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ANKARA: Absorption

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  • ANKARA: Absorption

    By Husnu Mahalli (Aksam)

    Turkish Press
    Oct 11 2005

    Press Review

    Columnist Husnu Mahalli comments on relations between Turkey
    and the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:
    "If Europeans can absorb Turkey and Turks, they will make Turkey
    a European Union member. However, those who talk about Europe and
    Europeans absorbing Turkey and Turks don't talk about Turkey in
    turn absorbing Europeans. For example, what about European countries'
    hypocrisy and double standards? Let's consider the Cyprus issue. The EU
    previously prodded Turkey and Turkish Cypriots and last year claimed
    that it would do what was necessary, but did it really do this? The
    Greek Cypriots who rejected United Nations Secretary-General Kofi
    Annan's plan in the April 2004 referendum were made EU members and
    the Turkish Cypriots who accepted it were left in the cold. What's
    more, the EU then started to put pressure on Turkey and asked it to
    recognize Greek Cyprus. It stated in the negotiating framework that
    recognizing Greek Cyprus or opening our ports and harbors initially
    was a precondition for continuing of the membership process.

    Now, let's talk about the Armenian issue. The European Parliament
    called on Turkey to recognize the so-called Armenian genocide and said
    that otherwise this issue would influence the process of membership. It
    should be remembered that when our membership talks end, our possible
    EU membership will face a vote in the European Parliament. Therefore,
    I attach great importance to the European Parliament's voting on the
    issue of genocide.

    I wonder if Turkey, which previously absorbed the EU's hypocrisy
    concerning the Cyprus issue, will be able to absorb its stance on the
    Armenian issue. What's more, the same Europe condoned the Armenian
    ASALA terrorist group killing nearly 40 Turkish diplomats in the early
    1980s. These diplomats were killed in Paris, Brussels, Athens, Geneva,
    Madrid, Vienna and other major EU capitals. If I'm not mistaken, none
    of these murderers have been caught. Such a Europe forgot its own
    guilt by association and now it wants Turkey to recognize the genocide.

    The most important issue is that the EU is leaving the countries free
    to choose the method they will choose for making Turkey an EU member.

    As part of this, countries will vote on the agreement concerning Turkey
    in their parliaments or bring it to referendums. Right now there
    are 25 EU members. If we add in Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, that
    makes 28. Now I wonder how many of these 28 parliaments will accept
    Turkey's membership. Let's not forget that if even one turns us down,
    Turkey won't get in the EU. The same holds for the referendums. All
    the publics of EU member states have always said in polls that they're
    against Turkey's EU membership and everybody has their own grounds
    for this. Austrians can't forget the Siege of Vienna and the Greeks
    still remember the conquest of Istanbul.

    However, all of Europe remembers the Ottoman Empire. If you consider
    economic and political interests and calculations, you can see how
    difficult the situation is. So we can see at least 25 parliaments of
    EU countries among the 28 member states would certainly reject our
    EU membership."