Tag Archives: Country

Turkey emerging as leader in North Africa and Arab world

Turkey emerging as leader in North Africa, Arab world, says EP member

A former Belgian prime minister and a member of the European Parliament has said Turkey is emerging as a leader of the North African and Arab world while praising the country’s attitude toward the public demand for democracy and reforms in those regions.

Guy Verhofstadt, who served as the Belgian prime minister from 1999 to 2008 and is currently a member of the European Parliament and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), spoke to Sunday’s Zaman in an exclusive interview. ALDE is the third-largest political group in the 736-member European Parliament.

“I find the position of Turkey very courageous [toward public revolutions in the Arab world and North Africa] and very important for the rest of the world. And I don’t think that Turkey is isolated. Actually, the opposite is true — because Turkey is becoming the political leader, I should say, of a whole range of countries from reformed Morocco, democratic Tunisia, Libya without Gaddafi and Egypt that still has to find its way in the next month, in the next year and a number of other countries.

I see Turkey emerging as a leader for a whole new region in North Africa and the Arab world,” Verhofstadt said.

Since the beginning of the public revolts in the Arab world and North Africa early this year, which has so far resulted in the toppling of some long-time dictators, Turkey has been calling on these countries to heed the demands of their people to expand democracy and freedoms while calling on them to avoid the use of violence against anti-government protesters.

Verhofstadt also praised Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s messages on secularism during a tour of Arab Spring nations last month, saying that he found Erdo?an’s remarks honest.

During a televised interview in Egypt, Erdo?an urged Egyptians to not be afraid of secularism and that they should embrace it. “A devout Muslim can successfully govern a secular state,” he said.

“I think he is very honest about what he said in Egypt. Mr. Erdo?an is personally a Muslim, that’s very clear; he has repeated that several times already. But on the other hand, when it comes to the political aspect of the issue and the way a state is organized, the state has to be secular. Otherwise you end up mixing up religion and politics and that’s always a bad thing. So I think it is one of the big achievements of Turkey that it has created a society that is democratic, albeit with some problems from time to time, but it is basically democratic and secular and thus keeps religion and politics separate and gives freedom of religion to everybody. The values that are emerging now in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are not Western values; they are values for the whole world. They are universal values, indeed,”
he said.

Verhofstadt was in Turkey earlier this month with an EU delegation. They visited the party groups in Parliament. Sharing his impressions from the Turkey visit, he said he saw a Turkey that is in good shape economically, with growth figures around 9 to 10 percent.

He said the reason for his visit was the relationship between Turkey and the European Union, which is not in a good state at the moment. Verhofstadt acknowledged that Turkey’s negotiations with the EU are blocked at the moment while voicing his belief that the year 2012 could be a crucial year for unblocking the negotiations.

EU countries unanimously agreed to open official accession talks with Turkey in 2005 before German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy came to power. Sarkozy claims Turkey does not belong in Europe, while Merkel promotes a “privileged partnership” that falls short of membership, a formula Ankara categorically rejects. In Berlin in May 2009, Merkel and Sarkozy made a joint statement declaring that they shared a common position regarding Turkey’s accession to the EU in that it should be offered a privileged partnership, not full EU membership.

Although having started accession negotiations with the EU in 2005, Turkey has only been able to open talks on 13 out of 35 chapters thus far, and talks have been provisionally completed on only one chapter.

Verhofstadt said he is in favor of full accession for Turkey into the European Union, and he does not believe in other alternatives such as privileged partnership.

“Because, in fact, Turkish people also don’t want this [privileged partnership]. They want to be part of the European Union. And I think because of the economic strength of Turkey and at the same time the political weight of Turkey in the region, there are more reasons today than there were two or three years ago to support the full accession of Turkey,”
he said.

When asked whether progress in Turkey’s accession talks is possible without a change of attitude by Germany and France regarding Turkey’s membership, he said he finds the year 2012 crucial as change is possible in the political leadership in Europe and in a number of other countries.

“That’s one of the opportunities. The second opportunity is that I think everybody accepts that we create a new, positive political agenda between Turkey and the European Union based, for example, on the facilitation and liberalization of visas. This is a very important thing,”
he added.

The EU offers a limited explanation as to why Turkey is the only EU candidate country that is not exempt from visa requirements, while the usual spectacle of long lines and waiting times for Schengen visas in front of EU member country embassies significantly add to the distaste felt by society.

Verhofstadt also dwelled on the claims of some Turks who say Turkey no longer needs the EU because it has a very strong economy. He said this kind of thinking is wrong because a huge part of the gross national product of Turkey is created by exports to the EU.

