The problem with Europe
Will our problems with Europe grow, or will a decrease to a manageable level be achieved?
If Europe is an “alliance of the crusaders,” then it is an enemy of Turkey well in advance; there is no solution to the issues. Why Europe supported the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) until 2011; that is another matter.
If the Venice Commission and OSCE reports are fictitious texts penned with animosity against Turkey then why the reports of these institutions on Turkey were positive until recently; that is another matter.
If Europe is not considered a “direct enemy or a direct lover,” but is believed that there are certain concrete issues between us; then the solutions can be developed.
A typical issue is the death penalty. Yes, crowds are shouting in support of the death penalty especially for those July 15, 2016, coup attempt putschists. If politicians agree and bring back the capital punishment, then it is definite that bigger problems will erupt in relations with the EU. Are the crowds that demand the death penalty aware of this? Another useful piece of information is that a capital punishment introduced cannot be retroactive. It will be effective for crimes that will be committed after the day it goes into effect.
It cannot be executed on the July 15 murderers; neither the Beşiktaş, Reina, Ankara Train Station and Gaziantep murderers.
Well, what is the “rationale” in creating even bigger problems for Turkey by introducing a capital punishment that will not be retroactive while we are already experiencing serious issues in our foreign policy?
Is it to deter those who plan to carry out terror acts in the future? But, on those years when the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was founded and grew, Turkey had the capital punishment.
Turkey will be able to fight terror more effectively and “increase its friends” not by becoming more of a Middle Eastern country but by becoming a more democratic and lawful state.
Now, let us leave aside the epic/heroic enthusiasm of the crowds and look, from a “logical” point of view, how to act before the Venice Commission and OSCE reports.
The Venice Commission is an institution the AKP rule has consulted to during difficult times, one which it has sought legal support from. It is the judiciary brain of the Council of Europe. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has many statements praising the Venice Commission in the past.
In the OSCE delegation, there were certain people from marginal and communist groups from the PACE. But they did not write the OSCE report. The report is compiled according to the report of several observers in a format that is applied to all countries.
No matter how we blame these reports, the U.S. Department of State said they would wait for the OSCE report. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also urged Turkey to answer questions raised by observers. “The Turkish government must measure itself based on this report and answer the questions raised in it. We will very carefully follow how Turkey deals with reports of possible irregularities,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. Our accusations are only heard by our own selves.
Instead of that, what if experts from the justice and foreign ministries write the factual and academic failures they see in these reports… What if we start taking the steps to raise our inadequate legal and democracy standards? If our statesmen talk these with their European counterparts, wouldn’t it be a more correct stance?
If our relations with the West worsen, we would feel its harms in the future much more severely.