As the July 22 general elections draw ever closer, political groups in the European Parliament (EP) are assessing the different outcome scenarios of the election and the likely fallout. The Greens of the EP, who strongly support Turkey’s bid for European Union membership, believe a coalition between the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would be disastrous in several ways.
In a briefing paper to the group seen by Today’s Zaman, the Greens argue that the worst possible outcome of the polls would be a CHP-MHP coalition, although it is underlined that many pundits see it unlikely. “In such an event, the political crisis would be total for a longer time span, not just in Turkey but also in relations with the EU,” says the briefing paper.
Dubbing the CHP a “state party,” the paper strongly criticizes its stance vis-à-vis Turkey’s fundamental problems. On the Kurdish issue, the CHP is accused of being under the control of the military. “Under the leadership of the military, the nationalists, the CHP and sections of the left see any demand, even merely to use the Kurdish language, as a first step towards separatism and making concessions to terror,” says the paper, while labeling the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), liberals and some leftist groups as the parties representing viable alternatives.
The paper criticizes the AK Party as well, on the grounds that it did not make itself clear in terms of its stance on Turkey’s secularism. “The AK Party, which unexpectedly came to shoulder governmental responsibility, had and still has a well-founded criticism of Turkey’s authoritarian secular system yet failed to develop any ideas on how it might be reformed once in power”.
The Greens underline that they are not happy with the EU approach towards Turkey’s accession process. “The EU now plays virtually no role in the ongoing election campaign. Or if it does, it is a purely negative role. The election of Sarkozy in France has merely reinforced this mood. It is virtually impossible to get optimistic views about the EU across since any comment made by European politicians, however well-intentioned, are invariably misinterpreted. Consequently, virtually all European politicians in favor of Turkish integration are staying well out of the election campaign: Hence the field is left almost entirely clear for opponents of Turkish membership whether in Turkey or EU,” says the paper.
SELÇUK GÜLTAŞLI, BRUSSEL.