Tag Archives: Islam

Make or break for Turkey?

Is it make or break for Turkey?

Shoeboxes a symbol of corruption.

Shoeboxes, a symbol of corruption.

These are very turbulent times for Turkey and its authoritarian (and often paranoid) Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ongoing corruption scandal that has gripped the AKP government which has ruled Turkey for the last 11 years has already claimed 3 MPs with their resignations and the PM’s son Bilal Erdogan has been ordered to testify in court (which he hasn’t done).

Hitting out at the corruption investigations the PM will take on Turkey’s (theoretically) independent judiciary, limiting their powers, effectively overriding Article 138 of the constitution which dictates that the judiciary must be independent.

Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek has deplored the end of judicial independence in Turkey citing that “Article 138 of the Constitution is not functioning”

Meanwhile PM Erdogan in his usual paranoid authoritarian way has said that the blatant corruption scandal (millions of dollars found in shoe boxes in peoples homes) is a conspiracy against him and his government and a coup plot.

There are two main choices for Turkey, the path of democracy, secularism and Europe or the path of authoritarianism, strict Islam and a future away from Europe.


England & Wales Census 2011; immigration

The 2011 England & Wales census findings continue to be released in dribs and drabs with todays (amongst others) on employment, immigration and religion.

The media have of course focused on immigration (maybe the national dislike of foreigners helps sell papers). This is turn has led to online posters winging out the immigration issue (or problem as they like to say).

A quick look at the figures…

The population of England and Wales has gone up by 4.1 million over the 10 year period since the last (2001) census.
The same number (4.1 million) is also the amount that those describing themselves as Christian has fallen (12%).

Most of the immigrants during the 10 year period came from Poland with India and Pakistan making up the top three.
1.15 million more people identify themselves an Muslims (up 2%).
14 million said they have no religion a huge increase of 6.4 million.

So while religion on the whole is falling (good news) Islam (due to immigration) is rising (bad news) with the biggest change being those of no religion rising sharply (great news).

The findings (for me at least) paint a generally positive picture but the main issue is the unsurprising online response from the public of England & Wales in regards to immigration.

It’s no secret how the British (I know the census is England & Wales but the online posters are from all over Britain) public feel about foreigners and it’s certainly not positively!

So I was thinking about foreigners, who are the good foreigners and who are the bad foreigners?

Has anyone ever complained about the Dutch or Swedish immigrants in the UK? Are white foreigners ok while non-whites are not ok? Maybe rich foreigners are fine as long as the poorer ones stay out?

Judging from the online posters I’d say that rich and white-skinned were much more preferable to poor and brown-skinned. Brown-skinned people seem to be perceived and not willing to adapt and integrate into British society bringing in with them their own religion and culture that doesn’t adhere to Britain’s own values.
No-one complained about the Russian oligarchs buying British football clubs and attracting the best players. Britain doesn’t like benefit scroungers (unless of course they are white British benefit scroungers then it’s certainly less of an issue).
Some may think I’m being too hard on my fellow Brits, unfortunately I’m not.

Similarly as I posted about European Identity Britain wants those who accept and adhere to its own set of values. Someone who pays their taxes, drinks real ale, supports the England national teams and speaks with an English accent (cor blimey guv’nor).

Personally my experiences of foreigners have been generally really good in Britain (mostly Europeans good) and Africans and Caribbeans a mixed bad (some really good while others awfully homophobic and rude).