The West should not be concerned about Turkey-Russia ties
According to The Financial Times, the convergence between Turkey and Russia makes the West uneasy. German daily Bild wrote on the meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin: “This visit creates big concerns.”
It is difficult to understand why the recovery of relations between Turkey and its biggest neighbor after the plane shooting incident concerns the West.
If Turkey, as a NATO country, continued tension with Russia, wouldn’t that also pose a threat to other NATO members?
On the other hand, if I may say, the hand that pushed Turkey toward Russia is nobody else but the West. Their skeptical view of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems to prevent them from seeing the larger picture.
Their situation is like the joke about a guy who has caught a burglar. He calls, “I caught a burglar.” “Well, bring him,” they tell him. He answers, “He does not come.” They tell him, “Then let him go.” The answer: “He does not go…”
On one hand they want to push Turkey to the edge on the other they are also concerned about the need for the “pushed” Turkey to find a way away from the edge.
The West is going through the pains of being unable to generate a politician with a vision for many years.
This is what is happening.
Where will Turkey stand?
There were “death penalty” slogans chanted while Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was speaking at the parliamentary group meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Aug. 9. The PM replied, “That head of the terrorists will definitely receive the punishment he deserves.”
It seems that the capital punishment theme will continue in AKP meetings for a while. Party leaders will play ball, and will never mention the cost of reinstalling capital punishment in Turkey.
I am against the death penalty in principle. This is a punishment style from the primitive times of humanity and today, civilization rejects this primitiveness. If you ask whether or not those U.S. states that still have capital punishment are not civilized, my reply is the same: No, they are not civilized.
As a matter of fact, society, the grassroots of our country, is ready for the re-installment of such a punishment. However, responsible statesmanship also requires being able to resist the harsh winds in society and give up daily political calculations for the future of the country.
Everybody should know this: If Turkey reinstalls the death penalty, then it has to bid farewell to its partnership dreams with the EU. Its membership to the Council of Europe will inevitably be suspended.
Can Turkey risk such a cost?
On the other hand, if Turkey is to become a truly democratic state of law, then it is impossible to make this penalty retroactive and apply it to the coup plotters.
Well, if we are to give up on this principle, then it is different indeed. But then, we have to ask: “Is this the new road we entered at the Yenikapı rally?”
One does not need to be a world-class scholar to make this evaluation. Consequently, all of the AKP executives, starting from the president and the prime minister, should know this.
Then, when they address the public, why don’t they explain the costs and inconveniences of reinstating capital punishment that would not even be exerted on the coup plotters, but instead are almost inviting it?
I am pondering and there are only two options:
1- Taking this opportunity to be freed of the EU anchor;
2- Taking this opportunity to prevent the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, and over this boosting anti-EU and anti-American opinions.
If we are going to be a democratic country, as the prime minister said, then what good is this stance in reaching this goal?
Where will Turkey stand, with the democratic West or the Shanghai Five, all members of which are ruled by autocrats?