EU continues to test Turkey's dwindling patience

Published 18.04.2018 23:02

I think that the saddest and the most hopeless relationship in the history of international relations is the ongoing negotiations between Ankara and the EU.

Eastern European countries that only recently applied to join the bloc were granted full membership even before fulfilling any criteria Brussels has requested from Ankara. Despite advocating division on the island in a referendum, Greek Cyprus was also granted membership in violation of the acquis communautaire.

Despite all this, I thought that up until recently, most of the statements made to explain the situation were exaggerated comments and stemmed from paranoia.

Among these are statements that associate the double standard of the EU to it being a Christian union and the slogan that they are a common market, which is the product of a more leftist perspective.

I thought that the EU was a civil society project. And I believed that with its pluralistic and participatory perspective, it would raise the democratic standards of my country and, as such, I was an ardent supporter of the EU.

My first serious questioning started with the attitude the EU and its institutions adopted during and after the July 2016 coup attempt.

This is because the civilian EU, which seemed attractive to democrats like me, hoping that it would undermine military tutelage in Turkey, left us and the elected, legitimate government in the lurch in the coup attempt.

Then they embraced those who were responsible for the deaths of 249 people on that night and overlooked extradition request from Ankara, which is included in the EU legal system. Moreover, they went as far as to drop the names of putschist terrorists from Interpol's lists.

In its recent annual Turkey Progress Report, the EU swept aside the last crumbs of Turkey's good intentions about the European project.

While the Turkish state is exerting its right to self-defense arising from international law, the EU is using it as a barrier to accession talks.

For instance, while countries such as France and the U.K. entered Syria for security purposes despite having no borders with the country, the EU was disturbed by Turkey's operation, which was for counterterrorism.

Moreover, although it has been less than two years since the coup attempt, the EU was also troubled by Ankara's declaration of the state of emergency in response to the wave of terrorism and coup attempt in line with the Constitution.

It is a joke that the EU signed off on France's decision for a state of emergency, and Paris applied the state of emergency for months despite experiencing only a fraction of the terrorist attacks Turkey was exposed to.

Although the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) role in the coup attempt was laid bare by the independent judiciary, the EU failed to call the group an illegal organization in its report. Speaking about the report, European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations CommissionerJohannes Hahn said: "Turkey continues to take huge strides away from the EU, in particular in the areas of rule of law and fundamental rights."

Hahn is right in his statement, as he proved during his tenure that the EU has nothing to do with the rule of law and fundamental rights. He also proved that the EU's true partners are terrorist organizations such as FETÖ, the PKK and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), which it has always supported for its interests in the bloody war the EU has waged against Turkish people.

Therefore, we must act faster than they talk and must move away from the EU, although not by big steps. At least this is my expectation from the Turkish government as a voter who once believed in the sincerity of the EU.

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