Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow




Europe has to say goodbye to Turkey

Europe’s Turkey policy has been derailed since a couple of years. In 2004 the famous far-right politician, Geert Wilders was expelled from the decent Dutch Liberal Party (VVD) because he refused to endorse Turkey as a European Member state. The European establishment cross the board pursued the ideal of a large European Union including Turkey, disregarding the opinion of the European population at large.
Since then, much has been changed. After the Gezi protests and the closure of Twitter and YouTube in Turkey, the European mood switched completely. Given the current political situation in Turkey, EU’s leadership, Mr. Junker and Mr. Schulz do not want Turkey to join the EU anymore. Only the UK is a staunch supporter of Turkey’s EU membership, an other sign that London wants to crumble the EU from within.

The elections in Turkey in June revived some hope in Brussels. Brussels elite saw the entrance of the the Kurdish HDP as a positive sign that the Turkey democratization process will be restored. HDP leader Demirtas was already dubbed the Turkish Obama by the European press. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Enlargement, saw the fact that the election took place with a record 86 percent turnout as “clear sign of strength of the Turkish democracy.”

We were less enthusiastic and already predicted more problems ahead. We do not understand why the AKP should give up power as the result of elections since they have no problem shutting down websites like YouTube and Twitter, arresting independent journalists and dismissing prosecutors investigating corruption by the inner circle of President Erdogan or illegal weapon delivery to Syrian jihadists by MIT (Turkey’s secret service). Erdogan and the AKP clinch to power and understand the game extremely well.

European policy with regard to Turkey is firmly based on the democratization of Turkey and the relation Turkey government has with its minorities; the Kurds and the Armenians. Europe spent a great effort to persuade Turkey to protect democratic values and improve the right of its minorities. The peace process between Turkey and the Kurds is not only important for the business relation between Ankara and Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) but it is also a corner stone in the relation between Turkey and Europe. The European Union has no member states that use F16 military airplanes to resolve disputes with its population as we see now in Turkey. Accepting Turkey as a member state will dilute the values that the EU is build upon and will undermine the social liberal supporters of the European project.

The deal Turkey reached with the US, gives the US the right to use Turkey’s airbase and Turkey the right to crush the Kurds, is a a slap in the face for Brussels policy makers. It is an other sign of Washington’s and Ankara’s disregard for Europe’s political elite. European policy makers should brace for much more problems and wider gap between Ankara and Europe. Washington gave Ankara the green light for the next stage of Middle East chaos on the doorstep of Europe:

  • The US is allowed to use Turkish airbase, Incirlik. It seems that the US is not limited to attacking ISIS, Assad’s (including Hezbollah) armies are also potential targets.
  • The US does need support of the YPG (Syrian-Kurdish People’s Defense Units) in its fight against ISIS while Turkey has the right to attack the YPG. Here we have an unprecedented situation where the YPG can get air-support from the US while at the same time being attacked by NATO member Turkey.
  • Erdogan was given the green light by the US to attack the PKK in Turkey as well as in Iraq without the consent of Baghdad.
  • Erdogan has the right to eliminate the HDP, crushing the last hope in Brussels that Turkey will evolve in some sort of democracy.
  • Kurdish Regional Government will back the US-Turkey deal. The region is indebted and has to pay the oil producers. It has no choice but be compliant with Turkey, its only route to sell oil independent from Baghdad.
  • To secure a region at the Turkish border and to disrupt the advancement of the YPG, Turkey and the US have assembled a proxy army. Turkey is trying to use Syrian Turk-men in this army to fight for Turkeys interest in Syria and prevent the YPG of gaining ground. This US-Turkey proxy army has to fight against Assad, ISIS, Turkey-armed Al Nusra and Kurds armed by the US.
  • Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Damascus are already aware of the danger that US aircrafts will be used against its own forces. Russia already signals it is willing to deploy Russian army units in Syria.

As the situation is evolving rapidly, for Europe it must be clear Turkey is not part of Europe. To the European Banks and Companies that invested heavily in the ‘growth wonder’, Turkey, we have one advice: Make sure to find the exit before everyone else wants to get out.

Sources from the internet
Does Obama have legal right to defend Syrian rebels with Air Force? State Dept. can’t answer Aug 2015

 

Turkey blocks YouTube amid ‘national security’ concerns Source The Guardian March 2014
The Turkish government reinforced its heavily criticized clampdown on social media on Thursday, blocking YouTube a week after it restricted access to the micro-blogging platform Twitter.

Turkey’s top judicial body suspends graft probe prosecutors: agency Source Reuters Dec 2014
Turkey’s top judicial body has suspended four prosecutors who initiated a corruption investigation that targeted the inner circle of President Tayyip Erdogan, Dogan news agency reported on Tuesday.

Turkish prosecutor detained for violating national security in MİT truck probe Source Daily Sabah May 2015
A forrmer chief public prosecutor was detained early Thursday for allegedly violating national security over a 2014 incident where trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence organization were stopped and searched near Syria.

Turkey launches heaviest air strikes yet on Kurdish group  Source Reuters July 2015
Turkish jets launched their heaviest assault on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq overnight since air strikes began last week, hours after President Tayyip Erdogan said a peace process had become impossible.

U.S., Turkey Agree to Keep Syrian Kurds Out of Proposed Border Zone Source The Wall Street Journey 3 Aug 2015
The U.S. and Turkey have reached an understanding meant to assure the Ankara government that plans to drive Islamic State militants from a proposed safe zone in northern Syria won’t clear the way for Kurdish fighters to move in.

Turkish jets hit PKK targets, soldiers killed in southeast Source Reuters 4 Aug 2015
Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish rebel targets in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday, Dogan news agency reported, and three soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in a neighbouring province, the military said.

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