Why the EU now dislikes Turkey

The EU is not happy with the results of the Turkish referendum. Some EU politicians argue the campaign was not properly conducted, with irregularities in voting, undue pressures on some voters and one sided media coverage heavily influenced by the government line. Many in the EU believe the changes will be bad for Turkish democracy, giving the President substantial new powers to govern without proper checks from Parliament and the courts.

This response is likely to harden those attitudes in Turkey which think the EU has been playing them along for too many years without allowing them to join the EU as full members. The first EEC/Turkey Association Agreement was signed in 1963. In 1970 the Customs Union was developed with Turkey, and more progress was made with a fuller document in 1992.  The original aim was for Turkey to be a full member of the Customs Union, to be part of many common policies, and to reach freedom of movement with the EU.  In 2013 a worried EU signed a Readmission Agreement with Turkey to get Turkey to take back more people, and on March 18 2016 a wider ranging policy was signed to enlist Turkey’s help in controlling migration across the Med.

The supporters of President Erdogan claim the referendum was fairly fought and conducted with plenty of outside vigilance and interest. They remind the many critics that the 18 changes to the Turkish constitution passed through Parliament with substantial majorities, typically around 340 votes in favour and 140 votes against on an Article by Article basis in a 550 seat Parliament. The changes include an extra 50 MPs, 5 yearly Parliamentary and Presidential elections, and a requirement for impartiality by judges. Parliament can pass a law to  overrule a Presidential decree and can institute a Parliamentary review of the government. Judicial review is also introduced for government actions. The military courts are abolished.

His critics think he will have too much power through appointing and influencing judges, using the powers to rule by decree, and acting as the Leader of his political party. They seem to think he will be able to win a couple of elections easily to stay in government for the next decade. They do not rate the Parliament as an effective check on the new government.

The EU is making a mess of handling its relations with its neighbours to the East. Ukraine is badly split and damaged by civil war. Now Turkey is moving away from the EU’s model of Association. What should the EU now do to make the situation better? What type of relationship is now realistic and desirable?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

57 Comments

  1. Jerry
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    “The EU is making a mess of handling its relations with its neighbours to the East.”

    Only someone just arrived from Mars would think that the UK and USA are not also making a mess of handling its relations with such countries.

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      We did not vote for Teresa May. We voted to leave under the premise Cameron would send a letter the following day. Nine months to send said letter and now we read reports it will take two years to negotiate followed by a transition period. Why? Is this to allow May to follow Cameron’s foot steps to walk away from a bad deal and leave to her successor because she cannot, like Cameron before her, bring herself to lead the U.K. Out of the EU in its entirety? Or to give remainers every chance to change our minds over such a protracted period of time? It is becoming boring JR to witness such slow poor leadership. We did not vote for May or any remain mi inter she has selected. We voted to leave, we should expect a leave minister to fulfil this role and a leave cabinet to do so. At least Turkey had an election unlike May’s appointment and her appointment of her remainer cabinet. She continues EU policy on everything and continues to act as their subservient politico to enact their will over us. Time for change please. One stop wasting our taxes on foreign aid North Korea.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 20, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        @(no) Hope; “We did not vote for Teresa May.”

        “We” do not vote for any PM, we vote for constituency MPs, who are usually party members – we do not have a Presidential style democracy, even if some PM’s of late have tried to puff themselves up as if a President.

        It is quite possible for a party to gain win the majority of seats and thus win the election but for their leader to loose his or her own seat in the process, thus the party leader would not, could not, become the PM.

        “We voted to leave under the premise Cameron would send a letter the following day.”

        Did we, you might have but did the person in front of you or behind you do that, in fact did anyone, even you, considering that no timetable was mentioned on the ballot paper nor were specific timetables mentioned in any manifesto as I recall, not even UKIP’s (although I will stand corrected if you care to cite the relevant part).

      • hefner
        Posted April 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Yeah right, the whole of 20p per UK head goes in aid to North Korea. This is simply disgusting. Think of everything we could do for the NHS with this 20p.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 23, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

        @Hope; Let me try again as my other comment has been held back, we do not have a Presidential style government, we do not “elect” a PM, we elect a government, usually the party that has a majority of the MPs.

