Chomsky: EU won't accept Turkey because of racism

"I always felt Europe was more racist,” Chomsky tells Turkish newspaper; says Turkey has made human rights improvements.

Noam Chomsky 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Noam Chomsky 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
European racism is the main reason why Turkey will not be accepted into the EU, says Noam Chomsky according to Turkish newspaper, Today's Zaman.
“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,” Chomsky said in an interview with the newspaper on Sunday.
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Chomsky said 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 - was “a pretty extreme and racist statement from a major political figure in Europe.”
Germany is one of the European countries which has had a “rightwing backlash against Muslim immigrants” and, “It is the background reason why Turkey is unlikely to be accepted into the EU, even if it meets all the human rights standards,” said Chomsky in Today's Zaman.
The newspaper reported that Turkey tried to join the EU in 2005, but the process has been slow amid arguments in Europe that Turkey cannot join the EU because of "cultural differences."
Chomsky added that there are worse human rights violators among European countries and pointed to Britain which participated in the war in Iraq.
"Has Turkey done anything like that? On the contrary, it refused to participate in the invasion. That’s a much higher level of observance of human rights and even international law...I always felt Europe was more racist,” he said.
The MIT professor visited İstanbul on Friday to participate in an international conference on the freedom of expression, and said he had seen great improvements in Turkey's approach to human rights, especially in its treatment toward the Kurds.
Chomsky also commented on the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla in May, condemning Israel and saying it can continue to perform such actions because of US support.