The U.S. administration’s war on diplomacy and economic affairs provides the backdrop for the new Turkey-EU rapprochement
Many important and developed countries around the world, including Germany the founding father of the European Union, are experiencing political and commercial tension with the U.S. today. Turkey is another target of the tension created by the U.S. administration. Over the past five years alone, we have encountered dozens of attacks backed by or ignored by the U.S., including the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. Oddly enough, EU countries also provided every kind of support to this process, as if they were testing Turkey.
This is not only about Donald Trump being president. The U.S. is just as aggressive as it was in the past. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, the U.S. would be following a tougher policy against Turkey. Turkey, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has managed to overcome all these external-backed attacks with realistic attitudes, especially in the past three years, paving the way for a new era with a multifaceted foreign policy. In this respect, Erdoğan’s visit to Germany indicates that a new page will be turned.
Germany, the most powerful European industrial nation, has acknowledged that it cannot carry out an effective policy in the region via Jordan irrespective of Turkey and cannot achieve anything with a continuous anti-Turkey policy. More importantly, however, Germany needed strong and policy-producing allies in the face of U.S. political and commercial oppression.
In fact, this was what the EU needed, as well. The EU, as the center of attraction with its “democracy, human rights and universal law” that have been accepted as the common values of humanity over the past 50 years, could lose its influence with the departure of the U.K. and the rise of racist tendencies. This shows that both Germany and the EU need a fresh start.
As a matter of fact, Turkey needs to take similar steps, as well. To overcome the proxy wars surrounding it – including terrorism, external sieges, immigration threats and economic attacks – Turkey indisputably needs to evolve. Erdoğan has been hinting at this for a long time. The gathering of the EU Reform Group three years later where warm messages were conveyed to the EU and the request for “a fair world” at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York this week were the results of Turkey’s quest for a new story.
Time and again, Turkey has shown that it is open to suggestions that will fulfill this quest. The problems have stemmed from the EU and Germany’s attitude rather than from Turkey. Apart from the negative perceptions encouraged by the media, EU countries also embraced Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) affiliates that staged the bloody coup attempt of July 15, 2016.
It seems this will change with the messages conveyed by the German authorities. Erdoğan’s visit to Germany, in particular, will be a fresh start that will break the ice between the two countries. Even if the atmosphere changes in political and commercial relations, it seems it will take time when it comes to FETÖ and the PKK. In this area, we will first see a change in political discourse and perhaps later some surprises. The first step will be taken, but what matters is to write a new story that is needed by both Turkey and the EU.
MahmutEven though it seems like a dream, Turkey’s EU accession as a democratic, secular and Muslim country will save not only Turkey itself, but also the EU from restraint and the risk of racism and marginalization and will make them a center of attraction again. This step will also have a positive impact on Turkish-Russian relations. If events go the other way, the EU will take a turn for the worse, and Turkey will simply continMahmut Övür