Years ago, when I was a member of the European Parliament (EP), I was the deputy co-chair of the Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC). Back then, the JPC was used as a platform to hinder Turkey's EU membership, which is still the case today. Members having problems with Turkey comprised the majority of the commission. As can be seen, the EU failed to befriend Turkey then, and lately it has proved with its decision regarding Armenians in 1915, that it still fails to do so. Actually, the EP has problems with Turkey and with Turkish people.
It is also not sincere on the Armenian issue. If it were, it would have negotiated with Armenians living in Turkey before releasing the decision that was issued last week. It would not have expressed a decision with many mistakes and its demands in such a way. If it were sincere, it would have already listened to the Corsicans, who have problems with France. It would have protected the Muslim minorities that are subjected to all kinds of injustice and discrimination in Greece. It would have cared about the Roma, who are oppressed and discriminated in Bulgaria and Romania.
If the EP were sincere, it would have protected the Muslims living in EU countries, taken a stance against Islamophobia and guarded mosques that are targeted by racist assaults almost every week.
The Turkish public believes in neither the EP nor the EU now in terms of sincerity, since their past records on that matter are poor.
One day during the years I was an EP member and the JPC deputy co-chair, we were at a hotel by the Bosphorus in Istanbul for another JPC meeting. We were conducting meetings with non-governmental organizations. Hrant Dink, the assassinated journalist who recently turned out to have been killed as part of the "parallel structure's" memorandum plans, was also among the guests. Dink was a dear friend of mine and we had met at many meetings. May God rest his soul. He was a treasure for Turkey.
When Dink took to the floor, everyone, including our Co-Chair Daniel Cohn-Bendit, was all ears, because during that time, the Armenian diaspora was trying to issue decisions both in the EP and France. Addressing EP members, Dink said: "As Turkish-Armenians, we know our pain the best. But we are not pleased with the decisions you issue at the parliaments abroad without consulting us or receiving our opinion. Armenians and Turks will be able to understand each other and face their past not with the parliamentary decisions of other countries, but with the changing mindsets in Turkey. Please do not take steps regarding us without consulting our opinion." Upon this, a German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy, who is still in the EP and was represented as "a great friend of Turkey" by the rulers of the former Turkey, although he has never actually been a friend of Turkey, whispered in my ear: "Turkey's National Intelligence Agency [MİT] must have sent this Armenian to speak to us." I did not know what kind of a reaction I should give to such a comment.
During that period, Turkey did not issue a passport to Dink, so he could not join EP meetings during the days when we needed him the most. In other words, Dink was one of the leading figures who would never be protected by MİT during the days of old Turkey's Kemalist oligarchy.
However, the EP member I mentioned above had such prejudices, like many of his colleagues, and argued against Turkey's EP membership to such an extent that Dink's criticism of him as an Armenian was a complete deceit in his opinion.
How dare an Armenian say: "Do not exploit us on the Armenian issue," to EP members. The main concern of the EP member was to criticize Turkey, no matter what excuse was put forward and no matter who was exploited.
Unfortunately, things have not changed.
They cannot behave objectively when Turkey is in question. Conversely, they readily and easily believe any word against Turkey, no matter what is told by whom.
EP deputies who organized a meeting with journalists working for the anti-democratic "parallel structure" in Turkey are actually well aware of the fact that the "parallel structure" is a mafia-esque organization, but they use them with the same motivations.
If the EP is really an institution that is on friendly terms with Turkey and really wants to avoid any kind of hostility, then it has to prove that now. During the last several months it has consistently failed in this sense.
The EP's progress report on Turkey is a chance to prove that. The report has many amendment motions that were penned with hostile attitudes toward Turkey. It is a significant opportunity for EP members who value EU-Turkey relations on the eve of the upcoming general elections in Turkey. If the EP manages to be fair in their decision, it will acquire an honorable position in the eyes of the Turkish public.
Otherwise, each vote that is cast for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the June 7 elections will be a sharp answer to the EP as a stance against the mindset of the Crusades and the Knights Templar, who were hostile to the Ottomans throughout history. Hopefully, the EP will not make such a mistake since it might lead it to be lost in the depths of history, just like the Knights Templar.
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