Negative remarks made by Sarkozy and Merkel, followed by the financial crisis and the fact that Turkey was not greatly affected by it, has made the realization of Turkey's Europe perspective difficult."
Commenting that over the past ten years, a number of contrary sentiments have been developed in relations between Turkey and the EU, Pamuk states, "I am no longer upset that Turkey is not advancing towards Europe. Europe continues to be a dream for the upper class. However, the economic boom in Turkey has diminished the excitement surrounding Europe. Merging with Europe is mainly an economic ambition. It is not politically nor establishments based," states Pamuk. When asked "What is the matter of most concern for Turkey at present?" Pamuk responded by stating, "I believe there are two main issues in Turkey. Military strength has diminished and the nationalist bourgeoisie who have supported the military for many years now in order to protect the nation's secularity are now concerned. Despite this, more than half of the Turkish population believes in secularism. I feel that Turkey's main problem is the Kurdish issue. The government does not know how to approach the issue softly and with tolerance. Once again, they are using old methods to get rid of the problem."
The Nobel-Laureate went on to state that Turkey's upper class is no longer limited to Istanbul and that there is a new higher class arising from Anatolia. "There is a new bourgeoisie coming from Anatolia that is more conservative and religious and is supportive of the AK Party. This has caused the Istanbul bourgeoisie some discomfort. However, it should not be forgotten that over the past ten years and with this party in power, Turkey has become much richer and more successful. That also goes for Istanbul and its bourgeoisie. It is this bourgeoisie which used the west in order to legitimize their wealth, which are now slightly frustrated with the situation at present."
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