June 1, 2011

Turkey's good luck in staying out of the EU

Turkey has been something of a success story over the last decade, and Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling moderate Islamist party is likely to win again in the general election in ten days. 

The irony about Turkey is that Turkish nationalism was largely the invention of cosmopolitan elites far-flung from the Anatolian mainland in whose name they claimed to act. The modern Republic of Turkey as a replacement for the Ottoman Empire was dreamed up largely by Europeans, especially by Salonikans (such as Mustafa Kemal). Salonika is so far west that it's now hundreds of miles within Greece. Turkey is a little bit like Israel in that both are relics of early 20th Century advanced European thinking (nationalism! monoculturalism! secularism!) imposed upon a seemingly unpromising Middle Eastern region. 

Erdogan (who was born in Istanbul, but of a family from the mainland) seems to stand for the idea that the conservative Muslim majority is ready to actually run Turkey itself. In a funny way, this might be seen as the fulfillment of the Kemalist dream, although the Kemalist parties would never admit it.

One much overlooked point about the rise of Turkey is how lucky Turkey was to not be admitted to the European Union due to European anti-immigration sentiment. (I argued in 2004 that admitting Turkey to the EU would be bad for Turkey and bad for Europe.) For a long time, the grand strategy of Turkey's leaders was to stay bound to the U.S. strategically and join the European Union, which would have allowed mass emigration of surplus Turkish workers. But the Turkish parliament surprised Washington by voting down U.S. use of Turkey to invade Iraq from the north in 2003. 

This turned out to make possible Erdogan's foreign policy strategy of friendly relations with its neighbors. For example, Erdogan later decided to dig up a huge strip of unused land along with the Syrian border sown with land mines and farm it. 

Not getting into the EU meant that Turkey kept its separate lira, unlike next-door Greece, which uses the excessively expensive Euro. The Euro is high because BMWs are worth a lot. Greece doesn't play in Germany's league as an exporter, but it uses Germany's currency. 

So, forced to act like a sovereign country, Turkey has been developing its own jobs for its own people.

95 comments:

AmericanGoy said...

Dude... every paragraph is wrong here. You are wrong in this article everywhere, every paragraph, virtually every sentence.

You are either trolling us or you have lost the plot.

Anonymous said...

I think the overarching theme of the post may be off (Turkey is the Steve Jobs to the Franco-Prussian Bill Gates?) but Turkey is clearly a better-placed bystander to Western political scuffles than, say, Cambodia.

While tastemakers like Richard Perle were playing defense for them, Turks got to flout U.S./U.N. pressure in high style, of the sort Jacques Chirac or Hugo Chavez can only dream of. I think Bernard Lewis was right that simulating modernization is a safer bet than going to the extent of actually modernizing your country.

J said...

Turkey is lucky to have been rejected by Europe and is relatively prosperous, yet thousands of young turks are trying to cross the border and get illegally into Greece.

AmericanGoy is wrong and his idol Victor Suvorov is a untrue starting with his name.

Anonymous said...

The history of Anatolia is the region swinging between being primarily oriented toward the Near East and being oriented toward the Mediterranean and Europe. The Hittite/Persian period was followed by 1500 years of Hellenism, then 800 years of Turkism/Islamism. Anything that helps cement this ancient and important region's ancient and deep ties to Europe is a good thing, IMO.

Anonymous said...

There are 27 EU members states but only 17 of those member states use the euro. Turkey could have joined the EU while keeping the Turkish lira.

Anonymous said...

"But the Turkish parliament surprised Washington by voting down U.S. use of Turkey to invade Iraq from the north in 2003."

Washington didn't know Turks hate Kurds? Damn, our government really IS stupid.

Anonymous said...

Good post and I totally agree that Turkey benefited by not being part of the EU.

The whole EU project is also a relic of mid-20th century thought, namely, the idea that multinationals can form a single state. This was tried in USSR and failed. It's being tried here in the US via immigration, and it too well also fail. EU is a club like USSR but membership to states is via invitation instead invasion.

The whole concept will fail, because multinationalism/multiculturalism doesn't work. Humans are tribal. We don't like to pay taxes to take care of other tribes. We don't like to go to wars and die for other tribes, etc, etc.

Whiskey said...

It is a smart move for places like Turkey to keep their own currency. They can always devalue to make exports competitive, and deal with "hot money" flowing in bidding up domestic prices.

BUT ... Turkey is mostly a failure. It is a seething mass of ill or non-educated, inland folk who have recently moved to the cities. Its growth rate is anemic (around 1.5% or so) and it has little investment capital to build things like new sewers, roads, schools, and so on from what growth it "experiences" which is migration from countryside to city. [Turkey has a lot of farmland, "plowing acres next to Syria" did not make any real improvement in agricultural production and Turkey's anti-Syria policy was the result of the Assad family sponsoring Kurdish terrorists/separatists.]

Anonymous said...

Even if Turkey had gotten into the EU it would not have introduced the euro by the time the financial crisis hit, thankfully.

Greece is totally and completely fucked. 10 years from now it won't even be richer than Turkey. The euro was a disaster.

Whiskey said...