        • Hope
          Posted April 23, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          You completely missed the point. We did not vote for May. Cameron stated quite clearly he would enact the wish if the public and send the letter the following day. He also claimed he would not resign. You are wrong on all your points, but what is new!

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but then the EU generally does make a mess of almost everthing it touches.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Not as badly as Donald Trump (although he’s now doing better having dumped Steve Bannon and co to a degree).

      What about China’s disastrous connection with N Korea?

      Looks like the EU isn’t the only one who cocks things up. But if we turn our backs on everyone who cocks things up, we won’t have many friends abroad – which we need both for trade and security.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      So socialist May has called an election just as I expected, this despite her many denials (well no one expects the truth from politicians). Though I did think she would wait until she had a rather better ruse than she has now. Anoyingly I had not got round to betting on an early election.

      Hopefully her lefty luncacy was just for electoral reasons and post the election she will turn into a real Conservative. I do rather doubt it though, I think she is genetically a misguided lefty. Still clearly far preferable to the dire alternatives. Odds are 1/10 on so dire are the alternatives. At least we will hopefully be rid of Osborne and Ken Clark! Actually being lefty for electoral reasons does not work as Cameron showed. People want jobs, lower taxes, freedom, efficient but smaller government, democracy restored, selsective immigration and cheap energy.

      That is what to offer them in the manifesto and stick to it post the election for once.

      She has however made the right decision here, she will be not be a popular as she is now again. Especially if she sticks with her daft socialist economic agenda. Hopefully we will get a sensible manifesto and new chancellor post the election too (a Conservative hopefully). A manifesto promising smaller government, lower taxes, better public services, far less government waste, cheap energy, freedom, deragulation, sound money and growth!

      Perhaps even promising to actually keep Osborne’s (£1M each) IHT threshold properly at long, long last.

  3. Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    In Spinelli Bertelsmann’s Fundamental Law of the EU, the UK and Turkey were seen as potential Associate Members. What this meant was not discussed.
    The Customs Union is not really important. As far as trade is concerned, what matters is REACH. Once we are outside the scope of REACH, then trading more or less comes to an end. Turkey is currently outside REACH. We will be on 29th March 2019.

    Reply What complete nonsense! Are you suggesting the day we leave all the Mercedes and Audi dealerships close for lack of new stock?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      We run a £70bn trade deficit with the EU – mainly to French, German and Italian workers. Then they want us to pay a hefty departure fee too.

      Many Europeans are tied to London in the amount they have paid for properties there.

      If Britain (particularly London) goes off a cliff edge then imagine the domino effect – if they were worried about the PIGS going belly up they ain’t seen nothing yet.

      ‘Too big to be allowed to fail’ springs to mind here.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard; Not sure that the USA, nor China are in REACH, do they not trade with the EU27? As our host said in reply!

      • Jerry
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Sorry… As our host said in reply, nonsense!

    • zorro
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Is every country outside of the EU/EEA out of REACH (whatever that means)? Well how come these countries on average are trading and growing significantly more than EU countries and why is the UK’s share of trade increasing with those countries allegedly outside of REACH??? I am sorry but I do not see the sense in this argument. It is almost to say that there is no life/economic life outside of the EU. I can assure that there is life….

      zorro

      • APL
        Posted April 20, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        zorro: “Is every country outside of the EU/EEA out of REACH ..”

        Yes. So far as I understand. The REACH regulatory regime is European Union wide. It doesn’t apply to countries outside the EU*.

        Such countries would need to put in place the customs posts and have the capacity to inspect the volume of trade traffic between their countries.

        They may be governed by bilateral trade agreements that a third country has agreed with the EU.

        But of course that won’t apply to the EU as we will have left the cartel.

    • sm
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Mike – you say ‘once outside the scope of REACH, trading more or less comes to an end. Turkey is currently outside REACH’.

      So how comes that the UK has been able to import, for instance, so many Turkish-manufactured white goods over recent years?

