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A Word About Turkey-EU and NATO relations

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Ozcan Tikit


Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was appointed as NATO’s Secretary General during the Prag Summit, a short time after being presented as a prospective position candidate. As known Turkey maintained her antagonistic position as a NATO member against this, until US President Mr. Barack Obama’s engagement.

Perhaps the best move the US President took during his fresh European trip was his persuading Turkey to comply, given the readily huge pressures of her continental neighbors, European Allies. Naturally the question remains is that will he be able to sustain his performance, which, I seriously doubt. Turkey’s opposing attitude against Rasmussen is perceived as a political maneuver. However, it is yet doubtful whether or to what extent Rasmussen achieves prosperous in NATO, which prepares for an even more complicated struggle than the austere tests it has been undergoing in Afghanistan, for a while by now. Perhaps it was all his quite knowledge of his alleged lack of experience, as accused by Sarkozy blowing a backstabbing move as a reflex in total hysteria, which stunned Obama before attempting a pressure over Turkey about Rasmussen, during the Prague Summit, until the very last moment. Rasmussen is a political character who has made the mistake of confusing the followers of the Islamic Faith with a terrorist who has little or no knowledge about the Muslim World, on numerous occasions. Even now, he keeps using the words Islam and Terror together in the context of his words and speeches. Mr. Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of Organization of the Islamic Conference is the first and foremost name that perhaps has the best knowledge of the territory. At the very recent, Ihsanoglu said “Care should be exercised to ensure that a candidate for a position has the commensurate qualifications”, when he was asked for his opinion. The memories of his hostile campaigns against muslim minorities in the United States, to get some more votes along his presidential campaign are still fresh in minds. The grave fault of Rasmussen in the cartoon crisis as NATO’s 12th Secretary General may put the alliance in severe trouble. That’s what we absolutely hope not to see.

The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan became the focal point of harsh critics made by Nicolas Sarkozy – Merkel duo, who consider themselves the Lords of the EU realms. As a matter of fact, such leaders as Merkel and Sarkozy didn’t even delay a moment before making their attempts to fully exploit Turkey’s stance toward the EU, in their internal politics. At a single instant, both leaders, who have so far made little or no good to either for their countries starving in the claws of the current global economic crisis or the EC, simply justified all those issues with Turkey’s opinions against the EU membership. Moreover, they are preparing to feed this matter as a basic material for their campaigns on the go for the European Parliamentary Elections that are scheduled to take place in June.

As righteously put by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, using Turkey’s membership as a material for European Parliamentary elections is in fact an extremely sad, tragic situation. Turkey’s having such political leaders that are going after some cheap goals at the expense of Turkey’s membership process achieved thus far is her greatest misfortune. This treatment of France and Germany against Turkey has some traumatic consequences in Ankara. The central Government having totally isolated its EU centered objectives, preserves it’s silence about the recent gas bombing situation at a school in Basaksehir, caused by the police, who are supposed to protect the public and enforce law. Mr. Egemen Bagis in charge of EU negotiations comfortably keep stating that “There is no Kurdish problem in Turkey”.

Daily more and more people with the desire of establishing closer relations with the EU are discouraged and therefore loose their intentions. Turkey is left alone by her European allies in her will to provide relief for the Caucasian Territory which nowadays feels the unease imposed by US and Russian Threats at its frontiers, as well as contributing to development of a more balanced structuring in the Middle East, which appears to be a noxious bowl.

While Turkey’s becoming a member to the EC has a significance for the country’s history and future, the European electors should be assured of one thing that this is not a crucial move for her to make. There is no Turkish community who thinks of or plans a swift escape to Europe to find some jobs immediately when the doors are opened. In fact, Turkey’s becoming and then maintaining to be an EU member state is a phenomenon which can only come into real if and when a certain set of conditions are met and Turkey is well aware of that. In other words, the day Turkey decides to become a member of EC will be the day on which Turkey shall have caught up with the European averages in democratic and economic figures. Besides, it is not the European communities alone to make a call for this membership. As a matter of fact, as the most recent surveys clearly put forth, there is a high probability for refusal by the Turkish community of the idea of becoming a member of the Community, even if or after the Community gives a green light for Turkey to enter the Club. To put it more clearly, the casual Turkish worker wearing some old pants stick together with patchwork and waiting in front of the EU Gate for permission to enter does not exist, contrary to that most loved and amusing cartoon work. But a peer with equitable capacity and power exists sitting on the other corner of the negotiations table is what Turkey wishes to be seen as herself, wherefore she remands that negotiations be continued with this understanding.

While Turkey is accelerating and diversifying her attempts towards obtaining larger extensions for peace in the highly fragile region in which she is geographically located, the European Leaders must skip their concerns about the June 7 elections and give an assisting hand to her efforts. Obtaining balance for the entire region, normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia, reducing the level of dependence of Yerevan upon Moscow, making arrangements to ensure that Azerbaijan is safely placed in this new order to be created and the final solution of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict are glorious achievements that would be for the benefit and best interests of not only Turkey and her neighbors and allies but also for the USA and EC. Getting stuck with and busying self with merely simpler concerns, while leaving way more important ones unattended is an act that should be abandoned shortly or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for taking all the foregoing steps shall be lost and begone forever.

Özcan Tikit

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