Turkey also benefited from decades of anti-Soviet money poured in as the watchpoint against the Soviet Central Asian region, of interest for the Space/Missile program. [Kennedy swapped Turkish based ICBMs for Cuban ones with Kruschev].

However Cold War money is gone, Turkey is in competition with Iran, Pakistan, India, and Saudi Arabia for influence/power in the Central Asian neighborhood, not to mention Russian adventures. As the Austro-Hungarian and Czarist Russian regimes showed, tottering and aging oligarchies can often be territorially ambitious.

Meanwhile the Islamists have failed to stem corruption, or generate internal economic growth, educate women (indeed women have been pushed out of education with disastrous effects on productivity) and no real effort to compete with the Chinese tidal wave has been made.

Whiskey said...

Turkey is a natural partner for the EU in Agricultural exports (a favorable climate for winter vegetables, citrus, grapes, and so on) plus things that are transport sensitive (heavy, bulky) like cement, gravel, and so on. Turkey will never be competitive in steel-making or machine tools, but can make a prosperous living off supplying (cheaper) basic goods to Europe which is right next door. Ample hydro power opportunities, along with excellent harbors and access to both the Black Sea and Med make this simple ... but difficult.

Islamization of education, where Evolution/Darwin is "blasphemey" punishable by prison, veiling women, sex segregation in the University, pushing Islamic studies instead of basic science/math, failure to invest in roads, ports, bridges, rail, electricity generation, and the other basics while screaming about Israel and engaging in pointless provocations over Gaza (sending Jihadis and arms in flotillas) acts as a giant Islamic sideshow to distract from the failure to do the basics:

Economic development. Turkey is screwed.

corvinus said...

Turkey is lucky to have been rejected by Europe and is relatively prosperous, yet thousands of young turks are trying to cross the border and get illegally into Greece.

I'm personally no fan of Turkey, but, you're operating under the erroneous assumption that the hordes of illegals crossing the Greco-Turkish border are Turks, rather than much poorer people from further afield.

Actually, the Greek community in Istanbul, which had been in terminal decline, has been booming lately because Greece is a bit down on its luck right now, whereas Turkey is growing, and young unemployed Greeks are finding it relatively easy to get jobs in Istanbul.

One further point to allay the fears of demographic fearmongerers: what's the difference between Turkey's and Ireland's population pyramids? Not much.

Anonymous said...

Turks are irrational and ultra-nationalistic. Joining the EU would have been a disaster, because they would never have accepted any policy decision that went against them. More importantly, it would have been a disaster for Europe.

Greeks are far more civilized than Turks. Turkey is growing because it starts from such a lower level.

Sailer has a lot of good points, but the article may underestimate the tension that will arise from Turkey slowly becoming Islamist. The 30-40% secular Turks will not like this. It is too early to declare Islamism in Turkey a success.

headache said...

Sibel Edmonds alleges that a third of the Turkish GDP emanates from the drug trade. That's reason enough this thuggish state did not get into the EU. I personally hope the country eventually splits up along ethnic lines and that the suppressed Greeks, Armenians and Kurds get their sovereignty back.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what the usual bigoted American ignoramuses who post here say, Turkish industry is thriving and very healthy - unlike the UK for example.Turkey actually builds factories, the UK closes them down.
Anyway, the Euro is purely a poltical currency introduced for political reasons, it has absolutely nothing to do with rationality.As we can now see it wil collapse, messily, due it's own internal contradictions.

Anonymous said...

Anything that helps cement this ancient and important region's ancient and deep ties to Europe is a good thing, IMO.

It would be a good thing if, say, there were excess populations of Europeans that could immigrate and settle and Nordicize that region. But we don't. We have the reverse - excess Turk populations looking to move into Europe. So it's not a good thing at this point.

Anonymous said...

educate women (indeed women have been pushed out of education with disastrous effects on productivity

LOL. Whiskey spends half his time talking about how disastrous it is to liberate women via education and independent employment. Now he suggests they're necessary for productivity.

Anonymous said...

The EU was always just another form of federalism, and despite all the MSM window dressing, the ultimate goal and effect of federalism is broken nations, of which the USA is the prime example. See James Madison's Divide et Impera letter to Jefferson and Madison's Federalist paper 10.
The EU and the US federal govt are both diversity/factionalism generators. The effect of the EU and the federal constitution was to increase the size of voting districts. This enlargement of voting districts increases heterogeneity, which increases diversity and thus factionalizes the voters--creating factions in the electorate. This was the goal and effect of the EU and the federal union: divide et impera. Who conquers after this factionalization? Capital.

By being kept out of the EU, Turkey has maintained a relatively high degree of homogeneity. Granted, there are still a number of sects/tribes in turkey, which are what has kept it somewhat factionalized. However, as time and technology advance, those factions are eroding.

So, the future looks bright for Turkey if they can stay small and thus fight off the depredations of Capital. They have already beaten Capital once by staying out of the EU.

eh said...

There are two concepts here: the EU = European Union, and the Eurozone.

I would be good for Turkey to be a member of the EU. If it was, Turkey would be eligible for, and would get, a lot of development aid, as did e.g. Spain, Portugal, and Ireland before them. Also, citizens of Turkey could travel to and work in other EU member states, albeit with probably significant restrictions, at least at the beginning (like Germany put in place for Poland back in 2005 -- but these were recently lifted). This would be bad for the other EU states, at least culturally, and also for their own workers.

The Eurozone is the group of countries that have adopted the Euro as their (common) currency. There are EU members that do not use the Euro, and have no plans to. Other newer members of the EU may or may not be invited to join the Eurozone -- I imagine everyone, especially current Eurozone members, would have second thoughts about these weak economies joining. The possible new Eurozone members may also have their own doubts. I am not sure that even if Turkey were admitted to the EU -- doubtful at the moment -- if they would be invited/allowed to join the Eurozone, or if that would be a good thing, from both points of view; there are many factors to consider.

RAH said...

BUT ... Turkey is mostly a failure. It is a seething mass of ill or non-educated, inland folk who have recently moved to the cities. Its growth rate is anemic (around 1.5% or so)

I would have believed this without thinking twice if it came from anybody but our Scotts-Irish friend.

So I looked it up and of course Turkey's growth rate in 2010 was 8.9%.

sabril said...

Seems to me that an Islamist government could spell serious trouble down the road.

You say that it's "moderate," but perhaps that's simply the current balance of power between secular and hard-core Islamist elements, a balance which might continue shifting away from secularism.

Anonymous said...

"LOL. Whiskey spends half his time talking about how disastrous it is to liberate women via education and independent employment. Now he suggests they're necessary for productivity."

He makes up stuff on the fly to support his crazy fantasies. In this case, he is mad because in 2009, Turkey told Israel to go F-off, so anything found in Turkey is suppose to be bad. But before 2009, Turkey was considered to be the best country on earth. hehe

Viewing everyone as an enemy can make people crazy over time.

Anonymous said...

"Greece is totally and completely fucked. 10 years from now it won't even be richer than Turkey. The euro was a disaster."

The euro has not been a disaster for the non-PIGS; it wasn't a problem until 2008 for the PIGS either. In fact, these countries became wildly richer thanks to the euro.

Greece, Ireland and the like have nobody to blame but themselves, mainly their politicians and all the interest groups that parasited the system until it went bankrupt.

A bit of sympathy for Greeks is warranted, because you don't wish this mess on anybody, but let's place the blame where it should be.

schnapps said...

"Contrary to what the usual bigoted American ignoramuses who post here say, Turkish industry is thriving and very healthy - unlike the UK for example.Turkey actually builds factories, the UK closes them down."

Can they make shirts that don't fade after 3 washings, stereos that don't smell like vomit, and cars that aren't crap?



And, er, the person pretending to be Whiskey, I wasn't aware that Islamic fundamentalists resist science education or the Theory of Evolution (all Allah, you know, even the monkeys). I guess we should let this progress for a few generations so they forget how to make bombs and develop nuclear weapons.

Anonymous said...

seriously Steve, you have to ban Whiskey and Truth. Whiskey is negative information content and Truth just throws feces at other posters.

Anonymous said...

"seriously Steve, you have to ban Whiskey and Truth. Whiskey is negative information content and Truth just throws feces at other posters."

At least Truth's posts are mercifully short.

Gc said...

Turkey is not doing fine. At least the EU thinks so. But that may be with respect to human rights only, which count only when they are useful. Anyway the Germans and the French don`t wan`t the Turkey to the EU.
Euro has been very good to Germany. How high would German mark be now? But the problem with Germany is that no-one has enough money to buy all those BMW`s. That`s why we need credit:)

Anonymous said...

Unlike other Islamist countries in the region, Turkey does have the benefit of not being Arab. The Ottoman Turkish empire was more civilized than Europe far more recently - about the early 17th century. Arabs by contrast fell behind Europe hundreds of years earlier after the Mongols decimated their civilization. Besides, I'd imagine the Turks on average have higher IQ than the Arabs.

Bruce Banner said...

The EU and the Eurozone have been good so for France and Germany: a single currency and no tarifs benefit their exports.
For the rest of the European countries under the boot of Brussels, the results are a mixed bag. There's no doubt that the Euro currency has been an unmitigated disaster for the mostly Southern PIIGs. But in the end, the weight of a single currency could even sink the German Giant.
On the political front, the EU is the largest tiranny outside of China. Forget about Khaddaffy, Brussels is truly evil and totalitarian.

Anonymous said...

Anyway the Germans and the French don`t want Turkey to join the EU.

And Greece will NEVER vote to allow Turkey to join.

And what do we mean by Germans and French? The elites all over Europe would love Turkey to join, they woul also love near-unlimited numbers of Africans and asians too. The people otoh, as far as one can tell, dont want Turkey in.

Anonymous said...

Greece, Ireland and the like have nobody to blame but themselves, mainly their politicians and all the interest groups that parasited the system until it went bankrupt.

But the euro didnt drop out of the sky unbidden.

Its those pols & parasites who designed it, lobbied for it and implemented it. They wanted it because they are corrupt and they are parasites. For years they have dismissed the boring naysayers pointing out that it would all end in disaster.

