Erdoğan could become ‘Turkey’s de Gaulle’ if he accomplishes EU process: Former PM
ANKARAFormer Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz has said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could become “Turkey’s Charles de Gaulle” if he upgrades the country’s democratic standards and positively change its history, as de Gaulle did for France in the late 1950s.
“If he chooses the other path, I do not even want to contemplate what would happen [afterward],” added Yılmaz, who was serving as deputy prime minister in late 1999 when the EU formally nominated Turkey as a candidate member country. A veteran center-right politician, he served as prime minister between 1997 and 1999 as the chair of the Motherland Party (ANAP).
Assessing the post-coup attempt atmosphere, Yılmaz said the government’s efforts to clear Gülenists from the civil service could be an opportunity for Turkey to build a healthier democracy “without the influence of religious sects or the military.”
“A legitimate government with 50 percent of the votes currently rules Turkey. There aren’t any structural political problems to reaching a democracy at EU standards,” he added.
Charles de Gaulle is considered to be one of the key figures behind the idea of a united Europe after World War II. After gaining additional powers in a 1958 referendum, de Gaulle ruled France throughout the 1960s, forming bridges to repair broken relations with Germany and working for the creation of the European Economic Community.