Column: The Old Continent losing self-control


Switzerland’s not banning the placard, reading ‘Kill Erdoğan’ during Saturday’s PKK demonstration shows the Old Continent has lost self-control

We are currently on our way from the Great Wall of China to Beijing. As the Sabah Writers Club, we are in China for two successive conferences in Shanghai and Beijing. On Friday, we attended a conference at Shanghai University and on Monday, while you are reading this article, we will be speaking in a conference at Renmin University in Beijing.

The subject is “The new era in Turkish-Chinese relations” and we are supposed to talk about a vision that will seek ways to deepen relations between Turkey and China. However, endless reports coming from European capitals concerning Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have created another framework to Turkey’s dialogue with third countries and of course, to our meetings in China.

First of all, let us talk about the recent example from Bern, the heart of Switzerland.

A demonstration held in front of the Swiss Parliament on Saturday by PKK terror supporters outlined the dimensions of a new version of fascism rising over the Old Continent, targeting Turkey and its leader.

The placard reading, “Kill Erdoğan,” depicting President Erdoğan and a gun directed to his head, was carried by PKK supporters during the demonstration. The Swiss government didn’t prevent it from being used.

To evaluate this latest chain of fascism in Switzerland, you should look at the recent bans on Turkish political campaigning in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria ahead of the April 16 referendum.

Although Switzerland is not an EU-member state, it took this action in accordance with the German parenthesis of Europe, which currently is clearly hostile against Turkey.

Here, we are talking about a democratically elected president and an upcoming referendum in a democratic country. What we have seen is that certain European states have taken a clear position concerning the referendum as they have not allowed the opposition voters freely voice their views.

“You do not think like me. You refuse to get into the framework that I find appropriate for you. So, you do not have a right to exist. You should disappear.” That is exactly the recent position of these European states. If they look in the dictionary to define that position, the only term that will correspond to that policy would be “fascism.”

What a pity for the Old Continent, which is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the birth of the European Union, which presents itself as a structure promoting the universal values of democracy and human rights.

The 60th anniversary of The Treaty of Rome, which is the basis of the EU, brought the leaders of the 28-member bloc together in Rome on Saturday.

However, steps taken by these leaders against Turkey and its leader confirm that they also fell into the trap of fascism.

There is no other explanation.

And of course, the clear reaction of countries like China and Russia against the coup attempt on July 15 and their taking sides with Turkey makes Ankara want to deepen its ties with these and other countries.

This will not mean Turkey will cut its ties with the EU, but it will help to diversify its alliances to overcome the conjectural blindness of Europe caused by some narrow-minded European decision makers.


*SAADET ORUÇ is a Turkish journalist. She writes columns for Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper

(Published in Daily Sabah on Monday, March 27, 2017)