PPJ – 21 December 2017
Marc Pierini who is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on developments in the Middle East and Turkey from a European perspective, in his article on 18 December 2017, has discussed the position of Turkey toward the West in the light of the developments since 2013 and has mentioned the significant recommendations for the Europeans.
Having served as an EU ambassador and head of delegation to Turkey between 2006-2011, Pierini has asserted ” From a quasi-model of economic success and democratic improvement ten years ago, Turkey has now adopted an uncomfortable posture that combines a recurrent display of hostility toward the West and forging shaky alliances with historically distant countries, such as Russia and Iran. Yet, the European and Western orientation of Turkey is still part of Ankara’s official narrative. This bipolar character may become a permanent feature; Europeans therefore need to learn how to handle Ankara’s roguishness and unpredictability while supporting Turkey’s liberal democrats for the long haul.” in his article.
From the Gezi Protests to the ‘Infiltrated US judiciary’
In the article it is underlined the conspiracy teories and enemies, particularly foreign, fabricated by Turkey as excuses for derailing the West block: “Each of Turkey’s woes had a foreign enemy at its roots: in June 2013, it was a “bank lobby,” an airline, and liberal civil society that were responsible for widespread anti-government demonstrations; in December 2013 and July 2016, members of a sect that was once the main political ally of the ruling AKP were to blame; in March 2017, the media, international NGOs, and “Nazi remnants” in Europe were targeted to shore up government support during a constitutional referendum campaign; now, it is an “infiltrated” U.S. judiciary and traitors from within, allied with spies from abroad, that has led to American charges against prominent Turkish businessmen over dealings with Iran.”
Pierini has also noticed the massive purge after coup attempt in 2016 referring “gift from God” the well-known expression of President Erdogan. In addition, references to Zarrab case which has been popular agenda in Turkey for some time and Russian interactions with Turkey recently have also attracted attention.
For the real democrats in Turkey
In substance, describing Turkey with her recent stances against the West as ‘dual Turkey’, Pierini has had remarkable advice for the EU. ” Beyond today’s politics, a “dual Turkey” should also be viewed with a long-term perspective. The key issue for the Western world is whether, in 15 to 20 years, a post-Erdoğan Turkey will be able to return to a decent rule of law architecture and functioning democracy… the EU should firmly stay the course and remain—in words and in deeds—an anchor for Turkish democrats.”