By Souad Sbai
The textbooks justifying the September 11 attacks and attacking the European Union as a Christian club represent the figure of Turkey’s transformation under the aegis of Erdogan and his fundamentalist party.
Introduced in the country’s public schools, these books are in line with the anti-Western spirit that characterizes not only the rhetoric, but the work carried out by Erdogan, that pushed Ankara further and further away both from Europe and from the United States.
As a good Muslim Brother, Erdogan looks to the West as a territory of conquest, inciting the Turks residing in European countries to multiply to win the battle on the demographic front. Or, by financing radical mosques and imams, to the point of pushing the Austrian government to close the first ones and expel the latest ones.
At the geopolitical level, Erdogan has had Turkey turn 180 degrees. First with the attempt operated together with Qatar to overthrow the Middle Eastern order to establish fundamentalist dictatorships of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya, during the Arab Spring. Then embracing Khomeinist Iran and the Venezuelan regime of the “brother” Maduro.
The purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia is the culmination of a process of distancing from the West, a sought-after rift with NATO, a political choice that strongly raises the question of Ankara’s membership in the organization.
A Turkey that deliberately moves away from NATO, that automatically moves away from Europe, with which the distances had already become almost unbridgeable. The opening of the Balkan migratory front was a real act of war and it was successful. In fact, Erdogan has managed to destabilize the entire EU, earning 6 billion euros in exchange for the truce.
From Europe, Erdogan has always exploited weaknesses and naivety. His initial Europeanism, officially aimed at completing the process of joining the EU, served to dismantle the Kemalist architecture of the Turkish state until the dictatorial occupation of power, which occurred after the alleged foiled coup that took place in July 2016.
The European Parliament gave the numbers of the occupation in the resolution with which on March 13, 2019 it recommended the European Council and the Commission to “formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey”.
“During the repression following the coup d’état”, 150,000 people were placed in pre-trial detention and 78,000 were arrested on the basis of charges of terrorism, while over 50,000 are still in prison in the absence of definitive evidence. More than 152,000 public officials were then sacked, including teachers, doctors, academics, judges and prosecutors. The closed media amount to 160 and 114 thousand blocked websites, including Wikipedia.
The Parliament expressed great concern about “the high number of arrests of journalists and information professionals” and for “unfounded and disproportionate sentences imposed”, reiterating “the importance of freedom and independence of the media as one of the main values of the EU and the cornerstone of any democracy”.
The total incompatibility of Erdogan’s Turkey with EU membership was therefore sanctioned; Erdogan was who created the conditions. The Turkish president has re-launched the challenge to Europe and the West, starting from the school desks. His system of power gives the first signs of abating, after the loss of Istanbul and his policies have produced situations that have distorted the course of Ataturk’s post-Ottoman Turkey, most probably irreversibly.
Only a Italy remains to cultivate the dream of a Turkey in the EU, that not even in the face of the clear contrary position of the European Parliament had the courage to depart from a diplomatic position that was adopted by all governments, including the yellow-green.
In the programmatic report on “Italy’s participation in the European Union”, shortly before the Brussels Parliament report, Conte’s government reiterated this position. Perhaps for fear of Erdogan and his neo-Ottoman ambitions?