Bastards.

Anonymous said...

The history of Anatolia is the region swinging between being primarily oriented toward the Near East and being oriented toward the Mediterranean and Europe. The Hittite/Persian period was followed by 1500 years of Hellenism, then 800 years of Turkism/Islamism. Anything that helps cement this ancient and important region's ancient and deep ties to Europe is a good thing, IMO.

A region, its just a piece of land for crissakes, its the people there who count and culturally at least they arent the people there were. For a long time they were Greek, now they are Turkish.

Why on earth should we encourage ties with a piece of land because once that piece of land was, in effect, part of Europe.

Utter nonense.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that an Islamist government could spell serious trouble down the road.

And if that is serious trouble, its serious trouble for the Turks, no-one else, unless of course you want them in the EU, in which case it will be our problem too.

Chicago said...

Good thing for the Europeans that Turkey hasn't become a member. Insofar as to what's good for Turkey, who gives a hoot?
This is a country that even today denies the Armenian genocide.
Rosy predictions about their great potential, bright future, growth rate, etc, are probably just concocted nonsense. They have no real capabilities, their human potential is low. The Westward looking elite might seem to be almost European in looks and communication skills but behind them the vast majority are semi-Asiatic and are still barbarians just beneath the surface.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You have a lot of people that seem to have an automatic chimpout whenever Whiskey posts. It's gotten very noticable. His post was clearly worded. Someone may disagree with the content, but it's not different in tone then 90% of other posts in your comments section.

My distilled version of his post...

1. agricultural development is good for Turkey.

2. Islamicization is bad.

Big deal, seems plausible.

I'm calling B.S. on the anti-Whiskey brigade.

Duncan Idaho

Svigor said...

Truth is harmless. You just have to figure him out. Once you do, you'll relax about him. He seems serious about 5% of the time.

LOL. Whiskey spends half his time talking about how disastrous it is to liberate women via education and independent employment. Now he suggests they're necessary for productivity.

Whiskey, on the other hand, is quite the prolific troll. But I don't want him banned, either. It can be depressing, considering the fact that people actually take his stuff seriously, but there's no cure for stupid. If Whiskey wasn't around, they stupid would find some other stupidity to believe.

Speaking of Whiskey - has he ever badmouthed the EU?

C'mon Whiskey, belly up to the bar. EU: hot or not?

Svigor said...

TV Executives Admit in Taped Interviews That Hollywood Pushes a Liberal Agenda

Some choice bits:

“Most of them didn’t Google me. If they had, they would have realized where I am politically,” he said. “I played on their stereotypes. When I showed up for the interviews, I wore my Harvard Law baseball cap — my name is Ben Shapiro and I attended Harvard, so there’s a 98.7 percent chance I’m a liberal. Except I happen not to be.”

and

Shapiro released two videos Tuesday, one featuring COPS creator John Langley saying he’s partial to segments where white people are the criminals

Anonymous said...

"Turkey is a natural partner for the EU in Agricultural exports (a favorable climate for winter vegetables, citrus, grapes, and so on"

I thought Turkey had weather about like Europe. Only the coast is warm. The rest has continental weather.

Istanbul has a latitude of 41. The southern border is about 36. That is about like far northern California. Sacramento has latitude 38.

I was in Turkey in early October. It is not super warm. It was like Europe.

Anonymous said...

The notion that having the Euro made the non-PIGS countries 'vastly richer' is bizarre, especially considering their role in cleaning up the current mess.

Second, Whiskey: Why not spend 30 secs to google 'Turkish Gdp" to save yourself the embarrasment?

Anonymous said...

"Whiskey spends half his time talking about how disastrous it is to liberate women via education and independent employment. Now he suggests they're necessary for productivity.
"


That gives him credibility in my book. Anyone who acts like whatever they're pushing has no downside can't be trusted.

_osvaldo M.

Anonymous said...

Poland has also been creating its own job for its own people. EU membership has been for it. It all depends on how the membership is used. Greeks are just lazy bums. Even without membership, they'd be useless.

Anonymous said...

"The whole concept will fail, because multinationalism/multiculturalism doesn't work."

EU can work as a loose federation. But if it tries to unite Europe as one political entity, it's gonna be problematic. The problem isn't just cultural differences but character differences--characture. Germans work hard, Greeks are bums. Germans get tired of paying for lazy Greeks, lazy Greeks keep feeling resentful.

Anonymous said...

"seriously Steve, you have to ban Whiskey and Truth. Whiskey is negative information content and Truth just throws feces at other posters."

No, let's not have bloggeral correctness. Whiskey offers an interesting perspective, and Truth is a pretty stand-up guy.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't so much EU as the ideology and trends prevailing in all European nations.

1. low birthrate.

2. multi-culti ideology

3. open borders

4. afrophilia

5. Holocaustianity.

6. welfare state.

Anonymous said...

"Greeks are far more civilized than Turks. Turkey is growing because it starts from such a lower level."

WERE

Anonymous said...

What's useful for us white gentiles in regards to Turkey is that its main population have been represented in politics by a party that identifies with the people.
US, on the other hand, has two parties more loyal to AIPAC and Wall Street than to America and Main Street.

