GKHAN – Why doesn’t ErdoIan care about the EU?

Why doesn’t ErdoIan care about the EU?It is a fact: President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan does not care about the EUand#39s reaction to what he is doing in Turkey. This has been a fact for some time.

For years, Turkey has not taken any progressive steps on human rights or democracy. Worse, the government has done its best to recall frightening anti-democratic patterns from the deep and dark periods of Turkish history.

Today, Turkey is among the countries with the most anti-democratic (and also anti-EU) penal codes, press codes, etc., in the world.

So, how is it that ErdoIan does not care about a possible EU reaction? This important question has two simple answers:First, President ErdoIan and his team are convinced that the EU will not react. They base this on what has happened in the last five years.

For some reason — because the West needs Turkey, or because the West has certain economic concerns in Turkey — President ErdoIan and his team believe there will be no harsh reaction from the EU towards them In other words, they assume all the EU will do is andldquojust talk and talk.andrdquo In other words, ErdoIanand#39s calculation presumes that the EU is not likely to come up with a concrete strategy.

That is also why he is able to criticize EU institutions in the domestic context in a very unusual manner Convinced that no EU reaction awaits him, he slams the EU and even humiliates it in public meetings. Forget the EUand#39s reaction! The EUand#39s silence on Turkey helps ErdoIan maintain the pose of a leader who is punishing the EU.

Somehow, ErdoIanand#39s reading is sound. In the late and#3990s, the EU representatives in Turkey were well-known figures.

They used to have leverage, even on the broader Turkish society. How about today? No one even knows their names.

It is not only ErdoIan a large group of pro-EU intellectuals now also believe the EU factor is becoming hopeless.Second, President ErdoIan and his team have no alternative.

They have lost all reliable links with the West. But even this is not enough.

Things will become more dramatic. ErdoIan knows very well that the chances of repairing the damage done to relations between the EU and Turkey are very low.

The Western public (including the US and even some Asian states) knows the ErdoIan regime has dirty ties with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-like organizations. ErdoIan has become the symbol of a new authoritarianism among elites and decision-makers.

ErdoIan is smart enough to realize that this setting is worsening. Most likely, he believes that the West is lost.

Today, at a high level of politics, a small strategic commonality remains between andldquoTurkey and the West.andrdquo Realizing this, ErdoIan cannot base his strategy on the EU.

In other words, choosing a harsh anti-EU strategy is inevitable for ErdoIan as he believes that rapprochement with the West is very unlikely.Then comes the deep misreading by Turkish Islamism Since the beginning, Islamism has been critical of the West, preferring instead close contact with the Muslim world.

But these days, is this a plausible way of thinking?No, it is not, for there is no East that is hungry for Turkey. Many Muslim states are critical of ErdoIanand#39s regime.

There is a critical approach to ErdoIan, even among members of the Muslim Brotherhood. A growing Middle Eastern public now believes that ErdoIanand#39s policies have contributed to the worsening of the regional situation.

Thus, Turkeyand#39s Islamists are heading into another illusion about the Muslim world. What they are doing in Turkey is also weakening their prestige in the Muslim world.

Islamism is a strong intellectual tradition. But among many of its problems is its failure to grasp the inner connection between foreign policy and domestic politics.

Islamists should understand that they cannot translate Islamism into the global system Iran, even under the leadership of President Hassan Rohani, is proof of this.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman