Those were the hopeful days with the EU

Those were the hopeful days with the EU

What a beautiful night it was… What a nice dream… What wonderful hopes they were… The whole country was waiting for the decision from Brussels…

That night on Oct. 5, 2005, then Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, insisting on pursuing Turkey’s membership of the European Union, was enshrined in all of our hearts. Then Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül was respected by everyone. 

What a nice night it was. It took our breath away. Our neighbors were also rejoicing that they would become neighbors of the EU. 

We would become a member of the EU, a region of democracy and welfare- that respects human rights. 

That beautiful dream was been suspended on Nov. 24 with the vote of the European Parliament. 

Eleven years ago, it was decided that Turkey’s accession talks to the EU would begin. Now, the European Parliament has recommended that the talks be suspended. 

We have come to an ominous junction. 

It is time to think, once again. That goes for both for them and us. It is time to leave aside demagoguery and conflict. It is time to make a decision based on the mutual interests of all parties.  

Let’s conduct an exercise; a test on where you want to see your country go. 

For example, would you send your child to a member of the Shanghai Five, or to the EU? If you had the means, where would you send your child abroad for their education? Would you send them to a Western country, like presidents Turgut Özal, Abdullah Gül and Tayyip Erdoğan have done? Or would you send them to a member country of the Shanghai Five such as Russia, China or India?  

A second question: Where are the Syrian refugees trying to go? Did 90 percent of them go to Turkey and to countries west of Turkey, including the EU? Or did 90 percent of them go the countries of the Shanghai Five? 
If in your county an oppressive and merciless regime such as the Bashar al-Assad regime was formed, where would you go to ask for asylum? Would you go to a Western country, or would you go to a Shanghai Five member country such as Russia or China?  

If you consider the economic situation of your country to be unpredictable and you want to deposit your money in a stable economy, which country’s bank would you chose? Would you choose a bank in a Western county with a stable democracy, judicial system and economy, or would you choose a bank in a Shanghai Five country like Russia, China and India? 

If you plan to buy a house abroad, where would you buy property? Would you buy it in a Western country, or would you buy it in a Shanghai Five country? 

If your answers to the above questions mostly favor the first options, then you are in favor of continuing relations with the EU. 

Bad omens 

It may or may not be a coincidence that Syrian planes bombed Turkish troops on the first anniversary of Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet last year. Is this a strategic sign? Is Syria telling us “I have Russia behind me”? Is it a sign that after Russia and Syria take full control of Aleppo, they will head toward our border?  

One possible development is that after Russia and Iran, the U.S. will also start supporting al-Assad soon. This also increases the possibility that an autonomous Kurdish region will be established on our Syrian border. 
It is tragic that Turkey is entirely alone in the Middle East and in the world. That is more true now than it has ever been. 

One of my biggest fears is about the Bashiqa base we have in northern Iraq. I hope no deadly or humiliating developments will happen there.