Does European Parliament not want to be taken seriously?

Published 11.04.2016 23:12
Updated 11.04.2016 23:46

On April 14, 2016, European Parliament (EP) will vote on the annual report on Turkey during a session in Strasbourg where it will ostensibly approve the report.

Every sane person who reads the EP's 2015 progress report on Turkey must inevitably ask if EP members live on Mars. This is an apt question. EP members could not be farther removed from the daily developments, the opinions of taxpaying citizens and the interests of the countries they represent. In Turkish, we call this "being all French," which means being a total stranger to something. EP members have truly remained "all French" regarding Turkey.

In Brussels, a group claiming it has reinvented the wheel could not have approved a more absurd report than the one that is full of unsubstantiated claims based on nonsensical biases and contradicts the current realities in Turkey.

If Europe's radical right-wing – which is unlikely to receive more than 100 seats in the EP in the coming elections, drafted and proposed such a report, it would not be surprising. I wonder if they could possibly present another report harsher or more unrealistic than the one that is about to be voted on. This indicates that some of the parliament members not only misrepresent the EU and the values it stands for but also Islam and Muslims and, consequently, Turks and the Republic of Turkey.

Likewise, it is not hard to comprehend why the Greek Cypriot members of the EP appreciate this report. Although two parliamentary seats belong to Turkish Cypriot members, the Greek Cypriot members of parliament regard their mission at the EP as the creation of captions related to Greek Cypriot domestic policies, devoid of any interest in the EU or the values it stands for. Their only priority is to contribute further to the decisions that are made against the best interests of Turkey, Turkish Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots.

Therefore, those members of the EP endeavor to include baseless content and unsubstantial materials directed against Turkey in this year's annual report. And, they succeeded to a certain extent -- thanks to the coalition they formed with other dissidents of Turkey in the EP. However, this year's report could have been utilized as a contribution to the ongoing reunification negotiations on Cyprus. Unfortunately, though, the exact opposite has happened. Greek Cypriot EP members tried their best to include all sorts of articles in the report that hamper the process on Cyprus. After the Annan Plan, the EP has proven once again that Turkish Cypriots have been the only ones sincerely exerting efforts to come up with a resolution on Cyprus.

Since it already became obvious in the drafting process of this year's report that a terrible report was to be issued, the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee co-chairman Berat Çonkar and Turkish Parliament's EU Harmonization Committee chairman, Mehmet Kasım Gülpınar, co-authored a letter to express their disapproval on the report draft and sent the letter to the EP rapporteur for Turkey, Kati Piri, as well as the co-president of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, Manolis Kefalogiannis.

But their efforts were in vain.

It is evident that Greek and Greek-Cypriot EP members replace EU values with national interests, which we can understand, to a certain extent. Piri, however, a socialist parliamentarian for the Netherlands, sided with them rather than serving as an arbitrator regarding this year's report, which has been a great disappointment.

Despite all well-intentioned efforts, the Armenian lobbyists' anti-Turkey sentiments have been included in the report. Turkey responded harshly when they did the same last year. Thus, repetition of this act; despite knowing what Turkey's reaction will be, demonstrates that the EP members behind this report are against positive dialogue with Turkey.

Although it is known that Turkey has been in a full-blown war against all kinds of terrorist groups, we bear witness to the EP's lack of remorse, as they continue to include some expressions which show favor to the outlawed PKK in the report, even though the PKK is a terrorist organization even more threatening than DAESH. One can hardly believe that people who can remain indifferent to the PKK and its Syrian-affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG) deadly attacks on people in Turkey and Europe are members of the highest democratic body in the EU.

It is a disgrace of humanity that a group of EP members are in solidarity with the PKK and the PYD rather than being in cooperative efforts with Ankara and the Turkish people as part of the counterterror agenda.

The annual EP progress report on Turkey will serve only one purpose: to undermine the EU. Harming Turkey-EU relations, which have developed positively over the recent months, and jeopardizing cooperation, particularly on the refugee issue, equates to the undermining of both the EU and Turkey.

We wonder if the EP members who will approve the report – albeit likely to undermine Turkish-EU relations -- will achieve their goals and be ready to welcome the refugee flow into the EU.

They had better get ready for that.

As a matter of fact, it seems that the EP, which the European public does not take seriously, is eager to maintain its view of people, according to the latest report on Turkey.

Turkey will not accept this report. Just like last year, it will be possible to see the report festering in the trashcan. They will be confronted by the rightful questioning of EU citizens who will raise their eyebrows if EP parliamentarians – the designated issuer of these "trashcan reports" -- really deserve to receive taxpayer money from EU citizens.

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