Anonymous said...

"Turkish nationalism was largely the invention of cosmopolitan elites"

'cosmopolitan' is going too far--and Armenians found out the hard way. They were modernizers but fierce nationalists than universalists. Ataturk's political ideal can really be called fascist-democracy.

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, Turkey is 'Europe's' only major manufacturer of television receivers.Yes, you read right despite having 100s of millions of those hi-tec and indispensible pieces of electrical engineering, Europe is incapable of making them.I'd wager that no European manufacturer of consumer electronics ever even got on to the flat screen revolution.
Britain's last television factory closed down 5 years ago.It was a Japanese 'screwdriver' operation, like most plants were and the owners couldn't be bothered to re-tool for flat screen.
if you are talking about indigenous, British designed and made TVs, the last manufacturer shut down at least 30 years ago - and that was in time when color TVs were high, priced, high value added exceedingly complex bits of kit, costing several months' wages.
Even with such an industry supposedly so well fitted to Britain's strengths (ie high capital, high engineering, high wages), it couldn't compete.
It's even more f*cked now.
Britain, a maritime nation has had no commercial shipbuiding for decades.Turkey is in the top 5 of shipbuilders.

Andrew said...

LOL, Whiskey is such a dummy. Steve, didn't you used to moderate comments more carefully? or has the quality of your commenters just declined? You raise some typical outside-the-box Sailer points here,with perhaps a few mistakes that an on-point comment thread could clear up. But not with all these idiots spouting disinformation and non-information and their stupid prejudices masked as fact. For starters, a commenter who makes a strong assertion should be required to mention a source or two if not an actual link.

Anonymous said...

The Ottoman Turkish empire was more civilized than Europe far more recently - about the early 17th century.

Oh for Christ's sake [no pun intended].

"Early" 17th Century in Europe would be Sweelinck inventing the fugue, Monteverdi inventing the basso continuo, Descartes inventing cartesian coordinate systems, Galileo Galilei inventing modern astronomy [and working to coalesce - into a unified whole - what would come to be known as the laws of physics], explorations to the Jamestown, Plymouth & Massachusetts Bay Colonies in the New World, etc etc etc.

At that point you are well beyond [up to a century or more] Tycho Brahe and the [empirically observed] laws of planetary motion, Renaissance composers like Thomas Tallis, the paintings & designs of Leonardo da Vinci, the rise of Christian opposition to popery with Luther, Tyndale, Cauvin, and Knox, Columbus's & Raleigh's expeditions to the New World, Gutenberg's movable type, etc etc etc.

In all honesty, nothing that any Turk has ever accomplished in all of recorded human history would hold a candle to what Europe was doing in the "early 17th Century".

I mean - seriously - WFT?!? - is the Frankfurt School sending out trolls to iSteve?

Good grief.

Anonymous said...

And as regards the nature of the modern world, probably the single most important event in the "early 17th Century" would be the revolt of the Orange against the rule of the greater Hapsburgian Empire - it's difficult to over-emphasize just how crucial this was.

headache said...

seriously Steve, you have to ban Whiskey and Truth. Whiskey is negative information content and Truth just throws feces at other posters.

Yeah, I used to think so about Truth as well. He's often still a nuisance, but I can just ignore him if his writings don't suit me. When its about Obama you need to do a lot of scrolling. As for Whiskey, nowadays I kinda enjoy his posts, even though they are very predictable.

Truth said...

"seriously Steve, you have to ban Whiskey and Truth."

Would you just stop with the commie stuff already, Vladimir?

Mehmet the Conqueror said...

born in Istanbul, but of a family from the mainland

What? Istanbul is on the mainland. It's just the European mainland. Presumably by "mainland" you mean "Anatolia." You gotta get the details right if you want to be taken seriously!

corvinus said...

Unlike other Islamist countries in the region, Turkey has the benefit of not being Arab...

Your entire post would also apply to Iran to a certain extent.

Turks are admittedly European racially, but they're Muslim and this colors their attitude toward other Europeans. They're admittedly super friendly, warm, hospitable people (I like to think of them as Muslim Italians), but they should keep Turkey for the Turks and stay out of Europe unless they're willing to convert to Christianity (like the small group that the Russian Czar settled in southern Moldova, called "Gagauz").

Ray Sawhill said...

Entirely FWIW ... I was talking the other day to a guy who knows some people high up in the Turkish government. According to him, Turkish elites were never seriously eager to join the EU/Eurozone. Thezy let it out that they were because they wanted to force certain reforms on their country. And they succeeded. But they were completely dumbfounded when Europeans then took their bid for membership very seriously.

Anonymous said...

EU, shopping block or chopping block. If latter, good for Turkey for keeping its head.

Anonymous said...

"LOL. Whiskey spends half his time talking about how disastrous it is to liberate women via education and independent employment. Now he suggests they're necessary for productivity."

It's never either/or. Western feminism is one extreme, Islamism is another.

headache said...

Britain, a maritime nation has had no commercial shipbuiding for decades.Turkey is in the top 5 of shipbuilders.

