ERGUN BABAHAN

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ERGUN BABAHAN
May 07, 2012, Monday

This is what capitalism is heading for!

Neo-Nazi gangs that target Muslims in Germany, the rise of rightist votes in France and the chaotic situation in Greece: This is the picture created by a capitalist model that has been neither constrained nor balanced.

If they do not keep the social state and principles of justice in their sights, we could witness European countries sailing into shallow and dangerous waters.

Because of the chaos of their financial systems, of the world’s richest region has returned to the dark ages.

Thanks to its political system, extreme rightist and leftist movements were unable to play a determining role in the French presidential elections. However, if living conditions worsen in France, it is not hard to predict what could happen in the next elections.

And it won’t be surprising if the EU will have to intervene in the election results in France just as it did in Austria in the past.

The main problem is that while workers who are employed at lower wages pay the price of the global economic crisis or struggle with the fear of unemployment, companies have made more profit than ever and the wealthiest 1 percent of Europe has become even richer. On the one side are people with planes, yachts and mansions worth millions of dollars, and on the other are people who can barely make ends meet.

This is not a sustainable picture. If the Europe cannot solve its leadership crisis, this will start a very dangerous period, not only for Europe but also for the whole world.

When it comes to effects on Turkey of the results of the election held in France on May 6, because of Sarkozy’s personal attitudes, disrespectful behavior and smugness, France has lost its prestige in the minds of the Turkish public. Thus, no one will be surprised to hear that the Turks may welcome the election result following Sarkozy’s defeat.

However, Sarkozy’s departure and Hollande’s arrival are not enough to eliminate all the problems in the Turkish-French relationship. Turkey’s membership in the EU is a very critical decision for France. In other words, it seems that in France, no matter who becomes president, its resistance against Turkey’s full EU membership will continue.

The Armenian issue depends on both voters’ behavior and the education system in France. French people are taught that the killing of Armenians during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was “genocide.” For this reason, expecting any difference in France’s approach toward the Armenian issue is not realistic.

However, despite everything, it is possible to establish a bilateral relationship model that will not create hatred and hostility between the two nations.

Turning to Greece: The Justice and Development Party (AK Party)’s “zero problems with the neighbors” policy has ended up causing problems with all its neighbors. Now, Greece has been added to the list.

The results of parliamentary elections held on May 6 show that an unstable period is awaiting our neighbor. This poses another risk to Turkey.

At that point, Europe should carefully examine the Turkish model. This is a model that has had too much effort and thought invested in it. It is based on both the principles of the free market economy and fair distribution of income as much as possible. The progress that Turkey has made during the last 10 years is an indicator of this. Of course it is not a perfect system, but does not allow marginalization.

Yes, Turkey needs to learn many things concerning the rule of law and human rights from Europe; however, Turkey also has a few things to teach Europe.

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