Turkey-EU dialogue not sincere, Erdoğan trying to seek legitimacy: CHP leader
Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA
Dialogue recently intensified between Turkey and the European Union cannot be described as “sincere,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, stressing that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was trying to use this rapprochement to gain legitimacy from European nations.
“I don’t think that a true dialogue can develop between the EU and the Erdoğan administration. Do they [Erdoğan administration] promise that our legal system will be adapted to EU standards? Or do they say they will apply the norms set by the Council of Europe or the Venice Commission in regards to constitutional amendments?” Kılıçdaroğlu told Ankara bureau chiefs at a meeting on Dec. 21.
“If they don’t deliver these, then it means Erdoğan’s main concern is to be deemed legitimate in the eyes of the EU.”
Turkey and the EU have recently launched a new political dialogue after a long pause due to a series of problems between Ankara and Brussels, particularly after the July 2016 coup attempt. The EU suspended Ankara’s accession process and talks for an upgraded customs union due to the worsening state of democracy, as well as deteriorating human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Mutual efforts to mend ties through political and economic dialogue with frequent high-level visits have been observed recently.
But for Kılıçdaroğlu these attempts of Erdoğan are just to serve his ambition to gain legitimacy from Europe after his election as an executive-president earlier this year.
“Erdoğan’s sole purpose is to create legitimacy for his rule by warming up his contacts with the Europeans. Thus he seeks a base of legitimacy for himself,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, claiming that the president’s government would not be considered legitimate in any democratic country.
“Everybody knows that the current regime, which was born out of constitutional amendments that have been approved under the state of emergency, is illegitimate. That’s why now he’s seeking legitimacy,” he said.
For Kılıçdaroğlu, this search of Erdoğan puts him in a weak position in front of world leaders who ask concessions from the Turkish leader in return of providing legitimacy. “Erdoğan has become an irreplaceable man in the eyes of the imperialist powers, because he can deliver any concession for the sake of being seen as legitimate,” he said.
CHP suggests Middle East peace treaty
On recent developments concerning Syria after the United States’ decision to pull out from the war-torn country, Kılıçdaroğlu repeated his suggestion for the establishment of a four-way regional body to deal with the problems stemming from the Middle East.
“We had proposed two things: First, Turkey should talk to Syria. If you defend the territorial integrity of Syria then you should speak with them. It’s a common objective of Turkey and Syria,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Because we believe that the problems of the region should be addressed by the real owners of this region. Turkey should lead such an attempt. If we can form it, we may be close to providing peace and stability and bringing about democracy to our region,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
U.S. withdrawal from Syria is obviously a very important development and there are those who welcome and who don’t, the CHP leader said.