Shipbuilding suffers from the same problem which construction does: most ships are unique, so automation does not achieve much. The only other place you can optimize in is logistics. The Germans have perfected that, but even their shipyards are suffering and only produce high-cost items, which are few in between. My guess is that Turkey produces mostly run-of-the-mill ships for fishing and non-specialized cargo. The building plans for those are probably public domain, so engineering is limited. All you need are a few cranes and lots of (cheap) welders.

The beef in shipbuilding is in engineering design, and I'd take a wild guess that the British still have fine maritime engineering consultancies. For instance, most of the German shipbuilding expertise now resides in research, design and engineering.

Anonymous said...

"seriously Steve, you have to ban Whiskey and Truth."

"Would you just stop with the commie stuff already, Vladimir?"

I'm with Truth. Nothing sickens me more than rightists calling for shutting down free speech.

Anonymous said...

"Strangely enough, Turkey is 'Europe's' only major manufacturer of television receivers.Yes, you read right despite having 100s of millions of those hi-tec and indispensible pieces of electrical engineering, Europe is incapable of making them."

Labor costs and welfare. Cheaper labor costs in Turkey means more factories. Less welfare means more have to work.
In UK, not only are labor costs too high but you can be a bum and live on welfare forever.

Steve Sailer said...

There is a huge shipyard outside Bodrum, Turkey building wooden pleasure yachts. Taki had his yacht built there, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Whose idea was it to call Turkey Turkey? It's really pronounced Turk-ih-eh. It sounds ridiculous to be called 'Turkey' Imagine a nation being called Pigeon or Chicken.
And why have Turks put up with being Turkey for so long?

john williams said...

Turkey has been caught between a rock and a hard place over the Kurds and Iran. The US just wanted to use them. I admire Turkey for their standing up for the palestinians and trying to break the illegal, inhumane blockade of the Jews.

Anonymous said...

Whose idea was it to call Turkey Turkey? It's really pronounced Turk-ih-eh.
Turkey was just a name someone came up with - it was originally semi-derogatory - the new 'turic' natioanlist state just didn't want to be called ottman because that was associated with a dead empire.

I guess we can expect them to demand that western journalists start pronouncing it that way, but who knows since they are out of favor with israel perhaps for once, they won't comply.

Personally, I still like to refer to Constantinople by its proper name and look forward to the day that the Turk is driven from there and bells of San Sophia ring again.

Anonymous said...

The Ottoman Turkish empire was more civilized than Europe far more recently - about the early 17th century.
is that what you call keeping women as sex slaves, a christian blood tax, islam and an authoritarian government.

and btw, genius most any sort of innovation - sadly enough even in military technology, were westerners mercenary engineers

remember the famous story of the sultan asking both Leonardo and Michelangelo to put a bridge across the Bosporus? or inviting Berninni and freaking out because of his drawing of jannisarries? (they were so realistic turks were scared that they might be capturing the souls or something.

Anonymous said...

eh,

FWIW, joining the EU carries an obligation to try to join the Euro. Though Sweden is has gotten away with ignoring this obligation. Even if it had tried, Turkey wouldn't have been able to join the Euro by now, though.

Monsieur Zion said...

It's funny how the neocon line on Turkey changed 180 degrees when the Turks stood up for themselves during the disastrous Iraq War. Before then, she was a city on a hill proving Islam was compatible with democracy. Since then, the dog whistle has created an army of Whiskeys telling us that, despite a lot of progress, Islam will always turn a nation into anti-Semitic and freedom hating zombies, whatever we do. So we might as well continue antagonizing them.

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, nothing that any Turk has ever accomplished in all of recorded human history would hold a candle to what Europe was doing in the "early 17th Century".

I mean - seriously - WFT?!? - is the Frankfurt School sending out trolls to iSteve?

LOL nOtice how the lefty race hustlers always think races and civilization can be superior to the west (the familiar 'when the British were painting themselves blue" punchline)
but all races and civilizations are equal when comparing say western art and architecture and african mud huts.

Jason said...

Poland has also been creating its own job for its own people. EU membership has been for it. It all depends on how the membership is used.

This is rot.

The point of Sailer's article was that Greece isn't in Germany's league as an exporter, yet in using the Euro has its currency pegged to the value of Germany's currency.

Poland isn't in Germany's league as an exporter either, but they don't use the Euro.

Therefore even though they're in the European Union, they aren't part of the Eurozone which kills the economies of countries such as Ireland and Greece which can't compete with the Germans on imports.

It is true that it took a while for the Greek and Irish economies to implode after they joined the Eurozone, but that's only because the EU propped up their economies with loans and aid packages which served the purpose of bribing them into staying in a currency which was extremely harmful to their economies.

Eventually the accumulated damage to the Greek and Irish economies overwhelmed the very short term benefit which came from the bribes.

Poland is also getting aid packages and loans to try to bribe them into joining the Eurozone, but unlike the Greeks and Irish they're getting the bribes without yet having to suffer the profound economic problems which come from having a currency pegged to that of Germany while not being in their league as an exporter.

The economic growth of Poland won't last over the medium to long term if they make the same horrible mistake Greece and Ireland made of joining the Eurozone.

