Cry wolf

This is an article published in the last issue of the Ovi magazineOvi lehti

Just before Finland took over as president member of the EU and start a critical period for Turkish membership to the EU, the Turkish prime minister Mr. Erdogan took the chance of a long meeting in the European Parliament in Strasburg to give a long speech with the theme ‘freedom of speech and religion freedom’ that should be noticeable from the current European members on how Turkey is planning to deal with membership.

Mr. Erdogan appeared as the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic world and representative of them emphasizing that Islam-phobia should be considered a crime against humanity just like anti-Semitism. Nobody would disagree with that, but he might want to give some thought about the two missing elements.

Firstly, anti-Semitism and the genocide of the Jewish people from the Nazis must ring a bell with Mr. Erdogan because Turkey did exactly the same with the Armenian people. Therefore the first thing Turkey has to do is to apologize publicly to the Armenians for what they suffered under the Turks, then he must apologize to the Greeks, the Cypriots and all the Christians for what Turkey did to them and finally Turkey must stop the genocide against the Kurds.

The second element is the best friend and ally of Turkey, also known as the other Islamic ruthless dictatorship, Iran. Iran not only recognizes Israel but constantly threatens and wishes the total destruction of Israel. You see Mr. Erdogan, before you start giving advice you must check what’s going on in your own house and Mr. Erdogan’s house at the moment smells of hate and death.

Mr. Erdogan and Turkey’s foreign policy has often used the card of the Islamic country and its major role into the Islamic world that lately it sounds just like the old story about the boy who cried wolf. Europe has always been sensitive to political, racial and religious differences, just look at the thousands of people from all around the world who have found protection in Europe over the last two centuries.

During the race problems in USA or all through the MacArthur period in the USA, people found protection in Europe. The almighty Islamic leader Ayatollah Homeini was sheltered in France for over a decade to become the worst enemy of anything European after his return in Teheran.

How often have Turks escaped to European countries asking for asylum and protection, and how often have cases of torture and discrimination committed by Turkey appeared in the European court? The answer is more often than ever should be for a candidate member country.

Mr. Erdogan and Turkey have often played with Europe’s fears that we will be called racist, but since when has a country guilty in every form of discrimination and racism became the judge of others. Turkey is so far away from judging that the discrimination against Kurds, for example, is even part of their constitution. Even Mr. Erdogan himself has used the European Court against Turkey in the past for discrimination.

Continuing, Mr. Erdogan remembered the story of the Mohammed cartoons emphasizing that “all freedoms have a limit”, but oddly enough the reason Mr. Erdogan had problems with the law in Turkey was because he was not allowed to practice his religion freely. What limits should freedom have?

In Turkey, Kurds have no right to speak or write their language, practice religion or their traditions, so in the end they have no right to breathe or say that they are of Kurdish origin. Actually, if the Turkish state could, they would have written international history all over again. Is this how they understand freedom of speech? My way or the midnight express?

Turkey keeps using methods of the old Ottoman Empire, bargain and disorientate, trying to manipulate Europe instead of focusing on their problems and have found Islam as their best hand to play. The idea of a three-piece Turkey is back on the table and has started to be mentioned again. The Kurdish part united with the Iraq’s Kurds and the Iranians as an independent country, then Anatolia and last the European part with Istanbul as capital joining the EU.

If Turkey and Mr. Erdogan want to have a future in Europe they must do something and fast, forgetting all the excuses because alike the little shepherd one day Turkey will cry wolf and nobody will go.

By Thanos Kalamidas

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