      • APL
        Posted April 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        SM: “So how comes that the UK has been able to import, for instance, so many Turkish-manufactured .. ”

        Perhaps the EU has a bilateral trade agreement with Turkey, given that Turkey was a candidate for membership, there is a chance that Turkey was a favoured trading partner – working to ward convergence with the Borg.

        The point is, once we leave the EU, we will be outside the scope of the EU REACH regulations ( good ) but as we will no longer have a REACH delegated authority in the UK, any goods destined for the EU from the UK will potentially be subjected to customs scrutiny at the port of entry into the EU.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Mike – So you are saying that Turkey does no trade at all with the EU because it is outside REACH ? In fact Turkey is the EU’s 4th largest export market and 5th largest providers of imports. It probably would be best for you to do a bit of background reading before embarrassing yourself further here.

    • Mick Bolingbroke
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Mr Stallard is making the point that on 29th March 2019 the status of existing REACH registrations will cease and new registration with the European Chemicals Agency will have to be granted, and trading cannot recommence until new registrations have been granted, which may take some time.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Not so.
        Recertification process is relatively easy once you are originally registered.

        • APL
          Posted April 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Edward2: “Recertification process is relatively easy once you are originally registered.”

          1. Would you provide a link?

          2. Certification and recertification conformance with REACH is conferred by the EU on deligated authorities in the EU.

          Since we’ll be out of the EU on 29th March 2019 there will be no such authority to confer REACH conformance on goods exported from the UK to the EU.

    • lojolondon
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Mike, there are 160 countries in the world that are not members of the EU, and they manage very well indeed. In fact, since the EU has been in existence it has shrunk from 35% of world GDP to about 25%, with no sign of a turnaround. Also, not sure if you know what the ‘trade deficit’ is, or the implication for future trade to our respective economies? Time to brush up on the facts.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Coryne would, it seems, increase carers allowance by £10 to try to buy votes, this funded by reversing the inheritance tax cut announced by George Osborne. The man lives in a magic money tree dream world, but it will fool some I suspect. Then again May and Hammond also live in a socialist dream world with gender pay reporting, central wage controls, wanting to build on worker “rights” and the likes.

    These cuts to inheritance tax have not even yet been made by IHT ratter Osborne (promised some eight(?) years back) nor even by NI tax ratter Hammond. Anyway having much lower inheritance taxes would raise far more in overall taxes. This as they discourages many of the wealthy from living in the UK and create perverse insentives and largely parasitic industrises of tax advisors, tax avoidance, distort investments and reduces other the tax raised from other taxes.

  5. Little Englander
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Relationships between Turkey and the EU is not our business. Our focus is to remove ourselves from this EU “experiment in failure” and Move On trading freely with Countries round the world benefiting both us and them and bring back ‘quiet behind the scenes’ diplomacy’ in instances where we need to introduce ‘calm well structured reason’. Over the years we have lost that well respected art of diplomacy through a succession of FAILED self interested,belligerent, ‘in your face’ Prime Ministers and Senior Ministers and their “Experts” ( EXPERTS do a lot of damage frankly) who have changed the way we conduct our Foreign Policy in particular. The time to SHUT UP is now (Boris) and leave the Diplomats to quietly and effectively go about their business

  6. Mark B
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black !

    Whatever one thinks of the President of Turkey, what one cannot deny, unlike his 5 opposites in the EU, is that the man was elected. He therefore has a mandate from the people.

    As for the conduct of the elections. He sought the peoples advice and, as far as I know, did not spend 9.5 million pounds on worthless government propaganda. 😉

    The only member of the EU that was pro-Turkey joining was the UK. I seem to remember that CMD during our little referendum on the EU said that; “Turkey would not be joining the EU in a thousand years !” This of course came as great surprise to the Turkish government who, rather kindly, reminded us of earlier promises to get Turkey into the EU. We even sent them money !!!

    But we are leaving now so this is now the EU’s problem. 🙂

    The other 27 members do not want Turkey in the EU. Some, for historical reasons, cannot stand them and genuinely fear them. But the USA wants Turkey cemented into Europe, even though most of it is in Eurasia, and all its institutions. This is to contain Russia.