As for the claim that the Poles are productive but the Greeks are "lazy bums", this is contradicted by the fact that Greece has a per capita income of$27,844 while the per capita income of Poland is $18,936.

Anonymous said...

@Whiskey - You have no idea what you are talking about. I have seen massive changes in Turkiye since the mid 1980's.

Let me try to use some facts but do not let facts get in the view of your opinions.

All sources easily googled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Turkey

...has the world's 15th largest GDP-PPP[2] and 17th largest Nominal GDP.[11] The country is a founding member of the OECD (1961) and the G-20 major economies (1999). Since December 31, 1995, Turkey is also a part of the EU Customs Union.

Consumer electronics and home appliances
Turkish brands like BEKO and Vestel are among the largest producers of consumer electronics and home appliances in Europe.Turkey's Vestel Electronics is the largest TV producer in Europe, accounting for 21% of all TV sets manufactured and sold on the continent in 2007.[29] By January 2005, Vestel and its rival Turkish electronics and white goods brand BEKO accounted for more than half of all TV sets manufactured in Europe.[30] Another Turkish electronics brand, Profilo-Telra, was Europe's third largest TV producer in 2005.[31] EU market share of Turkish companies in consumer electronics has increased significantly following the Customs Union agreement signed between the EU and Turkey: in color TVs from 5% in 1995 to more than 50% in 2005, in digital devices from 3% to 15%, and in white goods from 3% to 18%.


Its one of the top producers of consumer electronics in Europe. Has one of the largest ship building industries in the world.

In all metrics that can be measured, Turkiye is growing into an economic power.

But hey...stay ignorant. It suits you well.

Laban said...

Queen Elizabeth I's Archbishop Matthew Parker :

"Better it is for us to fall into thy hands, than into the hands of men, and especially into the hands of Turks and Infidels thy professed enemies, who now invade thine inheritance... First, the Turke with his sword, what landes, nations, and countreys, what empires, kingdomes, and provinces, with cities innumerable hath he wonne, not from us but from Thee! Where thy name was wont to be invocated, thy word preached, thy sacraments administered, there now reigneth barbarous Mahumet with his filthy Alcoran. The florishing churches in Asia, the learned churches of Grecia, the manifold churches in Africa, which were wont to serve thee now are gone from thee."

anony-mouse said...

You don't mind if I'm not as fond of the most recent winner (2010) of this prize as you are:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaddafi_Prize

Anonymous said...

Forget Turkey. How lucky (and smart) was Switzerland not to get into the EU? So far the Swiss have passed on WWI, WWII and the coming euro collapse. If they only had refused immigration, they would have had a perfect record.

Londoner said...

I would welcome stronger ties between Turkey and Europe. Two points though: Europe =/= the EU, which will hopefully collapse soon, and "stronger ties" =/= free movement of people. Sorry, Turkey, but we'd want you to be a good neighbour, not the Mexico of Europe.

Tanstaafl said...

Back when I lived in San Diego I met a secular, college-educated Turkish couple. Immigrants, of course. Educated in US universities, of course.

When I told them I was getting my family out of CA they said they were leaving too. They were very disappointed with America. They wanted to know, where are all the Americans? If they had wanted to live around mestizos they would have immigrated to Mexico. Apparently there are no hard-working mestizos looking for a better life in Turkey. Imagine that.

Anonymous said...

f they only had refused immigration, they would have had a perfect record.
and the jews have been hammering at the door since the 90s - pressuring, exortign, etc.
The whole 'swiss banking' scandal. - which was just a blatant shakedown, but once they got their claws in, they have never let go.

The swiss didn't fight the nazis- that's antisemitism... because even us, who fought the nazis are to blame for holcaust, so just imagine how guilty people are who did nothing!

corvinus said...

Therefore even though they're in the European Union, they aren't part of the Eurozone which kills the economies of countries such as Ireland and Greece which can't compete with the Germans on imports.


That should be Portugal and Greece, not Ireland. Ireland actually does have a good export machine like Germany, and was routinely running trade surpluses. It was brought to its knees by greedy banks and a pusillanimous government which tried to back a mountain of debt from default that was much too large for the country to handle, rather than tell the banksters to stuff it like Iceland did.

Anonymous said...

Its [Turkey]one of the top producers of consumer electronics in Europe. Has one of the largest ship building industries in the world.

In Europe?

Its not part of Europe, it isnt European.

Anonymous said...

The idiot who blames 'welfare and labor costs' for britain's industrial failure is quite frankly a clueless bigot (unfortunately like many of Steve's American posters), who probably knows absolutely nothing about Britain, (as an aside American industry has collapsed just as hard).
The fact are these: Turkey has had a consistently higher and more prtotracted unemployment problem than Britain, as does Poland.Labor costs in Britain are not particularly high by world or European standards.Until the industrial collapse of the 1970s and 80s Britain had a very high rate of employment and industrial production.
It was government policy that stuffed Britain.

Anonymous said...

Turkey doesn't have enough smart people to keep up the growth. I predict some sort of crisis and then stagnation. It won't ever be first world.

Anonymous said...

The television receivers guy is a troll.

