We headed to Ankara with Martin Schulz, who was then European Parliament's German Socialist (SPD) delegation chairman. Our special mission was to back up the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and especially give support to Kemal Derviş for the upcoming general elections in Turkey. However, the chief mission was to prevent the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its chairman, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, from coming to power, as it was observed that this newly established party was enjoying vast public support.
"Deep Europe" was afraid of this new party. There were serious concerns about the possibility that the AK Party was an Islamist party and it would turn Turkey into Iran. I have to admit that during those years I was under the influence of the brainwashing practices of the Kemalist oligarchy. I used to believe that anti-democratic military tutelage was a guarantee of the parliamentary democratic system against a possible "sharia" danger, though I did not totally agree with this view, either. For that reason, I was in the same delegation with Schulz, who was heading to Turkey to "save the secular country from Erdoğan." Schulz, whom I know personally, did not actually have any single positive thought about the CHP and its then Chairman Deniz Baykal. But his fear of Erdoğan and the AK Party led him to act in a way that reminds one of an old saying: "A drowning man will clutch at a straw." The deep Europe preferred a weak Turkey ruled by wishy-washy civilians controlled by generals to a strong Turkey with an outstanding Muslim identity.
Schulz met Baykal in Ankara, but the meeting was not very successful. Since the CHP and Baykal did not have a good grasp of democracy and confused dialogue with monologue, Baykal spoke without a break for 30 minutes and did not allow his words to be translated into German. Upon that, Schulz turned to me and said that we had to leave since we had another meeting. Also, he complained about Baykal's behavior, adding that he did not want to speak to him anymore, an expression that he did not want me to translate. So, Derviş, Schulz and I left the CHP office.
Actually, this was not a new phenomenon for the democracy-handicapped CHP. It is always said that during a one-hour meeting between former SPD Chairman Rudolf Scharping and Baykal, then CHP chairman spoke for 55 minutes, and bid farewell to Scharping at the end of his speech.
However, the antipathy toward the CHP and Baykal did not play a role in terms of the mission. In his public statements, Schulz kept saying that he conveyed the SPD Chairman Gerhard Schröder's regards and they were supporting the CHP in the elections.
After we returned to Germany, Schulz told me that Schröder said him: "You said that I am supporting the CHP," half-angrily and half-jokingly. And after a short while, Schröder and Erdoğan became good friends and SPD-AK Party relations have been brought up as an example of cordial relations for years.
For the first time, in the 2002 elections, the CHP was defeated in the great victory of the AK Party, despite all efforts, or maybe the unintentional contributions, of Schulz.
It is now 2015. Schulz was in Ankara last week as the president of European Parliament and had a series of meetings. Before he left for Ankara, I visited him and told him that Turkish people do not have good memories of some people's visits, including German President Joachim Gauck and Roth, and advised him as a friend not to act like Gauck or Roth. While not uttering a single negative word in one-to-one meetings with Erdoğan, they were undermining EU-Turkey and Germany-Turkey relations by displaying cheap heroic manners in front of the cameras.
Unfortunately, Schulz maintained the style of Gauck and Roth in his own way. He did not seem to have drawn any lesson from his experience in 2002.
He forgot the diplomatic language he used with the ruling government officials of Turkey and adopted a tone as if he was at an election campaign when he met CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. I really wonder who deceived Schulz. His expectations from Turkey are so wrong that I cannot help thinking what if he obtains false data from al-Muhaberat.
When Schulz told Kılıçdaroğlu that they would greet him as the new prime minister after the June 7 elections, neither Schulz nor a single CHP proponent believed it.
After that, he said something that we are familiar with from the perception operations of the "parallel structure." "We are expecting a coalition government in Turkey." I am afraid only Kılıçdaroğlu believed this since he needs such fairytales. As a party leader whose party has lost all seven elections he has been through so far, it must be nice to be a prime minister, at least in one's dreams. His eighth defeat is on the way.
Schulz, the groups he represents and "deep Europe" are afraid of the new Turkey.
"Deep Europe," which is used to the old Turkey where wishy-washy and weak civilians were controlled by generals, tried its chance during the Gezi Park protests and the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 judicial coup attempts, but it did not succeed. It expected the defeat of Erdoğan in the March 30 local elections, but that did not happen either. Schulz was thinking that Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu would be the next president of Turkey after the Aug. 10 presidential election, but the Turkish public disappointed Schulz and elected Erdoğan with over 50 percent support.
Now their last hope is the general elections that are to be held on June 7. They aim to prevent the election of the AK Party with a vast majority.
How interesting, is it not?
The president of an institution that boasts being the symbol of democracy along with some circles in the EU is afraid of democracy. They are democracy-handicapped since they attempt to manipulate the democratic choices of Turkish voters.
While saying, "You do not know what is good, we decide better what is good for you," to the Turkish public, they contradict all the fundamental values of democracy.
They are afraid of a Muslim Turkey that is democratic and ruled by a presidential system, which is also democratically determined, to such a degree that they are giving support to the CHP, which is responsible for Turkey's dark past.
They even try to hamper work for a new constitution as the democratized Turkey now endeavors to get rid of its current Constitution remaining from the 1980s coup regime.
Is this how the EU is supposed to act? Is it not the EU that is afraid of democracy now, the cradle of democracy?
Is it the real European Parliament? Does the European Parliament want to set an example for the world by influencing the democratic choices of Turkish voters and sabotaging a democratic election?
All these efforts are in vain anyway.
Ladies and gentlemen of the EU and European Parliament, there is one thing you should know: Turkey is not Egypt.
You will be disappointed again on the morning of June 8, and Turkish voters will watch this disappointment with pleasure.
But you should bear in mind that your actions are harming EU-Turkey relations a great deal, and they are not forgotten.