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Turkey and Europe: Mutually Interdependent!
Turkey and Europe: Mutually Interdependent!

In international relations, every state is pursuing its own national interest. We should not be surprise to see political leaders trying to maximize interests of their citizens. The question is how they do it: In a conflictual and antagonistic way or in friendly and cooperative way?

European Union was founded on the destructive lessons derived from the conflictual, antagonistic, realist methods (realpolitik). Europeans had realized that human rights had to be respected, democratic administration had to be consolidated and that national interests had be maximized via a win-win approach.

EU lacks visionary leadership. EU as a whole is desperately in need of farsighted, foresighted and forward-looking leaders.

Domestic political conjuncture (increasing votes and supports) is pushing leaders to move pragmatically and prefer a rather nationalistic discourse. When we look at the long term picture we see that radicalization and extremism in discourse of any political standing has not been serving the interests of any nation in modern history.

Turkey might have solid reasons to criticize European countries for not sincerely approaching towards Turkey. Similarly, Europeans might be disturbed by the discourse of Turkish politicians. However, all sides must realize that taking European continent into pre-WW II conditions will not benefit anyone.

Turkey does not have the luxury of risking its relations with Europe. All Turkey needs is good relations with all major international actors: USA, Europe, Russia, China and others. Moreover, Europe is the biggest trade partner of Turkey. Similarly, it is Europeans do not have the luxury to make an enemy out of Turkey.

Turkey and EU are mutually interdependent.