Next week, European Parliament (EP) is going to negotiate and vote on the annual Report on Turkey in Strasbourg. Over the past years, the EP Reports on Turkey have unfortunately been penned to discredit Turkey by distorting some facts, although they used to be very beneficial to Turkey in the past. Taking determined steps regarding EU membership, Turkey assessed the constructive criticism in the reports as a contribution to its reforms until recently. The good-willed criticism from the EP complemented the reforms Turkey was conducting during those years. But recent reports have been manipulated as a way to obstruct Turkey's EU path. Therefore, Turkey rightfully does not recognize them. So, after the reports are voted on, they go straight to the EP archives without serving their purpose.
If the EP genuinely wants to contribute to Turkey's EU membership process, the annual reports might have been regarded as valuable sources. But the situation is different today, as their main motivation is obvious. The European People's Party (EPP), which is the largest group in the EP, now displays their efforts to hinder Turkey's EU membership without feeling any need to hide them. On June 27, a conference was held at the EP called "Turkey's impossible EU membership." However, Turkey already deserves membership as a candidate country, fulfilling both the Maastricht and Copenhagen criteria better than many EU countries.
But this fact does not seem to have any importance for the EPP. EPP members antagonize Turkey and Islam and they are dismayed by the naked truth that Turkey already deserves to enter the EU, since it is hard to hinder Turkey's membership persuasively by making up other excuses. The anti-Turkey circles in the EPP do not want Turkey in the EU by any means, no matter how democratically and economically prosperous the country is, simply because the Turkish society is predominantly Muslim. They simply do not want to see a Muslim country in the EU. For them, the EU is a league of Christians. This bigotry is, as a matter of fact, one of the biggest harms that can be done to Europe. This is the EU's worst message to the world. Those who do not have the courage and honesty to overtly articulate, embrace unrealistic claims on Turkey.
Even terrorist groups are being used for this sake. For instance, the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) pose a serious threat not just to Turkey, but to all of humanity. But the circles wanting to obstruct Turkey's EU membership condone the activities of these terrorist groups. The EPP should at least organize conferences for this sake. Despite all, the EPP can still take a clear stance against terrorism. But unfortunately, some EP members among social democrats, the left group and the Greens have formed close ties with the abovementioned terrorist groups. They abuse the EP for terrorism propaganda.
For instance, on June 29, a conference will take place at the EP. One of the two EP members leading this conference is the keynote speaker of the pro-PKK rally held in Brussels on Nov. 17, 2016, to which around 2,000 supporters of the terrorist group attended. The other one hosted a photograph exhibition held last year in the EP on PKK militants and symbols. They will sooner or later give an account of their actions before the electorate.
The dismaying part is that the EP can be used as a platform to hold a conference overtly affiliated with the PKK. The conference was prepared by resorting to all sorts of lies. Plus, the EP rapporteur for Turkey, Kati Piri, announced that her attendance at the conference is misinformation. However, they put her name on the invitation letter for the conference and presented her as one of the speakers. The truth was unraveled when Turkish media brought the subject up and criticized Piri. Piri's refusal to attend a conference making terrorism propaganda is pleasing.
But still, it is a shame that such a conference is allowed. However, not allowing PKK propaganda at the EP must come as natural as not allowing Daesh propaganda. We only expect one thing from EP members who are against terrorism: They might not favor Turkey's EU membership, it is their opinion, but they must never forget that the PKK is a terrorist group that poses a threat to humanity. They must not allow their parliament to be abused by this group as a platform for propaganda. They must prevent this not solely for Turkey, but for EU values and all of humanity.