Some EU countries that claim to be "fortresses of democracy" and other non-EU European countries such as Switzerland, which claims to be even "more democratic than the EU," failed the test of democracy with their anti-democratic interventions into the referendum in Turkey.
These countries are allegedly extremely democratic and yet they offer all kinds of liberties to racist, fascist and xenophobic parties and groups that want to drive Europe back into the dark days of Hitler and Mussolini.They laid aside democracy every time it came to Turkey's referendum.
While none of the rallies and propaganda meetings of these racist, fascist and xenophobic parties and groups were banned, Turkish "vote yes" propaganda for the upcoming referendum faced all sorts of obstacles. The only measure these countries applied when parties and groups who are enemies of humanity and promote Islamophobia in Europe and hostility against Muslims and Turks, was being assigned police forces at rallies. On the other hand, police dogs were used in order to prevent "yes" rallies, a natural democratic demand for those want Turkey to adopt a new constitution.
Whatever was free to racist, fascist and xenophobic groups was forbidden for European Turks who just wanted their country to adopt a more democratic constitution. Yet, members of the PKK terrorist organization arranged rallies in various European cities including Frankfurt, Brussels and Amsterdam using their right to campaign for a "no" vote.
The rags of the PKK, the so-called flags with the faces of the terrorists that massacred tens of thousands of people, and a blood-shedding leader of a terrorist organization in Syria to arrive in Europe to give speeches didn't trouble or annoy countries that "condemn terrorism." Such actions were ok since they campaigned for a "no" vote. "No" propaganda was enough for them to enjoy all kinds of democratic liberties. All that was free to racist, fascist and xenophobic groups was forbidden for European Turks who have lived in Europe for decades in peace and harmony.
The representatives of the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), who are afraid of more democracy in Turkey and don't want a stronger, more democratic Turkey, campaigned freely against the referendum but ministers from Turkey, a NATO member and a prospective member of the EU, were prohibited from speaking at rallies. In addition, the Netherlands prevented the landing of an aircraft carrying a Turkish minister and even went further by deporting a minister, thus becoming the North Korea of Europe with its anti-democratic applications that violated all rules of diplomacy.
Members of the PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and FETÖ used their right to move freely in Europe, which banned entry to Turkish ministers who would have campaigned for voting "yes" in the referendum.
Terrorists from the PKK were definitely not scared of getting arrested while they were uttering threats to Turkish citizens if they voted against the proposed new constitution in Germany, Austria and France.
The Swiss police didn't react to the unfurling of banners encouraging the assassination of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Switzerland. Yet, the "yes" rallies conducted by Swiss Turks, who have made a great contribution to Switzerland, were cancelled.
Is that that a great example of democracy?
Sorry Europe but you've failed this test of democracy.
Then, they criticize Erdoğan for using harsh language while they're the ones depriving European Turks of their democratic rights, such as the right to assembly, while denying entry for ministers from Turkey, their largest economic market, and deporting a member of a country that is both a NATO "ally" and has the second largest armed forces in this organization. They banned the "yes to a new constitution" rallies and gatherings of citizens of Turkey, a country that is fighting Daesh and trying to help Europe by freeing Syria of Daesh. They support those who act with hostility against the Turkish president, thanks to whom 3 million Syrian refugees are in Turkey rather than Europe. They supported FETÖ, the group behind the deadliest coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 and they give its member the right to seek asylum. They allow PKK terrorists to freely organize in their countries and on top of all that, they try to manipulate the constitution referendum taking place on April 16!
What else can one expect? I've watched millions at Erdoğan rallies and have attended as a speaker at rallies in many cities and unfortunately, Turkish citizens now don't even want to hear the EU's name.
They're furious with the EU as a whole, and Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands in particular. If this was carried out on purpose, then they've accomplished their mission. Turkish citizens no longer believe in the EU, which is a shame since Turkey is still loyal to its commitments of joining. But how can a government act contrary to the will of its citizens?
European Turks casted their votes on Monday for the referendum and despite all the restrictions and threats, 1.4 million people took to the ballot box. The participation rate is expected to increase to 1.45 million by April 16.
This is a lesson in democracy from European Turks to Europe. Almost 1.5 million voters claimed democracy. These bans and restrictions motivated them further. I'm pretty sure that at least 70 percent of the votes will be "yes" on April 16. Hope Europe gets the message.