Turkey does not need the West’s finger wagging

Published 15.03.2016 15:58

I am one who believes that all kinds of problems, from human rights violations to environmental pollution, can be structurally resolved in the international arena even though the problem is on the national scale.

Most of the time, I even go further and say: "May God never leave any people alone with their own nation-state."

Therefore, I always favor participatory global organizations without giving credence to strict nationalist discourses.

The most delicate part of the matter here, however, is that the reciprocal supervision and solidarity between countries must exist on a democratic ground based on the principle of equality.

Just like a responsible and respectful neighborhood relationship, states must watch and warn each other if necessary without violating sovereignty.

This balance, however, which is heeded by Western countries, is suddenly disrupted when a Middle Eastern country is included in the equation.

Western states, which normally communicate within the limits of law, democracy and diplomacy, all of a sudden leave aside their politeness, start to act haughty, harshen their tones and shake their fingers at their target like a whip.

Despite being a European Union candidate, Turkey also receives its share of this orientalist attitude from the West.

Have you ever heard any reproach of France with regard to human rights from any Western country, as it has been implementing extraordinary security measures for months since the Paris attacks?

So why does Turkey constantly face reprimands from Western politicians even though the safety measures it implements are far more flexible and reasonable than France's despite it experiencing a heinous attack reminiscent of those in Paris every day?

Not a single international organization has responded to the serious debates about torturing journalists who are claimed to have violated U.S. national security. However, even trying journalists in Turkey, who are charged with the same offense, in the courts is dependent on international law in the final analysis, stirs heated debates.

The legal operations launched on the media outlets of the illegal Gülen Movement, which formed an autonomous structure within judiciary and security institutions, are also oft debated and criticized by the West.

Turkey promises to fight the financial sources of terrorism on the international scale. Consequently, it is both Turkey's right and duty of to resort to legal procedures into the Gülen Movement's financial sources and black economy activities.

Although the judicial process is ongoing, the U.S. and EU have issued harsh statements that are reminiscent of ultimatums. Aside from the political meanings and overt double standards of those statements, it is also evident that they signify an intervention in jurisdiction.

So, why do the U.S. and EU side with such obvious violations of independence? The answer is clear. For the West, human right issues in the Middle East are only trivial details that can only be brought up as long as they serve their long-term policies.

Let me give an example. I want to mention two children. The first is Berkin Elvan who died after a tear gas canister fired by the police skipped from a wall and hit his head during the 2013 Gezi Park protests. Soon after the incident, another child of around the same age, Yasin Börü, was killed along with dozens of other victims during the street protests kicked off by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) proponents in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

Although both victims were children of similar ages, the West approached the two cases rather differently. The warnings regarding Elvan's case go on incessantly even though the judicial process regarding the police officers who caused his death is ongoing. International observers and European politicians have always been present in the cases.

At yesterday's hearing for Börü's case, however, there were no foreign friends. As a matter of fact, we could not even hear them say Börü's name at all.

The approaches are different since Elvan's death was an incident that can be abused as part of the operations conducted against the Turkish state and government. Börü's death, however, is not a tragedy that can be manipulated by the West to undermine Turkey's domestic policies.

People in Turkey, who have for innumerable times bore witness to such double standards from the West, have naturally lost their trust in the international community.

Are they wrong?

What would those attaching more importance to local dynamics do if internationalists, including me, who believe that democracy can be introduced in countries only in a world where global organizations cross borders, begin to have hesitations and suspicions after all these unjust acts?

The bells are tolling for the international community, which has been losing its functions and prestige with every passing day. This also widens the gap between the West and the Middle East and strengthens biases.

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