In the month that has passed since the people of Turkey suffered a horrifically violent attack on their democracy during the failed military coup of July 15, the response from the European Union has been, at best, tepid, and at worst, disdainful toward the values that this political alliance claims to support. Writing in Politico, Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin emphasizes that Brussels must wake up to the reality of the threat Turkey is facing from the organization of Fethullah Gülen, and show stronger support to the democratically elected government to continue to move forward and secure the country’s national security.
From the article:
People from diverse political backgrounds agree that we must take all necessary steps to prevent the Gülenists or any other group from infiltrating the country’s bureaucracy. The removal of known Gülenists from state institutions isn’t very different from the Einigungsvertrag process, in which about half a million East German state employees were sacked or suspended during the German reunification over their links to the old regime, but EU officials haven’t been supportive of the Turkish effort.
Many Turks, including advocates of EU membership, have been deeply disappointed in Brussels — which appears to have forgotten that Europe cannot be safe if Turkey is insecure. (…)
The EU’s reputation as an advocate of democracy, human rights and the rule of law is on the line. By giving Turkey the cold shoulder, Brussels not only alienates a major ally; it also betrays its values and principles.
Brussels should reverse this course and show greater sympathy to the brave Turkish people who stood up to tanks and F16s in their defense of democracy and freedom. EU officials need to understand that the actions being taken against the coup plotters are in proportion to the severity of events.
In addition to visiting Turkey to show solidarity with its people and democratically elected officials, European heads of state should cooperate and communicate more closely with Turkish officials before making public statements that are not always true. And they must do their homework and recognize the destruction the Gülenists have caused.