We know who we are

Published 28.04.2017 00:12

Fifty-six years ago, when Turkey applied to what was known as the European Economic Community (EEC), or even before that, in 1951 when a request to be among the founders of the European Council was sent to Strasbourg, the aim was clear: To realize the ideal of the founding fathers of modern Turkey: "Westernization" and its concrete form: "Europeanization."

Perhaps back then the European leaders too sincerely sought Turkish membership in European institutions since the memories of the Second World War were so fresh that they wanted to fortify the southern flank of Europe's defenses and keep Turkey on this side of the Black Sea.

The atmosphere created by the Cold War was so dangerously fearsome that no sane head in Europe could afford to have Turkey side with Moscow. A couple of years prior to Turkish membership in Western institutions, a British delegation visited the comrade Stalin and learned about his intention to demand a Soviet base on the Bosporus be opened and six provinces of Turkey annexed to Armenia.

The Brits communicated this information to their U.S. partners and they, in turn, warned Turkey about the lurking danger of the Russian bear! How quickly Turkey believed this story is still a mystery. Europeans gladly opened their arms to Turkey in NATO and the European Council, and later urged the minority coalition government in Ankara to apply to the EEC.

Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel jumped onto the European wagon on Sept. 12, 1963, hoping that adopting some European regulations and tweaking Turkish laws to comply with the European criteria could end the long years of autarchic Republican People's Party (CHP) rule and xenophobia, and the antidemocratic laws created by the 1960 military coup.

If the EU had accepted Turkey's membership bid back then, Turkey probably would not have suffered the failed coup attempt on July 15. Not because the Turkish military would have had a better democratic attitude, but because the Europeans would have gotten used to a large, well-populated Muslim Turkey as a member and they would not have needed excuses to prevent Turkish membership.

If you still believe that Parliament should have been destroyed and the people resisting should have been sprayed with bullets on July 15, so that the next day the coup plotters would run the government, or that the PKK began implementing their ditch and barricades policy to win democratic autonomy when they were so close to a democratic solution, you probably won't agree with the preceding paragraph.

But in the minds of many Turks, as the resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) attests, the Europeans do not want Turkey as a full member of the EU, and the outright political demands of PACE shows that they simply want to further a chaotic environment in Turkey.

If not, how can you explain the request from PACE to restore the inviolability of deputies stripped of their immunity according to the Constitution in Parliament. The Turkey of yesteryear could do that! But now, Turks do not have to have membership in European organizations to prove who they are.

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