I went to Basel, Switzerland as the guest of (Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD). The meeting was one of the best conferences I attended in recent years. Together we analyzed the recent incidents in Turkey. Turks who work in Europe follow what is going on in Turkey in a much more detailed way than those at home. They said they would just feel sorry when a negative incident - such as a coup - happened in the past but now they feel as though they have a say. To that end, they have established numerous nongovernmental organizations in Europe.
Now, there is a generation who are citizens of both Europe and Turkey. Moreover, they are organized and participate in both European and Turkish politics. This new generation of Turks and even other immigrants in Europe are much different from the former generations who migrated to Europe because of economic hardship or political persecution. The former generations would hide from the outer world.
They knew that they did not have much to do about the anti-democratic regimes in their home countries. They were just ashamed of what was going on there. They would not easily get accustomed to the country where they immigrated and its language. They were "trapped" between their home countries and Europe throughout their life.
Nevertheless, the case is on the other way around now... Both the children of the former generation and the ones who move to Europe from Turkey and other Asian countries for education or employment are ahead of the average European in terms of education, occupational knowledge and political vision. I am not saying it subjectively as I am from Turkey. Here is my position as an academic: the youth who migrate from India, Turkey, China and many more Asian countries to the U.S. and Europe for masters or PhD degrees feel the urge to be more successful than the Europeans. As a result, they exert more effort. This situation creates a serious difference between European and Asian immigrant youths in favor of the Asians. We can observe this fact on the PhD thesis most specifically. PhD works of Asian students in America and Europe are much more brilliant compared to the native academicians.
Strangely enough, one can observe the same fact as women challenge the patriarchal structure both in business and the academy. Many women know that they have to work harder than men to get over the obstacles put by patriarchal culture. Thus, they take their jobs more seriously and spend more hours at work compared to men. As a result, women are more successful in both business and academia.
Now, the new Turkish generation in Europe does not have trouble with language. Furthermore, they are aware of the urgency to perform their works more seriously and be better at their jobs with regard to their European colleagues.
Today, Europe is not only going through an economic crisis but also a political one in terms of developing a new kind of politics. The most important reason is Europe's challenge of creating human capital since the early 1980s. This is one of the most important causes of youth unemployment galloping in southEuropean countries like Spain. So, we can say that the visionary point of view of young Asian immigrants will determine the new politics of Europe. This point of view is, at the same time, one that does not accept any difference between the West and the East and that will overcome the biggest problem in Europe, namely racist and discriminatory politics. This approach of Europe is one of the most apparent obstacles for it to correctly communicate with the outer world.
Mainstream European media and even the local ones have an orientalist, humiliating and generic point of view about the East. When negative news comes from the East, primarily from Turkey, it is considered to be true without questioning even if it is not. Moreover, the propaganda about how "bad" the East is and how "good" Europe is starts. The most extreme examples of it were, of course, Goebbels' techniques of fascist propaganda. Unfortunately enough, Goebbels has never died for European media, especially in the German mainstream media.
For instance, German and Swedish mainstream media reported stories with the title "Turkish Government to shut thousands of schools" last week. European media spread that misinforming news without questioning whether it was completely true. In a real sense, what is really happening in Turkey is an end to a shame of the old education system, allowing corrupted and uncontrolled private teaching institutions to record a turnover more than $1 billion. As required by EU Acquis, Turkey is obliged to shut down those so-called education institutions. Surprisingly, EU media reports such action as "Turkey to shut modern schools," which is indeed a highly important step for Turkey to improve its education system.
While Turkey is making an effort to democratize, fulfill EU Acquis requirements and speed up the integration process, the EU's attitude towards Turkey which is not focusing on integration, refers to the country's supposed lack of faith in democracy and integration. I believe Europe is supposed to cherish "human capital" coming from the East, especially Turkish youth, and support their organizations.
This will lead the EU to salvation both politically and economically. In this manner, NGO's like UETD are a hope to Europe.