Today marks the beginning of a two-day forum on “European Turkey: Modernization, Secularism and Islam.” The event, sponsored by the Institute for European Studies’ Mediterranean Initiative, will provide a variety of activities ranging from academics’ lectures to dances and cultural analysis in an effort to broadcast and discuss Turkey’s latest bid to enter the European Union.
The forum opens with an address from Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Frank Logoglu, who will be speaking on the status of Turkey in the 21st century. Professors and scholars, who have traveled from schools such as Harvard and Duke, will discuss topics regarding Turkey’s foreign relations, secularism, economy and the country’s bid to be accepted into the European Union.
Turkey, which is not currently a member of the union, will receive the results of the decision on Feb. 17, 2005.
Gale Holst-Warhaft, the director of IES, explained that if Turkey is voted into the union, the change would not be immediate.
“If Turkey is voted in, it will be 10 years before they become a full member,” Holst-Warhaft said. “During those 10 years, Turkey will have to meet demands of the other European countries and make changes.”
Change is not unfamiliar to the Turks.
“Turkey has changed to try to be considered a part of Europe,” Holst-Warhaft said. “They have allied in war, supported NATO and were important allies to the U.S. during the Cold War.”
The current dividing line separating Europe is around Istanbul, a Turkish city located in the northwest portion of the country.
The forum, which is open to the public, expects to attract close to a hundred scholars, students and community members from surrounding regions. In addition to the scholarly lectures, there will be a cultural dance performance and a screening of the Turkish film Distant.
Archived article by Carl Menzel
Sun Staff Writer