    Personally, just as in the case of Syria, I want no part of this. Trade with them. Be friends. But no open door immigration please. Thank you.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      Turkey is not what it was even a few years ago. I have lived there for extended periods and it was a lovely, if poor country under Ataturks secular rules which are being rolled back. I’d never go there again now.

      1) No need to spend 9.5 million on propaganda – there was nothing else – it was also one sided. Turkey has the largest number of journalists in jail for the sin of disagreeing with the President. Remember they were even chased after in Germany and Merkel disgracefully did not tell them where to go.

      (point left out ed)

      3) They were wanted in the EU because they have the largest most powerful armed
      forces of any member . That changed with Erdogan. As Macmillan once said ‘Events, dear boy, events’

      • Mark B
        Posted April 19, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

        Cheers.

  7. MickN
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Yes John but did you notice the majority was closer that our referendum to leave the EU.
    I am expecting to see Messrs Clegg, Heseltine, Farron, Blair, Mandleson et al starting a movement to get the result overturned as it was so close and people obviously had no idea what they were voting for. I further suspect that Ms Miller is planning a legal challenge even as we speak.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the big difference is that in the UK the pitch was heavily sloped by Cameron, the BBC, Carney, the establishment, the state leaflet of lies, most of the government, Theresa May (we have control of our borders under Schengen – sure dear), the lovies, Osborne’s punishment budget and the likes to get a remain vote, but thank goodness we got a leave vote anyway.

      In Turkey the pitch was clearly sloped heavily towards the direction that won.

    • Oggy
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Good one Mick !
      On a serious note, Turkey’s internal politics is for Turkey to sort out and is none of the EU’s business.

  8. Prigger
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It is none of the EU’s business nor any of the member states including the UK what political system Turkey has or decides to have or whether her elections are fair, unfair or whether they have them at all. We do not seek the opinion of Erdogan and his followers on our system. Even if we did, it is still none of our business.

  9. Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    How should the EU handle relationships with countries like Turkey ?

    The problems are all of their own making.

    If the EU reverted to a trading bloc, none of these problems would exist. In our own case, whether the UK was a leaving member or already a fully independent state should make no difference whatsoever to the desirability of a free trade agreement for both sides. Yet the zealots in Brussels and the 27 bent on creating a United States of Europe are determined to put as many obstructions in the way as possible.

    The EU cannot seem to have a decent trading relationship with a country without attempting political interference. The insistence that Turkey must not re-introduce the death penalty should be none of the 27’s business. Most of us would not like it but it is not up to us.

    I do worry about the latest developments in Turkey. I suspect Erdogan will use his nnew powers to make further moves towards an Islamic state as the country seems to be moving inexorably away from Ataturk’s far-sighted secular state.

    • rose
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      I don’t remember the EU trying to stop Obama’s America from having the death penalty when they were negotiating their trade deal.

  10. acorn
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    One of the objections to the new Turkish Constitution, is the fact that the President and the Parliament are elected on the same day; and, the prospective President can be the Leader of his political party.

    This means the prospective President can load his own candidate list for his party. Having the elections on the same day, raises the chances that the President and the Parliament majority, will come from the same party. The president ends up controlling the parliament and its agenda, with his own “lobby fodder”.

    Just like the UK in fact.

    The new constitution does away with a Prime Minister and the appointed Cabinet is outside of the weakened legislature which no longer has the power of interpellation; basically like the USA, except for the separation of party leadership in the US.

    Frankly, if the UK adopted the new Turkish Constitution, we wouldn’t actually notice a lot of difference; apart from getting the Executive out of the Legislature and into the 21st Century.

  11. Bert Young
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The vote in Turkey was close , however , Erdogan did win . Those who lose in a result as narrow as this one will always complain for one reason or another . Our Brexit vote has received the same post referendum sort of complaint . Running a place like Turkey should not be compared to the democracies elsewhere ; the entire history of the country has been in the melting plot of constant change since the 1st century .