How is that high tech? How is manufacturing that stuff an achievement?

Top 5 shipbuilder? You realize 95% of shiping by tonnage is built in East Asia. Anybody else on the list isn't much of a ship builder.

Gc said...

Anynomous, I meant that elites in Germany and French don`t wan`t the Turkey to Join. Look, the Germany basically pays everything in EU. If the Turkey joins soon the Turkey will have the biggest population in EU and that means they have more votes in the council than Germany, but still Germany is paying everything and because there are a lot of Turkish people in Germany they will see a massive Turkish immigration to the Germany. Overall about 1/3 of the Turks are planning to immigrate if the Turkey joins the EU. But that is not going to happen in our lifetime.
As for the manufacturing of cheaps TV`s that is bad business. There are no real profits to be made, so the pays are very low,
unlike when you make BMW`s. If you wan`t to make it in shipbuilding bouild big fancy luxury cruise ships like Finland or support you`re industry illegally or legally like the Asian countries.

Anonymous said...

In Europe?

Its not part of Europe, it isnt European.
actually part of it is, and that the basis for the ridiculous EU stance that Europe has always been multicultrual and just as muslim as christian.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Turkey has issues, but to those trashing its economy: really??


WSJ: "Turkey, rarely thought of as a global automotive hub, will this year overtake the Czech Republic as the biggest car maker in Eastern and emerging Europe outside of Russia, according to industry forecasts."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703471904576003490944118616.html

WSJ: "Istanbul, the booming metropolis driving the recovery, has developed into a fashion and tourism hub and recently ranked above four Chinese cities as the world's most dynamic metropolitan center, according to the Brooking's Institution

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576023670551127268.html

Economist: "Some forecasts suggest that during the next decade Turkey will grow faster than any country bar India and China. Others predict it could become the world’s tenth-biggest economy by 2050."

http://www.economist.com/node/17276440

David said...

Just think how much luckier the EU was to keep out Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I still like to refer to Constantinople by its proper name and look forward to the day that the Turk is driven from there and bells of San Sophia ring again.

And I would like Lundenwic to return to its proper name too, and the Norman wogs fleeing back to the Continent.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's economy will amount to much. The WSJ considers it possible that the Turkish economy will keep growing fast but we in the HBD community know better.

How to short Turkey?

rob said...

Gc said
...Anyway the Germans and the French

then Gc said

Anynomous, I meant that elites in Germany and French don`t wan`t the Turkey to Join...If you wan`t to make...

In English, we don't use an apostrophe in the word "want" because it isn't a contraction. Glad I could help.

elvisd said...

"Turkish nationalism was largely the invention of cosmopolitan elites"

Just about any country's nationalism has been the invention of cosmopolitan elites.

Steve Sailer said...

elvisd:

Right. For example, Finland's famous cultural and military leaders, Sibelius and Mannerheim, were Swedish-speakers.

English nationalism over the last 1,000 years seems pretty indigenous, although if you go back far enough even that might turn out to be an import.

Wandrin said...

"Yes, Turkey has issues, but to those trashing its economy: really??"

Turkey, like Brazil, India etc has grown so dramatically because the western business elite have been transplanting vast amounts of capital. The growth is not indigenous.

This process has made the western business elite fantastically wealthy because in the process of off-shoring they re-jig the ownership of that capital.

However the end result is fundamentally unsustainable. All the consumption has been left behind in the west while all the production has been gradually moved east - hence the explosion in all kinds of debt to bridge the gap. Not only is there a finite limit to the amount of transplant capital that can be looted from the west (because new capital is being created at a much lower rate than it is being looted) there is also the now obvious problem of all the debt required to bridge the production vs consumption gap.

When the inevitable western collapse comes - the potential for which should be obvious now to everyone - the growth in the transplant countries will collapse also because their markets will suddenly disappear.

It's not globalization it's a robbery, just like the educational accreditation Ponzi scheme is a robbery and the private central banking scam is a robbery and the global warming carbon trading scam is a robbery and etc.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Whiskey's comments really stunk up the joint.

The really fascinating aspect to Turkey's recent success is how contingent it is on the existence of one man: Erdogan. Take Erdogan and his band of squeaky-clean technocrats away, and your left with the bunch of rotten, utterly corrupt politicians who looted the country in the past half-century.

Take Erdogan away, and Whiskey's comments would have been spot on.

It speaks to the power of the individual, sort of a Jon Stewart effect, where a uniquely talented person carves out a niche in the world that you wouldn't have thought possible otherwise.

The U.S. government is sadly lacking in Erdogans at the moment.

SFG said...

"Personally, I still like to refer to Constantinople by its proper name and look forward to the day that the Turk is driven from there and bells of San Sophia ring again."

And the priest will step out of the wall and finish conducting services?

I just don't see it happening... Europe no longer defends itself like that, and Greece isn't enough of a major power. Nobody in Europe likes war these days.

Mark said...

I briefly dated a Turkish immigrant once. We were walking through some very nice parts of DC and he came right out and said, "America would be so beautiful if it weren't for black people."' Yup, just like that. I have no idea what the culture in Turkey is like, but I bet it isn't p.c.