CHP criticizes EU for lacking ‘objectivity’

CHP criticizes EU for lacking ‘objectivity’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP criticizes EU for lacking ‘objectivity’

CHP’s deputy chair Loğoğlu says that secularism is under persistant challenge by the ruling AKP. AA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Faruk Loğoğlu has called on the European Union “to acknowledge the realities of Turkey with objectivity,” in response to a joint article written by 16 EU foreign ministers. The article praised Turkey as an inspirational example of a secular and democratic country for its neighbors.

“Applauding judicial reforms in Turkey means actually supporting the anti-democratic leanings and practices of the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] government. It is high time for the EU to acknowledge the realities of Turkey with objectivity and take a clear stand accordingly. Otherwise, the erosion of Turkish democracy and secularism will continue unabated, with disastrous results for Turkey and for the EU,” Loğoğlu said in his letter.

The joint article titled “The EU and Turkey: Stronger Together,” published on EUObserver on June 28.
The ministers said that Turkey’s EU accession process had played a powerful role in supporting Turkey’s reforms in areas such as civilian control of the military and the independence of the judiciary.

“Improvements are needed in the areas of freedom of expression, women’s rights and the protection of minorities. The work on a new constitution presents a crucial opportunity to address such issues,” the article said. However, Loğoğlu played down the EU ministers’ article, saying that their perception of the state of affairs in Turkey was “sadly out of focus in several important ways.”

Opposition is silenced: Loğoğlu says

“Secularism is under persistent and systematic challenge by the ruling AKP in all walks of life. Education, science, politics, the economy, the armed forces and civil society are all domains where the AKP pursues an authoritarian policy of incremental Islamization. Today, democracy exists in Turkey largely in the abstract ... All opposition is silenced,” Loğoğlu said, recalling that more than a hundred journalists and several hundred students, as well as eight lawmakers, had been jailed for alleged terrorism and coup plot connections.

“With all these faults and deficits, calling Turkey an ‘inspirational example’ does a disservice to Turkish democracy and secularism,” Loğoğlu said. He also slammed the EU’s support for Turkey’s “reforms in the area of the independence of the judiciary,” alluding to people’s mistrust to the courts. “[People] are seeking justice at the European Court of Human Rights in ever growing numbers. Hence, applauding judicial reforms in Turkey means actually supporting the anti-democratic leanings and practices of the AKP government,” Loğoğlu said.