“Look to the European Union and certainly the eurozone as an internal market of 400-500 million people, who are consumers at the same time. I think Turkey has an enormous interest in investing in that internal market and having full access to that. And in the end, that is the aim of full membership in the EU, naturally, that Turkey becomes a part of that internal market. So, I think it would be a mistake to follow those who say ‘the center of gravity is shifting to the north of Africa.’ I think Turkey has a role to play as the bridge between the European Union on the one side and the democratic Arab world and a democratic North Africa on the other,” he said.

SOURCE

America…Land of the Free?

10 Examples That Should Convince Anyone That We No Longer Live In The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave

Do you know people that still believe that America is a free country? Do you have friends or family that are proud to live in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”? If you do, just show them this article. The things that you are about to read are enough to make the blood of any red-blooded American boil. We don’t live in a free country anymore. Instead, we live in a “Big Brother” police state control grid that is becoming more restrictive every single day. Most of our politicians seem to be control freaks that are obsessed with running every single little detail of our lives. These days there has to be a “rule” or a “regulation” for everything. The radical social engineers in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and communist China never even dared to try some of the things that are going on in America today. We are all being treated little better than cattle and we are all being taught that it is best to just sit in our homes and absorb all of the television “programming” that is being provided for us. Meanwhile, our public schools have become little more than prison grids. Our children are being taught to enjoy living as docile slaves in a world where imagination, liberty, freedom and adventure are all greatly discouraged.

Unfortunately, none of this is an exaggeration. Our politicians love to give speeches about “liberty” and “freedom”, but they always seem to have excuses to justify the endless parade of liberty-killing laws that they are imposing on all the rest of us.

Almost all of the freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights have been severely eroded. In fact, a number of them are almost totally gone at this point.

The things that you are about to read should make you mad. In fact, if none of these things make you mad there is a problem. Sadly, millions of Americans have actually embraced tyranny, and if you are not outraged by any of the items listed below than you are likely one of them.

The following are 10 examples that show that we no longer live in the land of the free and the home of the brave….

#1 According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are using “extraction devices” to download data from the cellphones of motorists that they pull over. This is taking place even if those pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.

The following is how an article on CNET News describes the capabilities of these “extraction devices”….

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

#2 In the state of New York, the Department of Health has designated wiffle ball, dodge ball, kick ball, freeze tag, red rover, frisbee tossing and tug of war as “risky recreational activities”. Any organization or program that allows kids to enjoy these games during the summer will now be subject to strict government regulation according to the New York Daily News….

Under the new rules, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities – with at least one of them on the risky list – is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation.

#3 At one public school in the Chicago area, children have been banned from bringing their lunches from home. Yes, you read that correctly. Students at that particular school are absolutely prohibited from bringing lunches from home. Instead, it is mandatory that they eat the food that the school cafeteria serves.

#4 Would you like to have your face scanned and your ID recorded every time you attend a public event? Don’t laugh. The San Francisco Entertainment Commission is actually proposing a new rule which “would require all venues with an occupancy of over 100 people to record the faces of all patrons and employees and scan their ID’s for storage in a database which they must hand over to law enforcement on request.”

#5 In Delaware, police and state government officials recently tore a basketball hoop right out of a family’s front yard and carted it away because it was “too close” to the street. They even extracted the pole for the basketball hoop out of the ground and took that away too.

#6 In Missouri of all places, two young girls named Abigail and Caitlin Mills were recently taught a lesson on how to be good citizens in the emerging totalitarian control grid going up all over the United States. After a complaint from a neighbor, the city of Hazelwood cracked down on the two girls and told them that they must stop selling girl scout cookies in their own front yard.

#7 As I have written about previously, federal bureaucrats have outlawed the incandescent light bulbs that we all grew up with and will be forcing us to switch over to new CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs that are more expensive and that are actually worse for the environment. One new study conducted by scientists in Germany has shown that the new CFL light bulbs that we are being forced to use contain poisonous carcinogens that are likely cause cancer. In fact, the German scientists say that these CFL bulbs should be “kept as far away as possible from the human environment”.

#8 Many states are aggressively seizing “unclaimed” safe deposit boxes and are selling off the contents and using the money to pay state government bills. In the state of California, they are now going after safe deposit boxes if the owners have had “no contact” with the bank for just 3 years. Other states are being nearly as aggressive. If you have a safe deposit box that you have not opened in a while you need to go check on it right away.

#9 One Mississippi state judge recently issued an order for state officials to gather and deliver to him the names of every single child that is being homeschooled in the state. The frightening thing is that the judge did this all on his own. Nobody requested this information and there is no case pending for which this information would be required.

#10 The TSA had promised that they were going to stop groping little children at airports, but apparently that is not the case. For example, one 6 year old little girl made headlines recently when a TSA worker touched all of her private areas before allowing her to get on an airplane. Her parents were forced to stand aside and watch this outrage take place.

So what do all of you think about this list?

Does anyone out there still believe that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/10-examples-to-show-anyone-that-still-believes-we-live-in-the-land-of-the-free-and-the-home-of-the-brave