June 15, 2010
Turkey is at the same time a country of Europe, of the Balkans, of the Middle East and of the Caucasus. However, its past was always european, so is its future. But that european path doesn’t prevent Turkey from taking advantage of its geostrategic position – a significant asset which is unique in the world – in order to exert its influence on the different regions wrapped around it, which enables it to maintain stability and spread the peace. The European Union is aware of that, but there are several politicians of the EU who don’t see eye to eye with the whole EU, whereas there’s no better strategic ally than Turkey for the EU. If Turkey is not accepted within the EU, the great loser will be the EU. The world will lose a lot too.
There will be several disadvantages for Turkey when it becomes an EU member. For instance it will contribute a lot to the EU budget, but as a Turk I couldn’t care less. Because our planet and its issues are more important than money. That is what I’ll say to the Turks in order to convince them to support Turkey’s EU membership.
But I am angry and I harbour a grudge against the EU, and that grudge is justified by the political and media lynching about Turkey. That is also justified because the EU deserted Turkey in its struggle against the terrorism of the PKK for 30 years. And the EU took a long time recognizing the PKK as a terrorist organization. The PKK terrorism cost the life to 40 000 people in Turkey, and it cost more than 200 billion euros. By reason of all of that, I am sometimes against Turkey’s EU membership. But after careful thought, I believe that the Turks must support Turkey’s EU membership because our planet does need a powerful EU. I do believe that the very beautiful turkish language must be an official language of the EU.
Let’s remember that Turkey deepens its ties not only with Iran and the arabic countries but also with Greece, Russia (I attach as much importance to the EU-Turkey relations as to the Russia-Turkey relations), Africa or South America.
The quite competent minister of foreign affairs of Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu said a few months ago: “Ankara has a 360 degree direction”.
Let’s disperse the fog that prevents us from contemplating the brightness of the day (a brilliant idea to escape from the darkness): the turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government did repeat many times that they neither want Iran to get the atom-bomb nor a war at the frontiers of Turkey. And a useful reminder: Iran provides Turkey with gas, that’s why Iran is a very important trade partner of Turkey. And that’s why Turkey objected to new sanctions against Iran (last week Günter Verheugen did express his support to Turkey’s decision about Iran. In fact, the german man said: “The decison of Turkey about Iran at the United Nations Security Council ought to be a lesson to many people”. That was a precious support. Mr Verheugen proved once more that he is a dignified man. He taught a lesson to most of the governments of the EU, which are far from being objective and sensible. Here is the article from Euractiv Turkey). So Turkey sticks up for itself (let’s not forget that several EU members have economic relations with Iran too, but no journalist in the EU or in the United States of America say that they shift to the east). And Russia provides the EU with gas, that’s why Russia is a quite important trade partner of the EU.
Well Turkey is not responsible for the great lack of democracy in Iran in the same way as the EU is not responsible for the lack of democracy in Russia. Turkey is a secular democracy and of course it does not approve of the scandalous human rights situation in Iran. However, what Turkey can do but improve its ties with it? The lack of democracy in Iran doesn’t prevent Turkey from being provided with iranian gas as the lack of democracy in Russia doesn’t prevent the EU from being provided with russian gas.
There are many politicians of several countries, as well as many lobbies within the media especially, full of hatred and representing a real threat to the peace, who are furious and disturbed that Turkey improves its relations with its neighbours. And they do prefer claiming that Turkey shifts to the east. That is a big lie (anyway what‘s the problem with the east?). A big lie in order to wash our brain and to isolate Turkey, thence to create a diversion so that the world forgets on the one hand the real problem which is Israel (a theocracy as Iran) and its crimes against humanity and its so famous inhuman anti-peace policy, and on the other hand the fact that the USA don’t object to Israel. These politicians and these journalists ought to think about what honour and dignity mean.
