March 10, 2005

Turkey and the EU

A new reader writes:

I was intrigued to see you had applied your unflinching perspective on race and IQ to the Turks, apropos the EU admission business.

My fascination stems, in part, from the fact that I read articles on Turkey and the EU all the time, from all sorts of purported "experts." I am also subjected to daily diatribes of all varieties on the subject--I have live and taught at a Turkish university in XXX for X years--and yet no one seemed as percipient as you in teasing out the contradictions and problems posed by Turkey's potential admission to the EU.

Also, I sense your skepticism dovetails with mine, though mine is more anecdotal. My girlfriend is Turkish, and so I hesitate before embracing these IQ stats you link too...though I understand they are mean averages, and I fear the Turkish figures are probably correct.

So here it is: the issue of intelligence and the Turks, and why I think they should stay out of the EU.

[Briefly, I reported that what little evidence we have suggested that Turkey's national average IQ is about equal to the world average of 90, about 2/3rds of a standard deviation below Europe's, or similar to Mexico's. In other words, not bad, but also not likely to fully assimilate into Europe.]

I speak from anecdotal experience, but quite broadly so: I have had over a hundred students per term since XXX. Though the top end undergrads and master's students are quite clever, nearly the equal of the best students stateside, the bulk are quite stultifyingly dull-minded. Quite a few even of the mediocrities work very hard: work ethic is not lacking in all but the most spoiled richies; and yet your ordinary Turkish undergraduate simply lacks the most elementary critical imagination. Teaching here is, in a way, heaven: the students frantically take notes, and try desperately to regurgitate back to you exactly what, they think, you taught them...

Here's the rub: Turks' very lack of intellectual sophistication is a large part of the reason I'm so fond of them. My students utterly lack the world-weary, premature sophistication / jadedness of American or European students. They love their country, in an entirely unironic way, lacking all shame or sense of needing to apologize for it. They're willing to accept anything I say about, say, the evils of Communism; but they will suddenly come to attention if I allude to ANYTHING relating to Ataturk, the war of independence, Turkey's borders, etc.

I think joining the EU would ruin this country, ultimately, by undermining the old fashioned virtues of the place.

As I wrote, Turkey is, by global standards, a pretty average country and, yet, a reasonably successful one, especially for a Muslim one in the Middle East. So, it's a decent role model for other average countries, yet subsuming it into the EU will slowly obliterate the virtues that made it a role model.

Steve Sailer's homepage and blog is iSteve.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read your article and disagree with it. I went to college in Turkey and in the USA(both as an engineering undergrad) and now working on my masters. I am turkish by the way ;-)
To sum up my experience in Turkey. I felt average almost below average in the turkish university; however, in the states I was making money tutoring my coeds. I felt like a genius. I saw that intellectual and creative capability of the american students and some european exchange undergrads were far inferior compared to the Turkish university students. I think as the economic prosperity, literacy, and educational opportunities of the turkish population increase you will see a sharp increase on the IQ curves (perhaps surpassing even better priviliged EU's).

Anonymous said...

Of course you would disagree; you're Turkish and too nationalistic to see the truth. The IQ figure is just a mean for the Gaussian distribution, so how smart you claim you are has no bearing on the overall result.

Anonymous said...

Well Steve, for a teacher you are not very bright. Turkish people are mixed of ethnic origins and the majority have same ancestors as the Greeks. If the Greek IQ is higher this tells us something, economy; give Turkey about 10 years and we will see your theory.

Did you know most human discoveries were by the Mediterranean race? I dont expect you to admit that, after all, you are not Mediterranean :)

Anonymous said...

Well Steve, for a teacher you are not very bright. Turkish people are mixed of ethnic origins and the majority have same ancestors as the Greeks. If the Greek IQ is higher this tells us something, economy; give Turkey about 10 years and we will see your theory.

Did you know most human discoveries were by the Mediterranean race? I dont expect you to admit that, after all, you are not Mediterranean :)

Anonymous said...

You can be smart as bellhop but if you are a racist what does it matter how smart you are? How smart are Americans? Look at their culture, where are they going in 10 years? Where is Turkey going in 10 years? You probably know jack shit about economy. You are prejudiced and deluded.