    The EU should be the last to criticise ; its bureaucracy is no model to offer the world and will forever stand as the place where control and democracy were bad bed partners .

  12. Prigger
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The trouble broadly speaking with the Anglo Saxon world is that it believes whatever “values” it determines and whichever bit of its own territory gains prominence that that should be the template for all forms of existence throughout the world.
    Its democratic model and the striving for it against it and the economic aftermath of it partly resulted in the Bolshevik revolution ( democracy was impossible ) the rise of the Nazi Party and two world wars. Belgium can’t handle democracy. Northern Ireland is always on the brink of disaster. The continued failure of the attempts at democracy always bring civil war or varying kinds of violence.
    If you were married, lets call it an attempt at democracy, and every time you got out of bed you had a plate cracked over your head, your wallet stolen, your children taken beyond your reach and if you were lucky you could see them now and then, then, you would give the thumbs down to it. So why the thumbs up for democracy? Are we all masochists? The Lib Dem leader does not believe in or practice democracy. Is he right? What does he think about Turkey? Bow before him and ask his wise opinion!

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Given that our new USA built (hopefully still suffficiently stealthy when they arrive) fighters will, I think, be serviced in Turkey, concentration on Turkey within NATO relationship is most important.

  14. Talking turkey
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Why Turkey now dislikes the EU. Because the EU is perfectly happy for a relatively poor country such as Turkey to accommodate millions of refugees. But calls it a tyranny. If it be a tyranny then why is the EU content for refugees to seek refuge in a tyranny? Why is the EU content to use a tryanny such as Turkey as part of its world Defence in NATO?
    The EU wishes to rule Turkey. It tries to rule Turkey through political and economic blackmail. The EU has failed. Turkey now has better relations with Russia than the EU. Better relations with China and India than the EU.

  15. You Are Here +
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Like the UK Parliament, the EU has too much time on its hands. Turkey is not part of the UK nor part of the EU.
    Turkey is a country far far away about which we know far far too much.
    Syria too. The first, second or third item on our media’s news agenda EVERY BLESS-ED DAY!
    That bit….that island….west of France and to the east of Ireland is, surprise surprise thUK.
    Notice the distinct lack of camels. There’s a clue!

  16. NHSGP
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Just another reaction to a state that screws the population.

    In Turkey, the previous regime ignored the little people not in metropolitan centres.

    Now they have lost.

    Equally, Erdogan doesn’t get it. He’s acquired these powers. What he may well discover as the economy goes south, that the little people decide he’s screwed them. The other establishment get back in and use Erdogan’s powers against him.

  17. Bob
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    “EU politicians argue the campaign was not properly conducted, with irregularities in voting, undue pressures on some voters and one sided media coverage heavily influenced by the government line.”

    Sounds familiar.

  18. Antisthenes
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    In Turkey autocracy and religious fundamentalism is replacing a nation since Ataturk that was largely democraic and secular. In fact in the Middle East secular governments have been swept away one by one and religious fundamentalism has replaced them or seeking to. Often aided and abetted by us in the West. It does not bode well for stability there(probably an understatement) and for the rest of us as we are already know from the collateral damage we are now increasingly experiencing.

    The EU and Obama’s foreign policies have made a bad situation much worse as both have shown weakness and ineptitude. The EU is not structured for or capable of constructive actions as it has an executive branch of government that has a technocratic and progressive socialist mind set that is a problem creator not solver. Trump to everyone’s surprise has demonstrated some backbone maybe for the wrong reasons but now perhaps the US can start influencing the world so that aggressors will act with at least with some constraint. He will need to tackle the embedded establishment progressive socialism that so taints his country as it does the EU if he is to make the US and the West great again.

  19. Christopher Hudson
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    It’s good timing. Labour doesn’t have a narrative.

  20. Aatif Ahmad
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Best to ignore the declining EU and embrace free trade and investment with growing economies like Turkey, East Asia, the United States and South Asia.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      There is a lot about democracy that’s a pain in the ass, but it protects us against autocrats and dictators on power trips and ruining their countries, in the long-term, through corruption, war, brutal treatment of their people, and generally making the world an unsafer place in general.