According to their insane and ridiculous propaganda, Turkey seeks a rapprochement with Iran to the detriment of Israel. No at all, let me repeat that Turkey improves its relations with Iran because Iran is its neighbour, and I don’t see any harm in it. If the Turkey-Israel relations deteriorated, that is because of Israel, not because of the Iran-Turkey relations. Instead of diverting the world’s attention, Israel and the USA ought to take their responsability, because it is Israel which gravely damaged its ties with Turkey. So Turkey does not seek a rapprochement with Iran to the detriment of Israel. Turkey seeks a rapprochement with Iran as it does seek a rapprochement with Egypt or Greece.
Turkey is certainly not changing its policy regarding its EU perspective, but it has a quite natural and praiseworthy will to improve its ties with all its neighbours as well as with the other countries of our planet: Iran, Syria, Russia, the asian countries, Armenia, Greece, the african countries, the countries of South America….
Thus, that is a pro-peace policy, not a so-called “Shift to the east”, which besides doesn‘t mean anything, does it? So the lobbies and the politicians who aim at destabilizing Turkey and the world should give up. Turkey is an independent democracy and a respected powerful country. It is exceptionally contributing to a much better world thanks to its excellent and proactive foreign policy. Well done. But there are still much to do. I’m looking forward to seeing how Turkey and Ahmet Davutoğlu will amaze me again.
Nowadays some politcians of the EU, who show an astonishing ecstatic insistence, call over and over again Turkey’s european identity into question, whereas the EU and Turkey are in the middle of the negotiations process. Owing to that subjective stance, Turkey evidently doesn’t trust the EU. I understand very well that suspicion towards the EU. I feel in fact some frustration because the european identity of Turkey is rejected and denied from some politicians. We can’t say to Turkey, which really feels itself european: “No, you never was european and you will never be”. I am really frustrated as a Turk.
Nevertheless, optimistic I am! I have hope because that xenophobic stance is not shared by the whole EU. That treason (yes it is a treason on account of the close relations between Europe and Turkey for almost 60 years) towards Turkey only comes from some political circles and some lobbies.
I repeat myself because it’s worth it, the very influential Günter Verheugen said: “The world political events will show Europe how we need so much Turkey”, and he said that too: “The European Union needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU”. And the finnish Olli Rehn said: “The EU membership of Turkey is vital”.
Without Günter Verheugen and Olli Rehn, the two previous commissioners for enlargement of the EU commission, the negotiations between the EU and Turkey may have been delayed. And we must of course not forget the role of the former franco-german pair, made up of Jacques Chirac and Gerard Schröder, who strongly did support (with the backing of notably the English, the Poles, the Latvians, the Estonians, the Italians, the Portugueuses, the Spaniards, the Belgians, the Swedes, and the Finns) the opening of the UE-Turkey negotiations, in spite of the anti-turkish pressure of various political circles and numerous lobbies. That decison was a victory against the anti-Turkey people. Yes I choose my words carefully: that decision was a great historic victory for both the EU and Turkey.
Let me say that Mr Sarkozy and our european politicians are irresponsible and incompetent. Why? Well, weren’t they elected in order to take care of us, we the european citizens? But they do not take care of us. They do not act in our interest. Why? Well because since 2005 these irresponsible politicians still haven’t opened the food safety chapter of the negotiations between the EU and Turkey. Why haven’t they decided to open it? In fact, millions of Europeans go to Turkey every year and eat there. Their health is potentially in danger. But Mr Sarkozy, who claims he’s acting in the french citizens’ interest, prefered satisfying his hatred against Turkey for 3 years rather than opening the food safety chapter with Turkey. But according to Abhaber, that chapter may be opened this month.
Many years ago, we were used to hearing here and there: “Turkey will never be recognized an official candidate to the EU”. Well it was recognized so in 1999 at Helsinki. Then, people began to say: “The negotiations EU-Turkey will never start”. Well the whole EU signed in 2004, and the negotiations started in 2005. Lastly, today we hear: “Turkey will never be a member of the EU”. Well I say that I’ve heard it all before! Türkiye bal gibi AB üyesi olacak. Ne zaman? Bana göre 2016-2020 civarında. In english: Turkey will jolly well be a member of the EU. When? In my opinion towards 2016-2020.
