On 12 January, the European Union’s incoming Commissioner for Enlargement, the aptly-named Stephan Fuele, spoke in favor of allowing Turkey to join the EU. The 47 year old Czech is an ex-communist who studied in Moscow, and might therefore be expected to advocate whatever policies are likely to be the most idiotic, the most expensive, and the most damaging. As you would also expect, the blank Czech’s views are shared by buffoons like Blair, Bush, Brown, and Obama. What you might not expect is that shed-loads of British Conservatives also want Turkey in the European club.

Conservative Friends of Turkey
was founded in 2008 and presently has 19 MP and three MEP supporters. CFT’s leader is the otherwise courageous and cerebral MEP Daniel Hannan, although its best known figure is Boris Johnson. The latter is in favour of membership because he wants to revive the Roman Empire and one of his ancestors was a citizen of the Ottoman Empire and … err, that’s it.

Another supporter is Richard Spring MP, whose family motto is “Not for myself but for my country.” He lives up to this noble sentiment in his own special way -- for example, claiming £35 parliamentary expenses to get rid of a wasp’s nest, claiming £163 for retuning televisions, and in 1995, resigning as a parliamentary aide after reports of his trois-dans-un-lit gymnastics with another man and a lady Sunday school teacher.

CFT functions have been addressed by Baroness Warsi, chiefly famous for being a female Muslim Tory, and getting pelted with eggs. Then there is William Hague, the follically-challenged former Tory leader, now Dave’s Shadow Foreign Secretary -- who is best remembered for once wearing a baseball cap, and a 2001 poll which found 66 percent of voters thought him “a bit of a wally.” Then there is Liam Fox -- who once told Taki he supported membership because he had once met some Turkish diplomats and they were charming fellows (unlike most professional diplomats, then).

Other Tory Turcophiles include the European Foundation, founded in 1992 by the generally excellent Bill Cash (although they did permit a dissenting view in their
journal in 2006). The Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph and the Spectator also support membership, in the case of the Telegraph because it had supported Turkey in Gladstone’s time. Talk about taking nostalgia too far…

All these otherwise sensible Tories have forgotten a few teensy details -- such as a long unhappy history between Europe and Turkey. The sole reason Turkey is considered “European” at all is that 3 percent of it is on what used to be Greek soil before the Ottomans, killed, expelled, or converted its population. (They also occupy part of Cyprus.)

has 73.1million (soon 82 million) citizens, which would make it the largest member state population-wise -- the majority of these being conservative Muslims. What would they make of the social liberalism espoused by Turkey’s useful Euro-idiots?

is highly unstable, with an armed Kurdish insurgency, and porous borders with delightful neighbors like Syria, Iran and Iraq.

With a per capita income of $3,750 and a Second World standard of living, EU membership would mean the transference of squillions of Euros to Ankara to build infrastructure that would not benefit us, and create industries to compete with ours.

Some Tories admit privately that they advocate Turkish entry because they hope it will make the EU collapse. But even if it were acceptable to wish calamity on fellow Europeans (which it isn’t) -- and even if it did bring down the EU (which it wouldn’t) -- these self-styled Metternichs forget that huge numbers of Turks would by then already have rocked up in north London -- an area already over-endowed with kebab shops and mosques.

The usual “arguments” for Turkish entry are expanded markets (Tories), airstrips to bomb Iran (U.S. neocons), “we promised” (Eurocrats), and cultural cringe (the globe’s Fueles). All these excuses are about as sensible as that made by a contributor to a 2006 BBC blog:

I think Turkey should be allowed to join the EU because it would be the first bit of the Arab world to join the European Union”

-- C. Chinn (aged 5)


Turkey is a great country, and should be Europe’s friend, trading partner, and occasional ally. Anyone who thinks it should be anything more is a post-Christian voting for Turkey.