  21. MickN
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    O/T Are the boundary changes that are being done for “the next General Election” far enough advanced to be used for the GE on June 8th or are they not ready yet?

    Reply Not ready

  22. John Probert
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Never mind the Turks

    What do you think of our early General Election ?

    Mrs May is a very Smart Lady

  23. norman
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Wow, Theresa! Another pivotal moment for our beloved country. May the people resoundingly vindicate your courageous decision, and may the enemies of Brexit be thoroughly routed!

  24. Yossarion
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Was it not another EUSSR fudge that they let the Greek Cypriot part of Cyprus join the Club having previously said that Cyprus could only join as a united Island once the border issue had been resolved. 1974 seems a long time ago to keep funding the UN along the Buffer Zone with no sign of an agreement.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Turkey is implementing a kind of Islamic Gaulism. Turkey’s new constitution reminds me of the Fifth Republic of France.

    For the West, it does have the advantage that we can demand that Turkey gets more involved in Syria, in which Turkey has considerable interest.

    Moving on to North Korea, we can’t risk nuclear war. How about steadily rearming the Japs, making it clear to the Chinese that this process will stop only if they get North Korea under control.

  26. lojolondon
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    John, the EU is making a mess of handling its relations with its neighbours to the West, and to the South too. Perhaps the whole world is wrong and the unelected EU is right, but I bet that is not the case…..

  27. rose
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Turkey is far better off out of the EU. It is typical of the EU that they think they can interfere in Turkish domestic affairs even when Turkey is outside the EU. And talk about the pot calling the kettle black! It was quite wrong of the EU to take the guilty party, Greek Cyprus into the EU and not the victim of the massacres, Turkish Cyprus. But then they are taking Spain’s part now against little Gibraltar. The best thing now is for the anti democratic rule-breaking EU to stop insulting Turkey and make the most of the fact she is in NATO and, unlike most of them, pulling her weight. Trump seems to get it.

    It would be better to take illegal immigrants straight back to Africa and Asia where they came from, not Asia Minor. Turkey has quite enough on her plate already with the 3 million refugees and two lots of terrorism, as well as a civil war on her border.

    • rose
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that across Continental Europe, Turks voted for autocracy, but our Turks and Trump’s Turks voted for parliamentary democracy. What do you make of that?

  28. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The parliamentary checks and balances will, I am convinced, count for nothing of substance. Erdogan has not sought these extra powers to leave them lying on the shelf, and he is as likely to abuse parliament as not.

    He has made some very extreme anti-Western speeches and threats and is to my mind a very great danger to us. He will no doubt go strongly ahead with his religious extremism and military ambitions; they will be combined. The EU will need to show great resolve to counter the threats, and we of course will not be immune.

    He will turn Turkey into a kind of North Korea in terms of enmity towards us and there is little point in assuming he will be appeased, just as North Korea couldn’t be. He will laugh at such weakness.

    He and Turkey is more than an EU problem, it is European and Western.

  29. agricola
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Still pondering I see!

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Totally right, the EU has made a mess of relations with Turkey, but let’s face it, this is what they do!
    The EU interfere, believeing that the cash they dole out will keep everyone on their side, but they have never been good at reality. The EU elite and many of the liberal MEP’s with any influence think they have a God given right to make changes in how other countries operate, because the EU has been such a success and they see themselves as king makers! Ha.

    Perhaps now would be a good time for the EU to be truthful to Turkey in the way they see the EU/Turkey relationship is going, and just keep a balanced dialogue going – but I fear this simplicity is beyond them.

  31. Freeborn John
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    The FT is today reporting that the EU has hardened its negotiating position against the UK. This shows the futility of Mrs. May’s signalling of concessions a week or so back, which as always with Brussels, have simply been interpreted as a sign of weakness. I understand David Davis wrote a book 20 years ago on negotiating technique in which he wrote that the first side to make a significant concession will be the loser in negotiations. The Brexit secretary needs to give Mrs. May a copy of his own book before she does any more damage.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page