A state of law has no double standards

Published 31.07.2018 01:01

It is high time to make a change since what we witnessed lately in Greece was distressing. In Greece's wildfire disaster that left dozens dead, many lives could not be saved only for the sake of refusing aid offered by Turkey. In Turkey's Çanakkale province, which is only an hour away from the scene of the disaster, many jets and helicopters owned by the fire department waited to take off to help Greece. A whole slew of helicopters and jets that could have aided in extinguishing the fire were available and ready, not only in Çanakkale, but in many spots in Turkey. But their request to help was also refused. Greece, which gave a landing permit to the military helicopter carrying the pro-coup militants a day after the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey and granted asylum to them, did not permit the fire squads of Turkey to help in extinguishing the fire. They refused Turkey's request to help although the country is only an hour away from Greece and asked for help from countries further away. Unfortunately, the consequences are evident. If only they had not made such a wrong decision under the influence of anti-Turkish sentiments, the Turkish squads could have helped their Greek counterparts.

Usually, Greece has no problem cooperating with Turkey to prevent the refugee inflow, but Greece refused Turkey's cooperation in such a vital condition. This mindset has to change and what happened in the past must remain in the past. The two neighbors, which are both NATO allies, must support each other in times of such catastrophes.

But we are confronting this problem not only with Greece, but with the EU and several EU countries as well.

Some countries have problems with the operating principles of a state of law when their citizens commit offenses in Turkish territory. Those harshly criticizing the operation of the state of law when Turkey is in question, also complain when their citizens are charged of espionage or abetting terrorism in Turkey, although they have the harshest laws and implementations on these offenses.

When the PKK and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) militants hiding in several EU countries were identified and Turkey rightfully requested their extradition, the standard answer given to Turkey was: "We cannot interfere with the operation of a state of law. The courts are independent."

But when an EU citizen is caught in Turkey for espionage or abetting terrorism, and Turkey gives the same answer, the EU goes on a rampage, directs threats against Turkey and attempts to implement sanctions on Turkey, whose independent courts will not interfere in other cases. In such times, the EU and some EU countries do not show any care in the principles of state of law.

Nowadays, we are dealing with such a case due to a U.S. citizen who holds the title of pastor. When Turkey demands the extradition of FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen who orchestrated the coup attempt, the U.S. replies: "We cannot interfere with the operation of a state of law. The courts are independent." And when the U.S. demands the release of the U.S. citizen pastor, who is currently subject to trial on allegations of espionage and abetting terror, and then Turkey gives the same answer as the U.S., the latter starts making threats.

What kind of a notion of law is this? The state of law is the state of law in every part of the world. For years, the EU told the old Turkey that "a state of law has no double standards," as the old Turkey underwent coup attempts every 10 years. But Turkey has changed and has started operating as a democratic state of law. But this time, they are disturbed by the smooth functioning of the state of law. Presumably, they wish to see Turkey in an undemocratic and weak position rather than seeing it as a strong and democratic state of law, which is the root of all the problems.

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