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Turkey: archaic prejudices

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24 Heures is a Swiss journal, and to be more specific, from the Vaud canton, with strong right-wing tendencies. Its edition of October 4, 2005, talked about the decision by the European Council to begin negotiations regarding Turkey’s access to the European Union. In the last minute, Austria tried to impose its veto by accepting only an association project and not the accession. This refusal was only a way to pressure in order to reopen negotiations with Croatia, which was marginalized because it had refused to cooperate with the Criminal Court regarding the former Yugoslavia. After the intervention of the United States, attorney Carla del Ponte drastically changed position concerning Croatia’s cooperation. The Council considered the accession of this little country and Austria accepted that of Turkey.

However, for 24 Heures the possible accession of the Muslim Turkey is a source of disorder. The headline of the journal was as follows: “The great European zouk” [1]. The editorial that appeared at the end of the front page had the title “Vienna has just swallowed the croissant” and compared the late negotiation in Brussels with a “diplomatic website”. It was just a pun that referred to the site of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1683 and showed the incompetence of the journal to think of the contemporary Turkey without the prejudices that date back to three and a half centuries.

[1] “Zouk” is an Arabic word (and not Turkish) which refers to a flea market.

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