Understanding Turkish Deputy PM Şimşek

Understanding Turkish Deputy PM Şimşek

He is showing the performance of a political personality that those who underestimated him by labelling him “a technocrat” cannot ignore.
It is a performance that was not expected from Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek.

He said that whether we like it or not, a Turkey deprived of its ties with the European Union would be seen as a third-world country.

Some thought, “He is not aware that the mood has changed; if he had realized it he would not have taken this risk; once he understands that the mood has changed, he will do otherwise.” He proved them wrong. He does not seem to be regretting what he said.

On the contrary, he came to the forefront one more time. He shared Merve Şebnem Oruç’s article from Yeni Şafak titled “Organizing a panel on Turkey while the EU is collapsing,” on Twitter and wrote:

“The EU is not collapsing! On the contrary, it is a big success story. Nearly 510 million people live in peace and welfare.”

And then he added:

“Yes, the rising racism and Islamophobia in EU is a threat to the future of the continent. It can only alleviate that by opening its doors to Turkey.”

I have prepared a guide to understand Mehmet Şimşek.

1) His difference is not to add fuel to the fire. That’s because his common sense weighs heavier. 

2) Some supposed that he was not aware of what kind of trouble he could get into by stating ordinary facts to the assumption that he was unaware of trolls, etc. Well, that was not the right assumption. He does not fear being a target of vicious troll attacks. He has the courage to say what he knows as truth.

3) He is not doing it in order to get attention. He is just trying to act responsibly. He does so at the expense of paying the price of being the dissenting one. 

4) He does voice tough criticism of the European Union. He does not mince his words. But he does not get carried away with the winds of anti-European demagogies. He does not try to fall in line with populist trends. 
He does not refrain from recalling the other side of the coin. He is a realist; he does not compromise on truth for loyalty.

5) He does target the European Union. He does not deviate from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s line. Once Erdoğan talks, he does not add more to it. He remains a step behind.

6) And finally he is very cool-headed. He does not panic when the trolls who are more loyalist than the king start attacking.

It is not that he is indifferent. He does care about the reaction but he does not change his rhetoric and style. He does not hesitate.

His latest statements were like an open invitation to the lynch squads. They attacked and attacked, starting from him being a traitor going all the way to accusing him of being a spy.

They even asked to sack him if he were not going to resign.

He kept his calm and gave this answer:

“There are efforts to take my messages on the European union out of their context…My comments about the statement of facts never meant that I appreciate the EU’s stance, approach and performance against our country.”

He does not give in; he does not bow down. He is very self-confident.