Just some hours before he meets Russia’s president Mr Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told French daily Le Monde in an interview that the European Union has “not been sincere” in talks over possible EU membership for his country. But the relationships between Turkey and the European Union have never been so sincere, why such a concern now? Even Boris Johnson made videos to campaign for the entry of Turkey into the EU!
Sultan’s big Interview to the french Le Monde
In a certain degree Sultan is right. Turkey has accepted 3 million refugees and the sole aim of the EU is to prevent them from reaching its territory, Erdogan said in the interview. “No-one apart from Turkey has been treated in this way,” he said. However, Turkey if they really wanted it they could stop ISIS expansion and not helping other terrorist groups in Syria. But the EU, the United States and Turkey closed their eyes as they believed that Assad should empty his chair in Syria in the same way as they did with.
- Erdogan argued that Turkey felt “abandoned” by the Western allies, the United States and the European Union, which have not shown the proper support and understanding for the political situation in Ankara after the coup attempt.
“The whole world reacted to the attack against Charlie Hebdo. Our prime minister joined a rally in the streets of Paris,” Erdogan said, referring to the deadly militant attack on the office of the French satirical magazine in January 2015.
“I would have hoped that the leaders of the Western world would have reacted (to the coup attempt) in the same way and not have contented themselves with a few cliches.”
Reuters reports that Erdogan’s comments reflect a shift in stance at a time when he is rebuking Western leaders for their response to the July 15 coup bid. Erdogan vowed to keep Turkey’s promises on the migrant deal as recently as July 26.
“The European Union is not behaving in a sincere manner with Turkey,” Erdogan stressed, emphasising that the visa waiver for Turkish citizens was supposed to kick in on June 1.
“If our demands are not satisfied then the readmissions will no longer be possible,” Erdogan underlined.
Ankara agreed in March to stop migrants from crossing into Greece in exchange for financial aid being revived, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the EU and accelerated membership talks.
However, the reciprocal visa-free access has been delayed due to a dispute over Turkish anti-terrorism legislation and concern in the West about the scale of Ankara’s crackdown following a failed coup.
Erdogan’s Turkey turns towards Kim Jong-un’s North Korea: state-sponsored spectacle of fascist fantasies —Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain,Ioannis Metaxas’ Greece, Juan Peron’s Argentina . . . had done it earlier to horrid consequences –beware of these Stalinist purges, McCarthyite Red Scare, and Salem Massachusetts style witch hunts –they can only lead to Gulags –Erdogan is now doing what he claims Gulen was secretly plotting to do–Gulen/Erdogan are the Janus Face of fascism in Turkey.
— Cahida Dêrsim (@cdersim3) 9 août 2016
- New page in Turkey’s Geopolitics :rebuilt relations with Russia as it did with Israel and probably Egypt and Assad’s regime.
We have already seen a build-up of reconciliatory gestures between Russia and Turkey. The Turkish president’s Russia Day greeting on June 12, his “sympathy and condolences” to the family of the killed pilot on June 27, the follow-up telephone conversation with Putin on June 29, and most importantly, Putin’s call to express his support for Erdogan right after the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.
Ankara was recalibrating its foreign policy even before the July 15 coup attempt. Thereset with Israel was followed by tentative overtures to Egypt. Moreover, there has been speculation that Turkey is also seeking communication with the Damascus regime.
“Your visit today, which you made despite the really complex domestic political situation in Turkey, shows we all want to restart our dialogue and restore our relations,” said Mr Putin, addressing Mr Erdogan.
In a dramatic pivot by Turkey, the today’s Russia-Turkey summit has taken on broader geopolitical significance. “The west is criticising Erdogan over his crackdown in the wake of the coup, and Erdogan is denouncing them over that,” said Alexei Malashenko, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Centre. “This tension between Turkey and its Nato allies is extremely beneficial to Russia.” The rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara began in June, before the coup attempt, when the Kremlin accepted Mr Erdogan’s apology for the downing of the aircraft over Turkey’s shared border with Syria. Within days, officials from both countries had begun talks to roll back sanctions Russia imposed on Turkey following the incident the FT adds.
Moscow and Ankara still largely disagree on Syria, as Turkey wants President Bashar Assad to be ousted, while Russia supports him and the Syrian army in their fight against Islamists.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has accused Turkey of aiding Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) in the past, citing data indicating that the militants are being re-supplied and re-armed from Turkey. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday: “We have a serious conversation ahead on how, at what pace, and in what sequence we will work on restoring our relations.”
The European Union and other US allies.
European leaders discovered quite late what is to have Turkey as a neighbor especially during Erdogan’s era: a new Islamic authoritarian state. But as Turkey is a neighboring country of Syria, it should be helped by the international community and especially the Gulf states which invest a lot in Turkey to take some refugees (as they don’t take) as well in their turn and not leave them all in Turkey!
And while Turkey pivots to Russia, the bigger question is what happens to Turkish relations with the west next. Western diplomats, cited by the FT, worry that Ankara could use Russia as a lever in its relations with the west, including over Syria. Turkey cut off power to the Incirlik air base, from which the US launches bombing raids against Isis, for a week after the coup.
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) 2 août 2016
“We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses,” Erdogan was quoted as telling European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk after being told that the EU was offering Turkey €3 billion over two years.
The minutes of the meeting that apparently took place, in November 2015, in Antalya have been published by the Greek financial news website euro2day.gr.
Since, Bulgaria is now building a wall on Turkish border. The fence will be 4 meters high and 235 km long and is supposed to help reduce illegal immigration into the EU.
All the recent Greek governments, on a number of occasions have pointed out how difficult is to be a neighbor with a country , where democracy and individual freedoms are not given. That’s the reason why Greece had and has to spend a lot in defense as a percentage of its GDP and this has been obvious after the coup.
Turkish leaders stepped up their calls for the United States to punish Fethullah Gulen, the reclusive cleric living in Pennsylvania whose organization is said (by Erdogan) to be behind the failed July 15 coup attempt that sought to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government. Erdogan is using the refugee issue to blackmail the EU and the United States in order to strengthen his controversial policy domestically.
During this dangerous tug-of-war, Greece is found in the worst position geographically speaking as is facing the implications of the failed coup on its own territory. According to the Guardian, since the failed 15 July putsch, the number of Europe-bound migrants willing to make the perilous journey across the Aegean has increased noticeably, with the Greek government announcing that as of the end of July some 9,420 men, women and children had been registered on Lesbos and other islands.
Tensions between the two long-standing regional rivals have been fuelled by the case of the eight Turkish officers who fled across the border in the final throes of the attempted takeover. Greece were one of the first countries which condemned the coup. Furthermore, for Cyprus the coup reminds the scenes of the turkish invasion in 1974 and the horror that followed it, therefore more instability in Turkey or a military dictatorship spreads fears probably even for Turkish Cypriots.
Associated Press reports that Turkish Cypriots protested while waving Turkish and North Cyprus brekaway- state flags during a mass rally in support of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot half of the capital Nicosia on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. Mostly right-wing political parties and groups urged supporters to turn up for the rally that follows similar pro-Erdogan and anti-coup demonstrations in other European countries as well.
— The Cypriot Puzzle (@Cypriot_Puzzle) 6 août 2016
It has now become clear that Turkey is entering a new period, where the misuse of power, the decline of the state of law, the country’s orientation to become an Islamic fundamentalist state, creates huge obstacles regarding its relationship with the West. The new page of politics in Turkey will be radical and will have long-time effects for the whole Europe and the Middle East.
Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency