The European Union's latest remarks on Turkey were unnerving for the Turkish public and for those who are working very hard to make Turkey's EU accession happen. Suggestions to find an alternative way to cooperate with Turkey were particularly uncanny. But Turkey is resolute in its position that it would not welcome any arrangement other than EU membership.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently said that Turkey-EU relations couldn't improve as long as journalists remained behind bars in the country. But it is also important to ask whether these "journalists" were in prison because of their work or affiliations with terror groups. It is no secret that some of them gave support to the attempted coup on July 15, 2016.
Juncker and other EU politicians might love populist discourses when it comes to Turkey. Truth is, criminals and offenders are tried by every state of law, regardless of his or her profession, and I am sure it is the same in Luxembourg.
Actually, we need to ask Juncker what excuses he would have put forward if there were not a single journalist in Turkish prisons. We only expect him to issue honest statements.
Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, recently issued a statement that evokes the question whether he was speaking in the name of the European Commission or the Austrian government?
Hahn said the relations between Turkey and the EU must be put onto a more realistic ground as if Hahn is working on the Austrian government's Turkey policy, but I think he is on a wrong mission.
He also said that paying the 3 billion euros in aid, which has been promised to Turkey, but not yet paid, from the Union's budget would be impossible and wrong.
Hahn added that Turkey cannot blackmail the EU with refugees and that they would be able to handle the refugee crisis if Turkey abandoned the refugee deal.
I hope his suggestions will have been put into action. In such a case, the Austrian European Commissioner, who lives in Brussels, will not be able to deal with a flow of refugees heading for Austria. It is easy to give a lecture from Brussels.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has said he was not hopeful about Turkey's EU membership. He rightfully criticized the EU and demanded the bloc acts honestly towards Turkey. Another ostensibly friendly approach came from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who said that a smart Brexit could serve as a model for Turkey and Ukraine.
I think all these efforts are futile. Turkey does not need nonsensical advice to leave the EU path.
Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik recently said that Turkey would not accept any privileged partnership suggestions from the EU.
Stating that Turkey was not a refugee camp or a military headquarters that will be cooperated with solely on the refugee issue or counter-terror efforts, Çelik demanded that new negotiation chapters be opened and suggested that Turkey had no hesitations to table these issues. He said that the EU is only losing its plausibility.
As a matter of fact, Turkey has redoubled its efforts for EU membership under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Both Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and EU Minister Ömer Çelik have made it clear with the EU and EU countries that Turkey has not given up on EU membership.
The EU must know that Turkey will not be the one throwing in the towel as Minister Çelik clarified recently: "In this region, where the situation can get increasingly unstable, the smartest move you can do is to enable integration with Turkey to set a good model for the rest of the world and protect the interests and integration of Europe."
When will the EU realize this fact? We are waiting patiently.
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