‘Null and void’ have become null and void

‘Null and void’ have become null and void

The image is still in my eyes: Everybody was there, journalists, businesspeople, politicians, I’m not kidding, and everybody was dancing madly, as if it were a festival. The chants of “Turkey is proud of you” were loud, everywhere. On Oct. 3, 2005, Turkey was signing the “Negotiating Framework” document with the EU. It is the document that sets the rules of the negotiation process with the EU for full membership. You know the document which is “open-ended,” and starts the process where maybe the grandchildren of our grandchildren may see full membership.

In 2005, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was reformist. The AKP was modern Islam; it was a stability factor. The AKP broke all tutelages. The supposedly intellectuals and the liberals were worn out from clapping. 

In this fake carnival, it was not possible to make yourself heard. If you criticized, then you were labeled as “being in the past.” Actually, there were sound objections to the document, for instance the 10th clause. 
That clause identified, one-by-one, Turkey has to accept, at this accession stage, all decisions, joint actions, common positions, declarations, conclusions and other acts within the framework of the union.  

It is as if those who were criticizing this clause were actually seeing 2015 from 2005. The decisions of the European Parliament (EP) have become binding for Turkey because of this clause. Turkey will be demanded to accept the EP’s decisions on the alleged Armenian genocide and Cyprus.

It was only a prediction but it turned out to be true. The EP made a decision 10 years later on the “Armenian genocide.”

Against the EP’s decision, like in a chorus, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu, all said “null.” It looks sad. They all know, especially EU Minister Volkan Bozkır, who is very well aware of the absurdity of this “null” response. The more you say null and void, the further the EU will push you. You have your signature on the document, you cannot say “no” now; there is no fooling here. 

I just wanted the ears of those who were dancing in 2005 to ring. 

AKP pledges in 2002 

One of the AKP’s three pledges in its 2002 election manifesto was “an end to the bans.” Actors, singers, TV journalists, Tarık Akan, Zuhal Olcay, Mustafa Altıoklar, Cahit Berkay, Sinan Tuzcu, Levent Üzümcü, Şevval Sam, Bülent Emrah Parlak, Efkan Şeşen, Hüseyin Turan, Tayfun Talipoğlu and members of Grup Yorum have made a video clip to commemorate Berkin Elvan, a teenager killed during the Gezi events. The artists are all under investigation for “solicitation.”

Many people have been considered “criminals” because of a tweet they posted, for insulting Erdoğan, or for their “free education” poster; lawyers, artists, journalists, anybody on the street, regardless of profession, or anybody expressing their thoughts are considered to be committing a crime. It has become a country of bans.

The second pledge of the AKP in 2002 was an end to poverty. In 2002, 1 percent of the population got 39.4 percent of the national income. In 2014, 1 percent of the population received 54.3 percent of the national income. The rich have become richer, the poor poorer. 

The third pledge in the AKP’s 2002 election manifesto was an end to corruption. In 12 years, the State Tender Law has been changed 27 times. While open tenders have been decreasing, invitation tenders have doubled. Corruption claims are even included in EU progress reports. 

At that time, it was like this, and now the AKP election pledges on the “resolution process,” for example, fall and get lost on the way to the printing house. No wonder the AKP is criticizing the other parties’ pledges. It already knows that they will not be like its own pledges.