12 OCT 2010
By Valentina Pop | EUobserver
The real reason for the EU rejecting Turkey's membership is "racism," US linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky has told a Turkish newspaper. Meanwhile, Germany's anti-immigration debate escalated over the weekend with one of Angela Merkel's key allies saying the country should ban more incoming Turkish and Arab workers.
"Europe can claim with some justification that Turkey has not satisfied all of the human rights conditions. On the other hand, I don't really think this is the reason. ... I think it is plain racism," Mr Chomsky told Zaman, a right-leaning Turkish newspaper on Sunday (10 October).
The US philosopher and long-time critic of Western foreign policy singled out a recent statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Muslims in the country must accept that Germany's culture is based on Christian and Jewish values and said it was "a pretty extreme and racist statement from a major political figure in Europe."
Germany is only one of the European countries that is seeing a "right-wing backlash against Muslim immigrants," he said, arguing this is the "background reason" why Turkey is unlikely to join the EU anytime soon, even if it were to meet all human rights standards.
Read entire article