A 1001 Words Plea to European Parliament
By Kamal Artin, MD
Foremost I would like to thank the organizers and patrons of the 4th international conference by EUACC, still known as EUTCC. What we call a sponsor in the United States seems to be called a patron in the United Europe. Europeans are amazing people in making simple matters complicated. As easy going Americans we believe everyone who likes red, white, and blue colors is simply one of us. For Europeans one has to be a patron to be one of them. I did not know the origin of patron, so I searched. In ancient Europe a patron was an owner who without relinquishing the legal claims of his slave let him free. I concluded any owner who sponsors the freedom of minorities in the ancient yet captive Middle East of today is called a patron by European standards.
The conference might not be relevant to me personally but is relevant to the people of my origin ethnically. I am thankful to EU for expecting its members to recognize the truth about ethnic diversity. I think if Galileo was here today, he would have been thankful too, even if the subject was irrelevant to the shape of the globe. If those who made Galileo deny the roundness of the earth were here today, they would have made us deny the lack of ethnic equality in the Middle East and made sure the region remained in middle ages. I assume the main reason for this conference is to remind the Middle Eastern leaders to adapt to the 21 st century and treat everyone equally. I assume the EU expects from its potential new members to value enlightenment, liberty, and equality for all regardless of color, gender, and ethnicity, even if it sounds strange to them.
Throughout our life we all have to adapt to strange situations and try to make best out of them. I remember how somebody I know coped with strange situations. The name, gender, and background are irrelevant here, but let’s assume she was a woman from East Anatolia. She had felt strange upon starting her first school day. As soon as the teacher had started talking, she thought she was in a foreign country. Only one of her classmates understood what the teacher was talking about. He happened to be the son of a commander assigned to her area from a far a way region. She and her classmates wondered why they should learn the language of their guest instead of him learning theirs. She thought maybe learning about other people’s culture and language was not the strongest attribute of the guest; or maybe the native parents were selfless and had voted for abandoning their own language and learning the one of the commander to show off their hospitality. She then was proud of the flexibility and the ability of her parents to deny their own identity superficially and make the guest feel at home. Although she couldn’t become literate in her own language, she adapted to this strange situation, learned the new language, and moved on.
The learned flexibility and superficial denial of own identity gave her the ability to move around freely and feel at home wherever she went. For the second time she started feeling strange was when moving around freely become forbidden by the state. She felt she was stateless, homeless, or living in a terrorized home. She lost her hope in the possibility of freedom in captivity. The most reasonable way to adapt to this strange situation was to like it, fight it, or leave it. She left and accidentally ended up in a beautiful multiethnic European country, which became her second home for many years. Seeing different ethnic groups-each with own language, tradition, and culture- living in peace and harmony restored her hope. She quickly adapted to the strange yet liberating new situation.
While she was enjoying life without fear in Europe, she faced an elderly lady’s profane comment that she should go to her home country, which she didn’t have. Her fault was that as a stranger she was laughing loud while playing with her children. Suddenly the whole Europe became a small and strange place to her. To adapt to this strange situation, she left for a newer and braver part of the globe. During few visits there she had noticed how sacred the individual freedom was, regardless of origin. She had seen that every immigrant was feeling more at home in the new world than at the traditional home they or their ancestors had left behind. So America, the new and brave offspring of the world, became her third home.
She saw the new world as brave as the one described by Aldous Huxley but unfortunately with similar shortcomings too. She saw that some of the leaders in the new world rather had people on soma and assigned the Middle Eastern dictators to treat the disadvantaged minorities as savages. She started searching how to adapt to this strange policy. You might argue it was time that she migrated to a different plant as her fourth home. Since she was short of budget for such a migration, she asked what would be a realistic alternative. I suggested pleading to the brave guardians of human rights at the EUACC, the United Europe, and the United States.
So we plead to you to pressure the undemocratic countries to stop treating the minorities as subhuman. Please pressure your own leaders and the ones in the new world to make human rights a first priority. Through such a pressure many violators around the world have already changed. If pressured, the human rights violators in the Middle East would also have no choice but to adopt the values of the free world. Once they adopt such values, they become ready to join EU or any other free and interdependent associations. By then, those who believe no one is more equal than others adapt easier to strange situations in our planet.
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