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Upheaval in Istanbul


It is not often that a country that is so much strategically important yet under-reported as Turkey gives heartburn to politicians in the West yet force them to keep a poker face.

Despite worldwide attention the events in Istanbul got, there have been no drastically critical statement it’s allies. Reasons are simple and understandable.

Erdogan is predictably reactionary and personal to what is said and done related to him and his management of the country. He despises criticism as strongly as he adores appraises. His reaction to what he perceived to unfairness in time allocation result in a walk out in front of world media and political elite. This behavior would be unimaginable to display for any leader of the world including the Great Leader of North Korea. Of course, analysts in the US and UK are well aware of possible reaction they may get from him should they criticize the handling of people in Gezi Park and beyond.

Secondly, everyone is aware that in combination of provincial as well as pious voters, weakness of leadership in Turkish Armed Forces thanks to mass arrests of the General Stuff and strong police force strategically staffed by Gulen followers gives minimal chance for protestors to achieve any of their demands unless Erdogan pleases to do so.

Winds of Cold War with Europe- who are Turks; friends or foes?

The EU ambassadors in Ankara are getting accustomed to having working lunches with Prime minster Erdogan, enjoying fine Turkish cuisine, where Mr Erdogan openly and with much politically correctness slams the Union’s activities related to Turkish Republic. Latest one of these lunches took place yesterday, where Erdogan bluntly put in simple terms for the EU ambassadors when he said “the time to question Turkeys European membership has passed”. Despite his infamously fierce bluntness, Erdogan has a point there. Turkey is on accession process since the decision was made to do so in 2005. No other country’s accession process has ever end in failure. And, the Turkish one should not either. But then again, we do not live in a perfect world (Europe).

Furthermore, with the help of the Greek Cypriot lobby,  European Parliament may successfully have passed  the annual Turkey report on Wednesday urging Turkey to be constructive in Island’s unification effort, and calling immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from the North. Nevertheless, this unfortunate report, ignoring the  Turkish support for the unification talks for last five years, was naturally not welcomed in Ankara in either sides of the spectrum of politics. As a matter of fact, it was interpreted as an insult in Turkish capital who, in turn of supporting the unification, lost political grounds domestically. Initiated by the “influenced” European Parliament, this report was a slap on face to the pro-unification circles in Turkey, almost a direct attempt sabotage to the unification efforts of Turks. as another puzzling act of failure by the Union. At this point, one has to question if the Union is really interested in unifying the island divided between two distinct group of people for last thirty six years, or dividing it forever, at the cost of  peace in Southern Europe. I appears that Greek Cypriots are relentlessly working on a self-fulling prophecy of political failure in long run taking Turkey down with themselves.

At the end, one day, when ever it may be and that day may be very soon, Turkish officials, suspecting an open discrimination to Turkey’s membership endeavor for years, will eventually  start accepting the fact that the Union has drawn its physiological borders to include the Christian countries only, leaving their country out in cold after 50 years of defending the continent from Soviets . Yes, this is an acceptable scenario to many, including some Turks, who only wait for an open “No” from the Union in order to end their adventure into this institution of Christianity. However, neither the Union as a institution, nor the majority of leaders of the sovereign EU nations have morals to say “No” to Turkey on cultural and religious grounds.  After all, just 60 years ago, millions were murdered in Europe just for being culturally and religiously different. As a result, the European capitals, and the European Parliament in coordination with Greek Cypriots are trying their best to find an alternative excuse to exclude Turkey from the membership; may it be a minor incident of human rights abuse (as we all know that the rights of minorities in the EU is perfectly protected), or occupation of Cyprus.  In fact, soon,  if Turk farts on the  street of Istanbul without saying “excuse me”, it will be used as a possible reason to disqualify the nation state of 70 million with an incredible appetite for service and industrial economical growth.

This ever growing European short-sightness has been brought to attention by many in the Financial Times to the Economist editorials in various occasions. Yet, it is really hard to get into the minds of euro-racists who hard wired themselves into the Union’s institutions to do the right thing.

It took a horrible civil war to mature the United States to be a true integrated nation state. We hope that the road to maturity will be less bloody and more civil for the Union.

PA for NT