Julie Beck, an editor for Atlantic magazine, reminded us in an article a couple of years ago, that the older we get, the fewer friends we have. That must be normal because friendship is at the lowest level of the voluntary bonds we form, and the wiser we get, the pickier we become. But when you are in a much more formal relationship like a nation you must know that your friends are more important for your happiness and well-being.Case in point: the ties between the European people and Turkey.
Now that the Turkish referendum is over, we have essentially been left alone with the mayor of Rotterdam, the Swiss police chief of Zurich, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, German parliamentarian Cem Özdemir, the editors of the government controlled ARD Television in Germany, as well as with Blick, Bild, the New York Times, De Telegraaf, and other publications who had hastily mastered the Turkish language to publish pages full of articles during the referendum campaign in Turkey.
We are here alone, looking each other in the eyes, so we must answer this question: Can we be still friends?
No we can't. Not because you supported the "no" campaign but because you insulted the Turkish people by asking terrorists to kill our president, and at the same time you had your dogs bite a young Turkish man in the crouch. And by the way that last one really hurt. That young man has had to go through a series of surgeries because you had your Dutch dogs viciously bite him and drag him around on the ground.
No we can't be friends, and not because you interfered in our internal affairs. You may defend your meddling by claiming that the world is a global village now; and we in Europe are one big family. But you acted as if that referendum would be the end for us; Turkey would disappear from the face of the earth, as if they would have no tomorrow.
Well, ladies and gentlemen of Europe (and Australia and New Zealand to this effect), it is "the day after" and we are still here. Please make no mistake about that, during this brief period of time the Turks have grown older and wiser. Friendship is such a thing that one chooses to get into it, and chooses to get out as well. Grownups have fewer friends because their time is now limited and they want more from the friendships they get into.
Look at what Turkey gets from its friendship with the European people. Visiting Amsterdam and enjoying the country's famous canals is nice; sure, the Zurich Opera is a once in a lifetime experience for an avid art-lover and being a trade-partner of the EU is also mutually beneficial, but when all is said and done, what one remembers is what was said and how it was said.
The self-infatuation of European journalists and politicians declaring Turkey a rouge state and its democratically elected president a dictator has forced the Turkish people to sit down and reevaluate this "friendship" with you.
Older friends usually tend to forgive bad things that were said in a relationship, but they also try to see whether the time spent with their so-called friends actually, really benefits them. Perhaps it is time for Turkey the reevaluate its relationship with Europe now that we have seen and heard what you really think of us.