Turkey Becomes Christian and Unites with Cyprus:
Ankara May 7, 2004:
In a strange twist the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Erdogan declared that the Turkish Parliament has unanimously passed legislation proclaiming the entire population of Turkey aged zero and above as being Christian, and that Turkey had decided to dissolve itself and had declared itself an integral part of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Mr. Erdogan said, "of course the new law applies only to formerly Muslim Turks. It excludes those Turkish citizens who already are non-Muslims. Otherwise such forced conversion would be unconscionable."
Several opposition MPs in Turkey expressed frustration and conscientious objection to the conversion, but one was quoted as saying "We are united in supporting this government's unwavering quest for EU membership at all costs and would have been outvoted anyway." A local shopkeeper was heard commenting "These bastards will do anything to get in the EU and keep their parliament seats."
In his press conference the Prime Minister said: "It took us a while to figure this out, but we are confident that this new arrangement will make everyone happier and save everyone from lengthy and expensive accession negotiations. Personally I am finding it harder each time to tell my wife that I have to stay out late for yet another dinner with Chirac and Schroder, and come back home wasted after plying them with drinks trying to make them say yes to Turkey's EU membership. Plus as you know I'm a tolerant soft-spoken kind of fellow who doesn't drink, and it just became too much for me."
Mr. Erdogan continued by saying, "Since the whole of Cyprus was taken into the EU, by joining that island we too become de-facto in the EU. It will of course be some time until reunification, but that will come soon enough now that we are all part of the same great Christian family. In the meantime we have decided to use our soldiers in Cyprus to dump soil brought from Turkey into the Mediterranean between Cyprus and Turkey. Once the land connection is completed in a matter of months, we will be in a position to say Turkey is geographically indisputably part of Cyprus, and therefore part of the EU. This should also help relax those who say Turkey is not part of Europe because of geography and there's the Aegean Sea and lots of water between us bla bla bla."
A Turkish Interior Ministry spokesperson denied rumors that the bridge project was code named Enosis, saying, "We liked the ring of the name, which means Union in Greek, and thought using a Greek word would be a nice gesture, but were told not to use it for fear of being sued by Greece. Something about registered trademarks, apparently."
When asked if Turkey had chosen a particular denomination of Christianity, Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Gul answered, "That is of course a detail yet to be worked out. We are open to all possibilities and will be taking offers." At the same time a foreign ministry person wishing not to be identified confirmed rumors that the Vatican had offered significant financial options, whilst the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches had merely offered generous salvation for all the new souls in Turkey. When asked whether there were minimal terms expected from bidders, Mr. Gul responded, "Given current instabilities in this world economy, we are unconvinced about promises with too long time horizons, plus any offer that involves the other world should at least equal the four maidens and plenitude offered by Islam."
There was much rejoicing in the streets of Turkish cities after the news broke. Mel Gibson's "The Passion" has become an overnight hit in Turkey's movie theaters. One spectator commented after seeing the film: "We are proud to be new born Christians. We realize that we have a lot of catching up to do to achieve the same level of conscientious cleanliness and civilization as our European brothers. I personally have decided to enlist in the Crusades. For us it's Turkey today, Iraq and Syria tomorrow." When reminded that there hadn't been any recruitment bureau of the crusades for about a thousand years now, the man said, "oh well, I guess I'll join the US Marines in Baghdad instead then."
Mr. Denktash the self proclaimed President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus said: "But it isn't even April 1 so this can't be a joke. And it's really in bad taste. We will need to have a referendum. I may or may not resign depending on the results from a referendum." His counterpart Mr. Papadopoulos said they welcomed the North and connected land mass, however all trade to and from former Turkey would now have to pass through the green line as otherwise it would constitute recognition. He added, "We are always open to reunification. On our terms that is." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan declined to comment as he was found in a corner of the UN's basement in New York sobbing and chewing on pieces of his 9000 pages long Cyprus peace plan.
Greek Prime Minister Mr. Caramanlis said they welcomed this as yet another of Turkey's many recent democratic reforms and supported Turkey's EU membership, "provided either France or one of the others says no so we don't look bad."
Several commentators from the newly joined EU members in Eastern Europe expressed horror at the news. One said, "This is tragic news. Christian or not, Turkey doesn't belong in Europe. We are the darlings of the expanded EU and now that we have joined we are against further expansion. Being nouveau riche has nothing to do with it."
International reaction was mixed. A Saudi spokesperson echoed the views of some Arab nations and stated "Those Turks were terrible Muslims anyway. They won't be missed. What kind of Muslim doesn't speak or read Arabic, and drinks and dances and shows their women's belly buttons and bare breasts on the beaches and TV anyway?"
Renowned historian Bernard Lewis commented, "Yes this is really no surprise considering that the Turks were pagans until recently and didn't really take too well to Islam. We now believe the whole Turkish Muslim thing was a mistake because one of their horsemen was drunk and turned left instead of right when entering Asia Minor, thus running into the Muslim Arabs. Well sometimes mistakes happen, but as we see in the long run all that ends well is well."
The leaders of several Christian Democratic parties of EU nations issued statements. One such statement said: "We wholeheartedly welcome our Turkish brothers who have finally seen the light. We must emphasize that Turkey's membership in the EU will in no way be affected by this question of religion, and we will continue to adhere to the objective criteria established from the beginning. It may of course be some years until all the conditions are realized and we will be watching developments closely. Especially since it may take up to another 25 years and a new generation with majority of Turkish men to convincingly be Christian and uncircumcised."
US President Bush speaking on CNN said "we are glad to see that our crusade in Iraq which has been successful thanks also to worldwide support especially from islands in the South Pacific is yielding such historical results." Vice President Dick Cheney was seen cringing in the background at the particular choice of words. The news was greeted bullishly at the Chicago Commodities Exchange, pork belly futures gained sharply on speculation that Turkey would be a net importer of pork until EU agricultural credits for local pork farms could build supply to meet new local demand.