The decision by Germany and other European governments to support the "no" campaign ahead of the April 16 constitutional referendum in Turkey is proof that the vote is not just about domestic politics. Berlin and the others are desperate to safeguard their national and regional interests rather than to look out for Turkish democracy.
The proposed changes could possibly hurt European interests – which is why some players are so upset that they don't mind stepping all over Europe's self-proclaimed values. European newspapers joining the smear campaign against Turkey is one thing. But the latest violations of human rights and diplomatic conventions by European states is irrational and unacceptable.
So how did the Europeans end up in this situation? There are plenty of good answers to that question, but what matters most is that a number of European governments are deeply concerned about Turkey's political and economic progress. Their attacks against Turks and Muslims are only cheap tactics from the colonialist playbook.
Deep inside, the Europeans only care about their national interests – which involves keeping Turkey on a tight leash. To be clear, they do receive support from certain people from across the political spectrum – including some from among leftists, right-wingers, Kurds and Alevis. In particular, Germany has been building a relationship with influential people from various social groups.
Today, Western governments cooperate closely not just with terrorist groups including the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the PKK and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), whose members operate freely in the West, but also political parties and nongovernmental organizations that officially endorsed the "no" campaign. What they have in common is a strong desire to preserve the status quo. The new system of government, which they know perfectly well, will hurt the interests of pro-establishment groups in Turkey as well as their sponsors abroad.
Over the years, presidential elections have triggered military coups or threats in Turkey because the presidency was long considered the heart of the status quo. In the past, the pro-establishment camp could get the job done by resorting to armed attacks or threats of violence. Since they apparently can't protect the establishment by themselves, foreign governments end up getting their hands dirty.
What the Turkish people must understand is that no political party or association in the "no" camp can come up with a new kind of politics capable of understanding their own country – let alone the world.
Unable to inspire hope, the "no" campaign's supporters are likely to engage in acts of vandalism as they did during the Gezi Park protests and the deadly Kobani revolt. To be clear, they have always been a source of tension and crisis in Turkey.
In fact, a quick glance at the main opposition party is enough to understand what is wrong with the "no" campaign. The Republican People's Party (CHP) has taken no steps whatsoever since 2002 to address Turkey's long-standing problems. During the 2007 presidential crisis, they sided with the establishment to fuel political polarization. The same people that cheered for the CHP's reckless policies then continue to stand with them today. Members of FETÖ, who orchestrated the July 15 coup attempt, and self-proclaimed friends of Turkey in Europe have since joined their ranks. This is the last stand of all the losers indeed.
As the former president Turgut Özal once said, it is never easy to challenge the status quo. But the Turkish people have learned from the past and understood how the bureaucratic oligarchy prevented the country's progress for decades. Whether you like it or not, they will make a final stand on April 16.