World View: Turkey Furious at EU Parliament’s Vote to End Accession Talks

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a group of farmers, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. Erdogan has suggested holding a referendum on the future of Turkey's European Union membership bid amid worsening ties with the union.(Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Presidential Press Service, Pool photo via AP)
Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Presidential Press Service, Pool photo via AP

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Terrorist car bomb in southern Turkey kills two
  • Turkey furious at EU parliament’s vote to end accession talks

Terrorist car bomb in southern Turkey kills two

Aftermath of Thursday's car bombing in Adana in southern Turkey (AFP)
Aftermath of Thursday’s car bombing in Adana in southern Turkey (AFP)

A terrorist car bomb attack on Thursday on a government building in the city of Adana in southern Turkey killed at least two people and wounded dozens of others. The bomber fled in another vehicle, but was captured after police opened fire on the vehicle.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Turkey has suffered numerous terrorist attacks in the last year, perpetrated either by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is recognized as a terror group by Turkey, the US and the EU or by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

Turkey responded with air force warplanes that destroyed a number of PKK targets in southeastern Diyarbakir province in Turkey, the PKK stronghold. Turkey’s military said that six PKK members were killed, and that Turkish soldiers seized weapons and explosive substances in a warehouse following the airstrikes.

In addition to being targeted by numerous terror attacks, Turkey was targeted by an attempted army coup with tanks and jet fighters on July 15 that left 246 people dead and more than 2,000 wounded.

The seeming endless bombings and other attacks on Turkey have increased nationalist feelings and increased the popularity of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Daily Sabah (Ankara) and Middle East Eye and AP

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Turkey furious at EU parliament’s vote to end accession talks

The European Union parliament on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to call for an end to EU’s talks with Turkey to join the EU. The vote is non-binding, and may be ignored by the people in Brussels who are negotiating with Turkey.

Despite the symbolic nature of the vote, it has infuriated Turkish officials and people, who see a European Union not only unsympathetic to the coup attempt and repeated bloody terrorist attacks – all of which they believe would be completely intolerable to Europeans if the same things occurred on EU soil – but as even more sympathetic to the coup plotters and terrorists than to Turkey.

Despite the coup attempt and terrorist violence in Turkey, many Europeans have been appalled at the massive purge that Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pursuing – arresting around 150 journalists, detaining more than 2,300 judges and prosecutors, suspending or dismissing almost 130,000 public employees, and arresting Kurdish members of parliament, accusing them of supporting the PKK. And many people point to the fact that Erdogan shut down the country’s largest news organization, Zaman Media, months before the coup attempt.

There has always been a fairly high level of mutual xenophobia between Europeans and Turkey, some of it dating back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. The negotiations for Turkey to join the European Union, which began over ten years ago, have only increased the mutual xenophobia, as the EU made set one condition after another that the Turks considered unreasonable.

Within the last few weeks, Erdogan has suggested that Turkey might reinstate the death penalty, which was lifted in 2003 as one of the EU’s conditions. Reinstating the death penalty would certainly kill any chance of Turkey joining the EU, and Thursday’s symbolic vote by the European parliament may be considered a warning shot.

The EU needs Turkey as an ally for many reasons. One reason is the EU-Turkey refugee deal, which has cut the number of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees entering the EU by around 90%. That deal is now hanging by a thread. Another reason is that the US and Nato need Turkey’s Incirlik air base for air operations in Syria.

Long-time readers are aware that Generational Dynamics predicts that in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, the US will be allied with India, Russia and Iran, while China will be allied with Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim states, including Turkey. This prediction seemed fanciful when I wrote about ten years ago, but we’ve seen it come true step by step. The Barack Obama administration has been cozying up to Iran, and now the Donald Trump administration appears poised to cozy up to Russia. In the meantime, countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which used to be close allies, have become increasingly distant from and hostile to the US. So the trend lines continue to move in the direction of the ten-year-old prediction. Daily Sabah (Ankara) and VOA and Daily Sabah and Russia Today and Daily Sabah

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Adana, Diyarbakir, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, European Union, Incirlik air base
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