The main reason why the european leaders want Turkey to be an EU member is the economic one. In fact, the EU (with an ageing population) is afraid of China as well as of the other asian economic powers. For its survival, the EU needs imperatively a bigger economic market, thus it does need new members within it. That’s why it made Bulgaria and Romania members hastily, whereas these countries did not fulfil all the criterions.
However, we are so demanding with Turkey that Turkey will probably become one of the closest member of the EU to perfection. Besides, the economy of Turkey is so interlinked to the economy of the EU that when Turkey is a member, it will be able to integrate the euro zone immediately. That is a news one of a kind, isn’t it? Moreover, the EU is deep in an economic crisis (that worries me a lot). And because of the fact that Turkey almost did get away with the world crisis, well that amazed the EU, and that is in favour of Turkey’s EU perspective.
But there are many politcians who support the EU membership of Turkey because they do know that this exceptional and historic membership will contribute positively and hugely to the world politics of the EU. I do not allude to the religious side but to the geostrategic side. However, I confess that regarding religion, it will be a good thing to integrate Turkey to the EU. But I do want to underline that it is certainly not the reason why Turkey has to be a member. Actually Turkey will not be a member in order to deflect the so-called “clash of the civilizations”, even though it is true that its membership will calm down the galvanized extremist religious groups in the world. Turkey will be a member of the EU because it is a (and not the) perfect continuation of Atatürk’s vision, whose goal was to create the modern turkish republic.
The EU is divided in two: those who object with virulence to the EU membership of Turkey, and those who support it.
The ones who support it don’t make themselves heard: on the one hand, because of the media that are subjective, that is a certainty. On the other hand, they can’t express openly and often enough their support to the turkish EU membership because it prevails in the people’s mentality a so negative image towards Turkey that approving its EU membership would be a political suicide for the pro-Turkey. Let’s remember that the so negative collective image vis-à-vis Turkey is due to the problems of the human rights, to the ignorance of the terrorist dossier of the PKK and of the cypriot issue, and all that is subjectively entertained by the media which make a real anti-turkish propaganda, above all in France.
Nevertheless, for several years the pro-Turkey have begun to express their support to Turkey since Turkey has not a so negative image than it used to have:
at first, Turkey has indeed almost resolved the human rights problem. For instance it is resolving the kurdish issue (the national TV channel TRT 6, which broadcasts varied programmes in kurdish 24/24, is a revolution, but the french media don’t really deal with that).
Secondly, Turkey has at last stood up for itself regarding the cypriot problem by proving that it is an issue of which the greek side is responsible (the Greeks succeeded in holding Turkey responsible for that conflict because in the past Turkey was not in a position to explain its point of view, since on the one hand, there was no political stability, on the other hand, the terrorism of the PKK didn’t allow it to take care of its international image).
Then, the huge Nabucco gas project is an additional argument to support its EU membership. Turkey is becoming a great energy corridor which is vital for the EU.
Last but not least, Turkey has an economy which is on the up-and-up with an exceptional potential in Europe. The EU knows that Turkey is becoming an economic superpower, so it needs it within the union.
Eventually, Turkey’s pro-peace foreign policy is very efficient. Furthermore, Ahmet Davutoğlu’s “0 problem with our neighbours” strategy impressed the EU and the european commission, which praised and did congratulate him and Turkey last week on that subject.
The timing of that declaration (made ere the attack of Israel on the civilian humanitarian ships) is revealing and extremely symbolic.
Thus the conveyed message is that Turkey is not alone: the commission confirmed that it sides with Turkey againt Israel, in other words the EU commission is behind Turkey regarding its foreign policy in the Middle East. And the socialist group of the EU parliament followed the position of the EU commission, which is an additional support to Turkey against the terrorist and inhuman attack of Israel (and against its anti-peace policy in the Middle East).
For more than 50 years the United Nations Organization has condemned Israel again and again and it has become an habit, and even a routine. Israel is asked to lift the blockade at Gaza and to respect the human rights. But Israel thinks that it hasn’t to give an explanation to anybody, it feels untouchable. Moreover, considering that what is being asked to Israel is the bare minimum, we can deduce that the USA and the United Nations will let the Israelis keep on seizing the Palestinians’ land. The UN don’t do anything, and instead of asking, from now on they ought to compel Israel to submit to their resolutions. The goal of the UN has always been to avert wars and to maintain the peace. So what are they doing?
