Turkey: Time to say goodbye to EU

By: Rufiz Hafizoglu

The foreign and domestic policies of Turkey have changed dramatically with the coming of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power in Turkey.

Although the opposition forces in Turkey (nationalist and conservative Islamist) didn’t very highly value AKP’s successes, eventually they had to put up with the party’s victory.

After strengthening in power, the AKP made policy changes, which were differently valued in Turkish society, and this strengthened the Turkish society’s polarization.

There is no doubt that the AKP had conducted many reforms for Turkey to become a full member of the EU.

Since the start of official negotiations in 2005, until now Ankara has conducted 160 reforms.

But Turkey’s accession to the EU has been always postponed.

The EU has repeatedly stated that the main reasons for this are the Kurdish problem, Turkey’s non-compliance with the demand to open its border with Armenia, and its non-recognition of the “Armenian genocide”.

But despite this, Ankara continued carrying out reforms.

It was believed that in spite of all the obstacles of the EU, Ankara’s reforms in different areas are aimed at making the country a full member of the EU.

Although the reforms continued and Europe extended negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU, the Turkish authorities made it clear that EU membership has lost significance for Ankara.

“If the EU decides not to accept Turkey, this will not cause the country’s concern,” Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkır said. “This statement shows that Ankara has not been interested in joining the EU for a long time.”

Moreover, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus made a statement December 21 testifying to the revival of ambitions of the Ottoman Empire.

“Turkey has woken up from a 150-year sleep,” Kurtulmus said. “The collapse of the Ottoman Empire is associated with the loss of ambitions and culture, rather than with loss of territory.”

“Turkey has woken up from a deep sleep and it will revive its culture and power,” Kurtulmus said.

The Turkish authorities are well aware that no matter how Ankara would try to become an EU full member, these efforts will not bring significant results.

The reason is that even if Turkey fulfills all obligations, the EU will call it for recognizing the so-called “Armenian genocide”, which is the red line for Ankara.

Taking into account that the Armenian lobby intends to mark the anniversary of the so-called “Armenian genocide” in 2015, which is a long-standing lie, and that the West will use this against Turkey, one can say that Turkey’s relations with the EU will be greatly changed.