The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Michael Karnitschnig, Head of Cabinet of Johannes Hahn, Hansjörg Haber, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Turkey, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the EC, Christos Stylianides, Member of the EC in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and Stefano Manservisi, Head of Cabinet of Federica Mogherini (seated, from left to right). Date: 24/01/2016,  Location: Ankara. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service   /   Photo: Necati Savaş.

Michael Karnitschnig, Head of Cabinet of Johannes Hahn, Hansjörg Haber, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Turkey, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the EC, Christos Stylianides, Member of the EC in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and Stefano Manservisi, Head of Cabinet of Federica Mogherini (seated, from left to right). Date: 24/01/2016, Location: Ankara. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Necati Savaş.

On 27 April 2015, in relation to the efforts to stem the refugee and immigrant flows to Europe, this newspaper predicted that “Turkey won’t cooperate”. Last Monday this prediction was not only confirmed but the European Union quasi accepted, that so far Turkey has done enough. The relevant passage of the Press release issued by the EU Commission after last Monday’s meeting, in the context of “High-Level Political Dialogue between the EU and Turkey in Ankara”, confirmed that “Turkey exerts outstanding efforts so far to accommodate the more than two and a half million Syrians currently in Turkey”.

As if the hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Iranians, Moroccans, Libyans and other African and Asian refugees and immigrants had never crossed the killing sea waters between Turkey and the Greek islands during the last eight moths. It’s incredible that two EU Commissioners undersigned such a text, actually dignifying the mafia under-world of the Turkish merchants of human lives.

The merchants of human lives

Those scums wouldn’t have been able to smuggle almost one million people to Lesbos and the other Aegean islands without the backing, the encouragement, if not the direct involvement of the Turkish authorities. It’s the same type of collaboration between mafia and the state authorities that smuggles oil from Iraq and Syria into Turkey, thus helping the ISIS murderers.

They signed everything the Turks put on the table

The text of the Ankara EU-Turkey joint statement, as published on Monday 25 January in the above mentioned Press release, was undersigned by both the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ambassador Volkan Bozkır worked together with the Commissioners in the Turkish capital in the context of the High-Level Political Dialogue.

Needless to say that Turkey was rewarded for having done nothing to curtail the refugee and immigrant flow heading through her soil to the European Union. The whole world is witnessing for many months now, this huge and deadly operation of transport of people on floating coffins from the Turkish shores to the Greek islands. Despite that, the two European dignitaries prized the Turks by reassuring them about “creating a new momentum in relations, including through a re-energized accession process”.

The two EU Commissioners rushed then to clarify what this re-energizing meant. They stressed that “Based on the agreement to revitalize the accession process and following the opening of Chapter 17 on Economic and Monetary Policy on 14 December 2015, progress in the preparatory work by the Commission and the European External Action Service towards the opening of further chapters was reviewed”.

Ankara wants more

Ankara however is well known for its rip off bargaining practice. The two Turkish negotiators managed to get for their compatriots a promise for visa free travel to the EU. The relevant passage of the agreement says, “Both sides underscore their commitment to take the necessary steps with a view to completing visa-liberalization for Turkish citizens to the Schengen area by October 2016…”. And this comes at a moment when the Schengen area is under unseen before pressures from the immigration flows through Turkey, which threaten its proper functioning and endurance, if not its existence.

As it turned out, the Turkish politicians were not satisfied by getting all that out of the Europeans. Seemingly, they wanted to disparage the Commissioners, and forced them to avow that Turkey is a paradise of democracy and the rule of law. The EU Commissioners undersigned a paragraph in the text of the joint statement saying that Turkey has “reiterated its determination to continue with the political reform process, including the reforms in the area of the rule of law and fundamental rights”.

Except journalists and academics

Let’s see what the two Turkish officials meant with the above statement. Obviously they alleged that the imprisonment of dozens of journalists, the police raids and the shutting down of newspapers, TV and radio stations and the penal prosecution of 1000 academics, members of the civil society and politicians of the opposition parties, in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s sultanate, all that mean an upgrading of democracy, the strengthening of the rule of law and the thorough safeguarding of the fundamental rights.

It’s is even more appalling, that not a word was uttered by the Europeans about the complete annihilation of entire villages, towns and urban neighborhoods in the southeast of the country. The EU representatives also avoided reminding the Turkish government ministers, that their country hasn’t done anything to honor the agreement the two sides signed during the meeting of the 28 EU leaders with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on 29/11/2015.

The Turks keep forgetting

On that occasion, the two sides had agreed that Turkey will withhold the refugee and immigrant flows on its soil or stop them from crossing the EU borders in return of €3 billion of European citizens’ tax money. Nothing is done towards this direction and the necessary preparatory consultation or works is not even on sight. In total, the two EU Commissioners agreed to everything the Turkish side put on the table.

All in all, it seems that the West and more so Brussels, appear ready to turn a blind eye on Erdoğan’s tyrannical rule in Turkey, in return for Ankara’s collaboration in the forthcoming negotiations with Russia and Iran, about a political settlement in Syria. It appears that the poor Kurds of Syria and Turkey, the democratic institution in Turkey proper, the freedom of speech and the country’s intellectuals will also pay the price for Ankara’s cooperation with the West.

Apparently, the EU is ready to trade on all those platforms, knowing perfectly well that this is a trade of human dignity and lives.

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