Murat Çakır, a writer and independent researcher on international relations, shared his views with the Mesopotamia Agency on the EU-Turkey relations, the current approach of the European states towards the Kurds in Europe and the possible outcomes of the upcoming EU summit to be held in June.
The European Union (EU) imposed further sanctions against Turkey over its activities in the eastern Mediterranean in December 2020, and decided to postpone further actions until the June meeting after consultations with the US administration.
A marked a new phase of discussions were marked following the recent visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel to Ankara for the talks with Turkish President Erdoğan.
No matter how many new pages have been opened in the history of the relations of EU and Turkey, somethings have never changed, according to Murat Çakır as he observed that Turkey’s rulling elites and the EU capitalists have joint interests.
“Their interests overlap in many areas. For this reason, their cooperation continues based on mutual dependency, albeit in different forms. It likewise bears similarity in US-Turkey relations. Because Turkey is required in terms of Europe, and the United States as the centre of energy lines and a ‘gateway’ to the Middle East and particularly of vital importance as a buffer zone to prevent migrants travelling to Europe,” Çakır said.
“This truth will not change, even if the ruling power changes. So it is not a question regarding the interest of the oppressed and exploited classes living in Turkey. Therefore, the dicussion that escalated between the EU and Turkey should not be evaluated in this manner. In fact, EU top representatives visit to Turkey has declared that they offer their support to Turkey. The recent meeting can be distinguished within this scope.”
‘Joint struggle with Kurdish freedom movement’
Regarding EU’s role in the democratisation of Turkey, Çakır said that EU’s policies may accelerate such a process, but can never be the “final determinant”.
”If the democratisation of Turkey is ever achieved, ” Çakır further noted, “this will be with the effort of oppressed and exploited class in Turkey. I think it will be a result of a joint struggle of revolutionary organisations and the struggle of the Kurdish freedom movement. I believe the most important effort to build this common struggle along with different areas of resistance side by side,” he noted.
What would happen in the next summit in June?
The visit of Michel and Leyen “is aimed at preventing refugees from reaching Europe” Çakır argued. “In this framework, the real decision will be made at the EU summit to be held in 19-20 June.”
Çakır shared his view that “EU’s sanction discourse towards Turkey will not go beyond rhetoric and symbolic policies. The possible outcome of the summit in June should be expected within this regard. Some critical voices may be raised during the summit against Turkey regarding the rule of law, democracy, human rights, and the discrimination of minorities, but there will be nothing more than symbolic retouching on these issues at the EU leaders’ summit. I think economic and militaristic strategy between the EU and Turkey will deepen.”
‘Germany may increase pressure on Kurds’
Relations with Turkey has a direct impact on the EU states’ attitude towards the Kurds in Europe, according to Çakır.
“Increasing pressures against the Kurds, aggressive attitude towards Rojava, and neighboring countries is not only based on Turkey’s foreign policy, but also the European and NATO policies,” he said.
“We already see that in Germany. German courts release arrest warrants targeting Kurdish activists and issue deportation decisions to send them back to Turkey. On this basis, Germany may further increase its pressure against the Kurds. It will take the expected steps in the upcoming period. Turkey’s policies will be supported by the EU,” Çakır said, but added that this support may not continue for too long.
“Europe is also aware of the fact that Erdoğan regime loses public support in Turkey. Therefore, EU countries may as well take a step back on supporting Turkey’s policies in the upcoming period,” he said.