Israel assassinated civilians like cowards. That barbarian act was premeditated. Many newspapers described that attack as a massacre. The whole world must show determination so that justice is done. Israel must be judged by the International Court of Justice, or the people responsible for that attack within the israeli government and the israeli army must be judged by the International Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity and their war crimes.
The whole humanity wants peace and harmony, does not Israel want that too?
Here is now an article in turkish about the courageous and exceptional Hélène Flautre and I succeeded in finding the same article in english (I don‘t like the Zaman newspaper but I couldn‘t found the article on any another site), click here for reading
And here is an excellent article from Pierre Schori
Well let’s remember the “Don’t let them kill us” moving but frighful call from Sarajevo. That SOS makes my blood run cold. The EU remained passive regarding that ethnic cleansing and that genocide, then the USA intervened, although it was quite late. Why don’t the USA intervene in Palestine too?
Barack Obama remains passive. Why? And regarding Israel’s last attack on the ships, he even didn’t condemn Israel. It’s disgraceful. This so-called saviour of the United States of America and of the world, who certainly didn’t deserve the Nobel peace prize, is obviously unable to make decisions independently. I am amused today by the reaction of the world following his election: “The saviour has arrived”. This so-called hero didn’t do anything about the Goldstone report of the UN. The USA even didn‘t took part to the vote. Mr Obama was elected president of the USA, so what? As if the planet was going to forget and forgive the USA for their war and their barbarism in Iraq, as well as their other crimes against humanity.
Mr Gates said: “The relations between Turkey and Israel have deteriorated because of the stance of the EU regarding its negotiations with Turkey”. I don’t subscribe to this point of view, believe me when I say to you, that is another big lie, another disgraceful diversion that aims at making forget Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Palestine.
The main objective is to wash the american citizens’ brain. Well Turkey is angry and it is protesting against Israel because of what the Israelis did at Gaza against the innocent palestinian civilians and because of their terrorist attack against the turkish civilian ships, not because of the subjective stance of the EU about the negotiations with Turkey. The american politicians know that but the awful truth (let’s remind “The awful truth”, an excellent TV programme from the wonderful Michael Moore.
By the way, it’s thanks to people like Michael Moore – or Bruce Springsteen – that the USA improve themselves) is that they have no will to protest against Israel. Mr Gates tells lies. He doesn’t speak as a dignified politician, and he doesn’t know what honour means. He is not credible and serious, he is like the iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
As I pointed out in my previous article, NATO should ensure the safety of the next civilian humanitarian ships en route to Gaza in order to avert taking the risk to bring about a war.
I feel the need to express my fear as a Turk: Israel makes me afraid because it proved with its inconceivable attack, which targeted mainly Turkey, that it is out of control. Thus, the insane but crucial question is the following one: if one day Israel attacks Turkey, which is a member of NATO, will NATO fulfil its commitments towards Turkey and defend it against Israel? Owing to the passivity of the leaders of the USA and of the EU about Israel’s last attack, can Turkey trust the USA, which are members of NATO? And can Turkey trust the NATO members of the EU? And did NATO lose some credibility? On account of the unimaginable and immoral attack of Israel, and because of its unbelievable behaviour following that attack (no remorse, no sadness, no apology, opposition against an international investigation), what the UN must do? What NATO and Turkey must do?
If today the UN and NATO don’t reassure Turkey, how Israel will be dissuaded from attacking Turkey? Turkey is a military superpower, but it is not a reason for not being anxious.
Eventually, the whole world must unite, the israeli people as well, who are besides the hostages of the extremist israeli leaders (like the Palestinians), in order to avert a possible war. The world is already suffering too much, and we must stop together that suffering.
Sting said: “Let’s fix that wounded planet with the love of our healing”
The Father of Turkey Atatürk said: “Peace at home, peace in the world”