Is Turkey an EU colony?

Published 16.06.2016 00:48

The EU should face the fact that its relations with Turkey are on equal terms and the majority of its members are not even capable of paying their debts

Britain is holding a referendum on June 22 to determine whether the country will remain an EU member or not.

Greece has gone bankrupt, and how far can other EU member states subsidize Athens, the spoiled child of the household? I am not even mentioning the potential burden of the Eastern European countries that have recently joined the EU.

Many EU countries, including Portugal, Spain, Italy and Iceland, are currently unable to pay their debts.

Still lacking a common constitution or a common defense network, the EU's problems are not limited to the nuisances of the eurozone and the static economy that has lost its influence to the Asia Pacific and the U.S. The EU is also confronted with some threats regarding developments in the Middle East that influence social and political life. Mass waves of migration and terrorism are the greatest problems European capitals have been facing for a while now.

Once seen as a cure-all, the EU a long time ago stopped showing much promise, even for the member countries. With discussions on governmental and representation models, everyone is seeking new ways to come up with national solutions.

To achieve stability, Italy has been working on a 40 percent government threshold formula. Dealing with street demonstrations and terrorism lately, French President François Holland is searching for a solution in the form of a changeover from a semi-presidential to a presidential system.

But still, EU officials, who cannot take a wrong step despite this depressing picture, have been mainly dealing with Turkey lately.

I am not referring to British Prime Minister David Cameron's jokes like: "Turkey will join the EU in the year 3000," which reflect an average intellect. Everyone is aware that Cameron's remarks are only the populist delirium of a politician who is stuck in a corner in domestic politics.

However, it is necessary to touch on statements on Turkey from some figures who chair various institutions in charge of finding solutions to negativities in the EU.

For instance, EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn has said that legal action should be initiated for offenses alleged to have been committed by deputies whose immunities were lifted in Parliament, as if an alternative scenario was possible.

Turks have sarcastically responded to this remark, saying that they would have formed a people's court and executed them in public had he not said so. Meanwhile, the European Parliament rapporteur for Turkey, Kati Piri, has come to the forefront in the race to demean Turkey.

Piri has posed for cameras with deputies from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is the legal wing of the outlawed PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by the EU and responsible for thousands of casualties, including civilians, in Turkey.

She even went further and said that European Parliament would never approve visa liberalization for Turkey if the HDP deputies whose immunities have been lifted and whose records have been sent to independent courts are imprisoned.

Are they attempting to instruct the judiciary of a candidate country, which is in accordance with the EU and international laws and regards international agreements above Turkish laws with Article 90 of the Constitution?

According to the Venice Commission, systematically advocating the use of violence is a ground to dissolve a political party. Besides, prosecution has not yet been initiated against the HDP deputies. So how can they jump to a verdict?

Let us assume that they sympathize with groups like the PKK that terrorize and undermine Turkey. It can only be criticized. But how can they stipulate some criteria that are impossible to be approved by the institutions of the EU for a candidate country, which has been negotiating with the EU since 1963?

Such statements articulated by EU authorities disturb Turkey, which has unique potential with the dynamism it would provide the EU, has significant safety policies and constitutes a new, broad market. Of course, along with the Turkish public, millions of people from Turkey who live and attempt to integrate in European countries are disturbed.

People are asking if Turkey is an EU colony? And if so, are we slaves?

Such public pressure gives the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government a hard time, as it has to persuade its electorate of its reforms that are to be made for EU membership negotiations.

Dealing with major problems, the EU must first of all internalize the fact that its relations with Turkey are on equal terms. After that, it must stop irresponsible statements from some EU officials who are captivated by guerrilla romanticism and speak without having sufficient information about the countries that are promising for the EU's future.

They would do that if they were really concerned about the future and enlargement of this great civil society project and finding a common solution.

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