The European Parliament's Turkey Report

Published 21.02.2019 00:29

In reality, the European Parliament is supposed to be an essential democratic institution for Turkey. It could have played a crucial role in enabling Turkey to reach its goals much faster on its journey to EU membership. Unfortunately, it has not happened. Except for a short period, the European Parliament acted as an institution that regarded Turkey with prejudice and interacted in a one-sided manner. Unfortunately, in certain EU capitals, it served as a parliament that used incorrect policies towards Turkey. But, Turkey's determination to join the EU has remained unchanged.

Turkey hasn't changed its attitude even though the EU did not keep most of its promises and there were many "unjust" and "wrong" European Parliament decisions against Turkey. The country has pursued its way to EU membership. In public opinion polls, citizens of the Republic of Turkey still support EU membership.

However, due to its prejudiced attitude, the European Parliament is a source of disappointment for the citizens of Turkey. The European Parliament, as the highest democratic institution within the EU, had the opportunity to be a valuable "partner" for Turkey, which was making reforms and taking necessary steps to adapt.

Turkey and its citizens have no problem with justified criticisms and constructive advice. Turkey does not have a claim "that it does not have any shortcomings." All justified and consistent criticisms against Turkey are welcomed. On Turkey's successful democratization process, "external" perspectives, such as the "Brussels" perspective, are extremely valuable. Things that cannot be perceived within Turkey can be seen from outside or can be seen in a different light.

If everyone is objective and honest in such an external perspective, this is very beneficial for Turkey. On Turkey's road to EU membership, all sincere and consistent advice serves both Turkey and the EU's common benefit. If only the European Parliament were to take on such a role.

However, when we look at the Turkey Report that should be released in March, ahead of the European Parliament elections to be held between May 23 and 26, 2019, our disappointment continues. European Parliament Turkey Reports in recent years have been full of "unjust accusations," "unrealistic claims" and "prejudices." Thus, Turkey never accepted reports that were written like declarations by its opposition and those who do not want it to be a member of the EU and rejected them.

Those who do not want to see Turkey as an EU member because it is a Muslim country are succeeding in their goal of using the European Parliament for this purpose. However, when we look at the future of the EU and its values, Turkey's condition as a Muslim state should be an advantage instead of a hindrance. Certain groups that do not have an EU vision and still see themselves of having the duty to guard Europe against Islam, with a medieval mindset, only harm the EU's future.

When it comes to Turkey, those holding meetings thinking, "Enemies of Turkey are my allies" and gather materials in that context are making a great mistake. The European Parliament's reports in recent years were penned in such a manner. The European Parliament's Turkey rapporteur, Kati Piri did not show the expected, just attitude despite being a social democrat politician. If they listen to certain sects advocating the PKK, a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people in Turkey, we have to ask, "How is this prepared with good intentions?"

Similarly, while the Turkey Report is being prepared, they are listening to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) members, who attempted a bloody coup on July 15, 2016, in Turkey. While the report is being prepared, they should not listen to lies and propaganda by the enemies of democracy.

Unfortunately, that is not happening. A Turkey report applauded by those who support terrorism in Turkey is actually a grave situation for the European Parliament. If the European Parliament wants to contribute to the democratization of Turkey, it should stop listening to the Turkey opposition when writing reports. The major desire of the Turkey opposition and its enemies is to "sabotage Turkey's advancement on its journey to the EU." The European Parliament should not let itself be used for this goal.

For now, we are pessimistic about this report, the last report before the elections. If the report is similar or worse than previous reports, this will sadden Turkey but will change nothing. Such a report will provide no benefit for Turkey-EU relations. Right now, we still want to be optimistic. It is up to the members of parliament to ensure that this report is not a "proclamation against Turkey's EU membership." Such "leaflets" are being distributed in the streets by "far-right" parties or by supporters of the PKK or FETÖ. Such leaflets are worthless, thus end up in waste bins. This should not be the goal.

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