Tag Archives: EU

“There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey”

Turkish FlagTurkish President Abdullah Gul approves controversial Internet censorship law as an EU delegation to Ankara states that “There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey”.

Hurriyet has a piece today on the EU getting fed up with Turkey and Turkey’s attitude towards European values of freedom, freedom from censorship, freedom of information etc.

Amongst other things an EU delegation to Ankara has said (in regards to opening new chapters for Turkey’s EU accession bid)…
“That could happen in a normal-functioning negotiation process, but after witnessing the Turkish government’s move with regard to the HSYK Law, there is not much appetite left for such gestures,” the diplomat said. “There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey.”

The list of things that are happening and have happened in Turkey over just the last year are surely enough for any genuine appetite for Turkey to join the EU to be over.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has now approved the controversial Internet laws that allow sites to be blocked immediately without the need for a court order that was earlier passed in parliament following a fight by MPs.

Other major factors are the new judiciary rules, limiting their power and giving more power to the government, a serious attack on democracy in the country.

These moves by the AKP government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan come after members of his government and their family members where investigated for corruption in which 4.5 million dollars where found in shoe boxes at the house of former Halkbank general manager, Halkbank is state-run.
The government responded by sacking and relocating over 5,000 police officers and investigators in a great purge.

What now does the future hold for Turkey? Will it now as many Turkish secularists think, turn towards an Islamic Republic like Iran? An alliance with Russia? Upcoming elections could be interesting but no doubt they will actually lead to another AKP victory.

EU patience with Turkey running out

Turkish corrupt flagIt often seems like the European Unions patience with Turkey will go on forever, tolerating the blatant lack of democracy, human rights abuses, the illegal occupation of Cyprus and support of Islamic dictators.

So much to the delight of many both inside and outside of Turkey the EU has finally been more direct with its criticisms of Turkey and its leader Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his interference in the current high-level corruption probe griping the country.

Ankara Dec 2013

Ankara Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

“The latest developments, including the sacking of police chiefs and the instructions to police to inform authorities on investigations, raise serious concerns as regards the independence, efficiency and impartiality of the investigations and the separation of powers,” said a spokesman for Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement.

More of this from Hurriyet click here.

The Telegraph furthers this by also saying about the ongoing protests and riots on the streets of Turkey’s main cities.

From the Telegraph:

Mr Erdogan has sacked around 1000 police officers who were helping to carry out a bribery inquiry that engulfed the upper echelons of his party last week.

Other officers have now been ordered to brief government officials on the progress of the corruption probe, which critics say will allow suspects to be tipped off in advance.

While the prime minister claims that the probe is part of a politically-motivated smear campaign, the inquiry has already led to a repeat of the anti-government rallies that took place earlier in the summer.

On Monday, the European Union warned Mr Erdogan that he was in direct breach of EU rules safeguarding the independence of the judiciary, which is also a key condition for Turkey’s EU membership bid.

Turkey; Things go from bad to worse

Turkish corrupt flagFollowing on from the corruption raids yesterday that saw prominent people and family of ministers arrested the obvious corruption continues as the police chiefs (5 of them) that oversaw the raids have been fired.

Yes that’s right, corruption in Turkey was exposed and those who exposed it lost their jobs in true farcical manner.

The arrest count has since gone up with the latest reports said to be up to 84 people.

In a continuation from that story 4.5 million dollars was found in shoe boxes in the home of the arrested Halkbank manager.

Istanbul’s historical region mayor Mustafa Demir has been accused of putting money people peoples safety in allowing construction projects to go ahead and turning a blind-eye to dodgy developers in exchange for cash.

These are truly chaotic times for Turkey, the AKP, PM Erdogan and its fake democracy.

The European Union (EU) should take note of these goings on and not allow the visa free movement of Turkish citizens within its territory which is expected to happen within 3 years.
Certainly with the huge democratic deficit in Turkey their EU entry application should be put on hold indefinitely.

Turkey continues down the authoritarian path

This time we’re talking about television. Turkey holds an iron fist when it comes to freedom of expression and opinion. Working hard to control exactly what people can and can’t see and hear.

Turkey smoking flower

Smoking replaced by a cartoon flower

Turkey drinking blur

Drinking alcohol replaced by blurred pixels

In Turkey you cannot see someone smoking and drinking on television, smoking is replaced by a cartoon style flower and drinking has been replaced by blurred pixels.
Talking about subjects like sex or religion (amongst other things) is heavily monitored and controlled

Turkish desperate housewives

Umutsuz Ev Kadınları fined $60,000

Today’s papers talk about Turkey’s TV watchdog that has fined the Turkish version of Desperate Housewives $60,000 for sexual innuendo, for a wife saying to her husband that after dinner they will have ‘dessert’. The article can be read here.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons fined £18,427

About this time last year the TV channel that aired a Simpsons episode was fined £18,427 for mocking God. That article can be found here.

