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The Sciences

Turkey vs. Rumelia

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanDecember 5, 2011 8:09 AM

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The New York Times has a long piece, For Turkey, Lure of Tie to Europe Is Fading, which outlines the falling out of love of Turkey with the idea of joining the E.U. I believe this is a good thing. Right now the E.U. is being riven by the fact that northern Europeans, in particular the Germans, feel a lack of solidarity with southern Europeans. This is hampering coordination of economic policies. How exactly would the admission of a nation as distinctive and populous as Turkey help the situation? It is arguable that the E.U. needs to be smaller, not larger. All that being said, it remains the reality that Turks are on average far poorer than the typical European. So where's the condescension coming from? I wonder if it has to do with the fact that Turks compare themselves to Rumelia, the regions of the Balkans that were under Ottoman control. This zone of the E.U., excluding the strange qualified exception of Greece (it's face value GDP per capita is obviously inflated), is actually less well off that Turkey!

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