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Lord ('Chris') Patten, who wants Turkey to join the EU as does the present British Conservative government, said back in 2011 
'Istanbul's the city where Europe's future may be shaped– Istanbul, not Brussels, Paris, or Berlin.'
Admitting Turkey as a member would give the Europe a new reason to exist. 
'As an EU member, Turkey would add a new dimension of massive historic importance. Europeans would show that we could embrace an Islamic democracy and build a strong bridge between Europe and Western Asia.That, in turn, would create a new European identity and narrative, a new reason for the EU to exist in this century, a way of rejecting the divisive politics of old. 

Meanwhile as Lord Patten enthuses over Turkey in the EU the great novelist Orhan Pamuk (he is great) has enthused about immigration transforming Turkey. 


'As the economic crisis deepens and spreads, Europe may be able, by turning in on itself, to postpone its struggle to preserve the culture of the “bourgeois” in Flaubert’s sense of the word, but that will not solve the problem. When I look at Istanbul, which becomes a little more complex and cosmopolitan with every passing year and now attracts immigrants from all over Asia and Africa, I have no trouble concluding that the poor, unemployed, and undefended of Asia and Africa who are looking for new places to live and work cannot be kept out of Europe indefinitely. Higher walls, tougher visa restrictions, and ships patrolling borders in increasing numbers will only postpone the day of reckoning. Worst of all, anti-immigration politics, policies, and prejudices are already destroying the core values that made Europe what it was.'

Of course Constantinople was a multiracial multicultural city before the 20th century and had a Christian majority in 1914. Those old multiracial cities like Vienna Prague Istanbul became drearily monoethnic because of ethnic cleansing. A bad augury?



Fortunately, there's no chance of persuading the voters that allowing seventy million Muslims free movement within the EU is a good idea. Why are the voters so much wiser than their rulers? People were frightened for millenia of democracy but the people aren't scary. Intellectuals and politicians are, once no longer attached materially or emotionally to the landed class.

Geography, Christianity and the European Greco-Roman heritage are what should define Europe, which badly needs an identity and tradition. The EU's mistake was making a promise we shall not keep - a much worse mistake would be to keep it.

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