Once again these are not the values that Europe stands for and certainly have no place in the European Union.

“Europe’s” worst human rights violators

Council_of_Europe_logo.svgThe European Court of Human Rights  (ECHR) covers all countries in Europe who are members of the Council of Europe, this is currently 47 countries with only 3 “European” countries not signed up which are: Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Vatican City.

Yellow: Founders. Blue: Members.

Yellow: Founders. Blue: Members.

I say “European” because are Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan part of Europe? As with my previous post(s), I wouldn’t say so.

Every year the ECHR produces a report on the number of human rights judgements a countries have had against them.

From 2009 (at least) to 2012 Turkey and Russia have been the worst two violators of human rights. That’s right, the most consistently worst countries in Europe for human rights violations are not even proper European countries.

For Russia this is of less concern perhaps as Russia has no European Unions ambitions (either genuine or otherwise) however with Turkey being the number 1 worst country for human rights violations (in “Europe”) from 1959-2012 with a total 2870 judgements against them should the EU even be considering their application?

Turkey’s lack of democracy is highlighted as most violations from the country are due to the ‘Right to a fair trial’ which the government doesn’t give when people stand up against them (such as journalists).

Turkey has no place being in Europe or the European Union with its fight against secularism and constant disregard for human rights.

The EU; Ukraine and Turkey

EU flagFollowing on from the ‘list of countries with more than 100,000 prisoners as a percentage of their population‘ in which there is one EU candidate country (Turkey) and one ‘Eastern Partnership participant (ENP)’ (and potential EU candidate) (Ukraine).

I won’t go as far as to say that these two countries hold genuine ambitions of joining the European Union but it remains a distinct possibility. With Ukraine the 5th worst in the world and Turkey the 10th it once again highlights both how far these countries have to come and how alien their values are from European ones.

The question once again is, ‘Where does the European border really sit?’ and ‘Should the EU continue strong relations with countries holding opposite values?‘.

European shared values map

Blue: EU. Green: Candidates. Brown: ENP.

Ukraine has been in the news a fair bit lately what with the political tug-of-war the EU and Russia seem to be doing for the loyalty of Ukraine. For those who have been living in cave Ukraine was set to sign a free trade and association agreement with the EU however after pressure from Russia’s Vladimir Putin the agreement has been delayed. The delay has caused much unrest in Ukraine with pro-EU protests getting the capital Kiev.
However with the large prison numbers, many of which can be considered political prisoners (such as the accused former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko) should this be the last connection between the two entities? Sign the trade agreement and that’s it. Until Ukraine can sort itself out and adopt a more democratic approach any further EU/Ukraine agreements should be off limits.

Turkey it seems is forever hitting headlines and tables for all the wrong reasons (many of which I have written about before). Once again Turkey hits the top 10 on the prisoners list, many of which are either journalists or political prisoners. Turkey has such appalling levels of free speech even the mere suggestion of joining the EU should be off limits. Turkey who jails journalists and proponents of free speech and the democratic process, Turkey who treats women as second class citizens and sex objects, Turkey who refuses to recognise the Armenian genocides, Turkey who illegally captured half of Cyprus and the Turkey that is turning away from secularism.

These are not the values and standards of Europe, there is no place within our community for people like you.

Turkish dictatorship continues…

No to Turkey in the EUThe authoritarian rule of Turkey continues, two weeks ago Turkish PM Erdogan criticized mixed-sex university dorms, vowing to put a stop to the ‘tyranny‘. Erdogan told a parliamentary group “We need to intervene” in people’s private lives.

Now the next step is for the Turkish government to ban mixed-sex education.

Sadık Yakut (of the ruling AKP), deputy parliamentary speaker has called for the “big mistake” of mixed-sex education to be corrected.

Where will this end? Segregated buses so boys and girls don’t sit next to each other? Separated girls learning to cook and sew while boys learn trades?

These values that Turkey holds so close, do not belong in Europe. Europe is a place that holds opposite values, values of freedom and liberty. Anyone supporting Turkey’s entry into the EU must not have a problem with authoritarian rule.

While the developed world strides forward, Turkey goes backwards.