acouple of issues. Firstly the current EU members want a joining of Turkey in the sense that they will be able to widen their circle of influence and strengthen their borders, but at what cost? While Europe is religiously tolerant, Turkey is not. If it came to the crunch would Turkey back Europe or jump back in the "middle eastern" boat? One thing i think is certain, Turkeys input can't be underestimated. For Turkey the economic and relational benefits will be of most importance. Their economy is and has for a long time struggled due to its own corruptness and the not so open trading in the richer Europe. However, while it is a secular state it also is part of an understanding with its muslim brother states, would joining the EU betray some of that understanding/allegance? For me I hope Turkey does get a look in in Europe. I'm not entirely sure where it would take things but i think trying to bridge afew differences and mend some relations is a healthy and worthwhile agenda. What do you think? This is a rather different tack than my last post but rather more macro i think you'll agree, lets see if people find world issues more important/interesting than our celebrity couple.

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