Will Turkey turn away from EU?

Will Turkey turn away from EU?

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 8

By Ahmet Ismukhan – Trend:

Turkish officials’ criticism against the EU has intensified recently. Having analyzed the EU-Turkey relationships, it becomes obvious that relations between the parties significantly worsened starting from 2013 - the Taksim Square demonstrations. Following the Taksim events, the EU blamed Ankara for violation of the principles of democracy in relation to the demonstrators.

But this has not been the only problem in the relationships between the parties. Following the failed coup attempt of July 15, Ankara unofficially accused the western counties (including the US) of supporting the coupists, part of which are now hiding in the EU countries, while Fethullah Gulen is in the US.

Also, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that the EU applies double standards to Turkey regarding the issue of the fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Earlier, President Erdogan appealed to the EU with the statements that Turkey has been held at the door of the full membership to the EU for 50 years. But amid the events taking place in neighboring Syria and Iraq, the Turkish president sharply criticized the EU November 7. President Erdogan said that the West has not done anything good for Turkey.

"What should Turkey expect from the West if the country has been made to wait for the full membership to the EU for 50 years? It is enough to deceive ourselves,” the president said. “We will ourselves solve our problems. Be sure of it.”

During a meeting with ambassadors of European countries in Ankara November 8, Turkey’s Minister for the EU Affairs Omer Celik also stressed that the Turkey-EU relations are going through hard times.

Celik said that the EU should reconsider its position and step aside from double standards in connection with the PKK terrorists. The decision of one of the Belgian judicial authorities not to recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization is a flagrant violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Words of President Erdogan and Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik could be perceived as populist statements, if the opinion that the EU and US are fighting against Turkey in Syria and Iraq has not gained strength in the country.

Even Turkish politicians think that the US did everything in order to ensure that Turkey stands aside of military operations on the liberation of Iraq’s Mosul from the Islamic state (aka IS, ISIL, ISIS, or Daesh) terrorist group.

The reason for this, according to a number of politicians, is closer relations with Russia, which scares so much NATO and other “allies” of Ankara.

Nowadays, Ankara's authorities are well aware of the fact that the West is no longer an important ally for Turkey. In addition, the Turkish political elite also understand that the country can never become a full member of the EU.

Thus, one can say that Turkey’s entire Western-oriented policy is doomed to failure. However, Ankara still has a way out of this situation: closer cooperation with Russia in the economic and political spheres.

It is expected that in the coming months Ankara will change its policy towards the EU, and the year 2017 will become the beginning of the end of “friendship” between Turkey and the EU.

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